How to Read a Report Card & Not Judge or Compare Our Kids…
No Matter What Grade!
An A is great for certain kids, but for some kids a B is amazing. How do we help our kids to not judge themselves compared to others?
Let me demystify grades for you! Our children’s worth in school is evaluated against preset standards of excellence in both behaviour and performance. So, a grade is simply just a marker of where a student is in the item being evaluated in that given time frame. This could be illustrated in seeing a child’s mark go from an A in math one year to a C another year. Simply, their level of understanding of how math is being evaluated at that point in time has lessened. This might be because something in their personal life has changed, their current teacher does not teach to their learning style, they simply have to take on more responsibility and haven’t been taught how to do that, they have a fear of asking questions, they have learned the art of procrastination, or they simply have developed a dislike for the subject.
Not understanding a certain math concept doesn’t make anybody stupid; it simply means they don’t understand that math concept. That’s a difference worth remembering.
The difficult part could be that children earn status in school, and potentially in the rest of their world, depending on their school performance. This could lead to feelings of failure and frustration, especially if they are officially told they are less skilled than their peers. This can be seen as one’s ability self-concept and expectation for personal success decline. We want to avoid this decline in self-confidence and motivation as it may lead students to avoid certain courses or to withdraw from school altogether.
You will be able to assess if your child is starting to go down this path, if they start to shy away from activities in which they are unlikely to succeed at first. This hesitancy to try new things depends, partly, on the meaning children attach to failure. Children come to conclude that failure is an indication of their incompetence, not a condition that can be modified by learning or practicing.
How do we avoid this? Ensure that you have open communication with your children about what a grade simply is. Once this understanding is there, then you can have the conversation about the importance of that grade. Make sure that you are hearing what the child says in this conversation and why you are putting worth on a particular grade or subject. Also, get very clear on the fact that this is one part of what makes up your child. They are not the letter C that they are getting in math; they are so much more.
Also, ensure they are in activities outside of school as these environments typically encourage children to master new skills and try activities even if success is unlikely at first. They learn that they can become more proficient over time in an atmosphere where failure is okay. Such programs have more autonomy than the schools to design settings that support skill acquisition without emphasizing differences in children’s abilities and talents.
Also be mindful if they believe they lack innate ability (especially intellectual, athletic, or artistic ability), children understandably become discouraged and withdraw from the activity or task. By contrast, if children view abilities as subject to incremental improvement, it is plausible that they can become more competent with practice and development. When it is coupled with appropriate help from supportive adults, a belief that ability can be cultivated reduces children’s frustration with failure and allows them to maintain high expectations for future success.
And, in the end if you are still saying that you really want your child to excel more in a given subject area? Give them a reason to value it by making it relevant to their world. This may be something that you ask the school to help you with or even google, youtube or facebook for some help! If that all fails, connect with us and we will walk you through mindset changes for both you and your children!
And lastly, if you want to give the Gift of Confidence, Resiliency & Empowerment, then buy your child, grandchild, niece/nephew, godchild, etc. a Gift Certificate from us. We will help this child be “Success-Ready”, not just report card smart ;)!
We’d love to extend this gift to you and yours!
Thank you for trusting us with your family !