The Report Card has Arrived: PANIC TIME!


The Report Card has Arrived: PANIC TIME!


It’s that time again. You just received your child’s first report card. Two possible reactions: a happy face or a sad one. Indeed, many moms and dads will be delighted to see that their child’s efforts have paid off, while others will be disappointed. But what’s the best way to react?

It’s a disaster

Take a deep breath. A bad report card isn’t the end of the world. It’s useless to punish your child; they must already feel ashamed—or even humiliated—about their disappointing marks. On the contrary, it’s important to emphasize their positive achievements, whether they’re academic or not. Comments such as “You’re having trouble with French, but you’re doing excellent in math. Good work!” or “This wasn’t a good term for you. But I know you’re working hard. Keep up the good work. And don’t forget that you have other strong points: you’re super good at soccer and you make the best chocolate cake in the world” will rebuild your child’s confidence.

Encourage them to keep up the hard work, which, eventually, will be rewarded. Also, nothing is lost, as they have until June to catch up.

Identifying the problem

Identifying the problem

There’s a huge difference between not getting good marks and not doing what you need to do to succeed. If you know that your child didn’t try hard enough, it’s time to set things straight.

Several factors can explain bad marks:

  • Did they recently experience a stressful situation, such as changing schools, a move, or your divorce?
  • Are they experiencing troubles in their relationships with others?
  • Do they lose their concentration easily?
  • Can they see the board okay?
  • Have they lost their motivation?

Switch to solution mode

The first thing to do is talk to your child’s teachers. A meeting by phone or in person will allow you to work more effectively with them. They’ll be able to give you excellent advice to more appropriately help your child and, if they believe it’s necessary, will suggest seeing specialists. In addition, ask them for the upcoming exam dates so that you’ll be better able to support your child.

Lifestyle is also closely tied to academic success. It may be time to make some changes:

  • A balanced and varied diet is associated with better school performance. It can’t be emphasized enough: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It’s impossible to learn on an empty stomach.
  • Regular physical activity improves concentration. Your daughter doesn’t have to become an elite gymnast: just being active is enough!
  • Sleep is essential for memory and needs vary by age. At age 5, your child should sleep for around 11 hours. After that, the length of sleep drops 15 minutes per year, reaching an average of 8 hours at the age of 16.

If you’d really like to help them with their French, but you feel you lack the skills, hiring a tutor may be the solution.

Finally, don’t forget that your expectations should be reasonable. You may have had an overall average of 92%, but that doesn’t mean that your child has the same abilities as you.

What if everything is fine?

Because it’s important to celebrate our successes, why not suggest a special mother/son, mother/daughter, dad/son or dad/daughter activity? Tell them that you’re not just proud of their marks, but of their hard work as well. But remind them that the school year ends in June. They can’t rest on their laurels yet!

Lastly, whether they have good grades or bad, what counts is that you’re there to support your child and that they know that academics are important to you.


Succès Scolaire: the reference in tutoring and homework help, offers invaluable advice to help your teenager to maintain good mental health thanks to their free guides and their blog.

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