Saturday, November 19, 2011
Turn the Report Card Over
When you go to parent and teacher conferences, which I hope you do, take the grade card and turn it over. Instead of talking about points needed to change an A- to an A, look at the teacher and ask, "Is she kind?" and "Is she trying?" A child who can get along with people and who works hard will do well. And, every child can succeed in these areas.
A mindset of working hard to learn and grow will help your child use and develop God given abilities. When you focus on your child's effort and learning instead of grades, you teach him or her a deeper motivation that will bring not only good, deep learning, but is more likely to bring better grades as a result . Focusing on the details of grades or the points he or she scored in a game is short sighted. Encourage the long term investment of learning, growing, and trying and let the results happen naturally and without anxiety.
And, a child who shows kindness and works well with others will be given ample opportunity to learn collaboratively, to learn leadership, and to learn the value of serving. That child will be respected as he or she respects others, respects the teacher, and respects learning. Character and compassion are rocks that will help a child succeed in school, work, family, and life. When we focus our questions on character and compassion, our children learn what is important to us and those qualities become important to our children.
Even if you missed parent and teacher conferences or you don't have them, how about a note to your child's teacher asking how your son or daughter is treating people? And, what kind of attitude he or she has toward work and learning? Avoid the little details of a point here or there and make a big deal out of love and trying. Let your child know you are checking these things. This approach will pay off in the long run. I hope you will enjoy the freedom of a focus on kindness and effort and are refreshed as you watch the results.