When Junior Grades Himself...
How do you get your child (a student) ready to listen, appreciate constructive criticism, and even change? Is that wishing too much? Compare the report card to the employee’s performance review.
In one of my first performance reviews, my boss asked me to evaluate myself first. It was eye-opening…and mind and heart opening too.
Grade Review Guessing Game
Home Is Fun turned grade-review into a guessing game. Mom & Dad are the Big Bosses and Junior is reviewing with them the feedback from Middle Managers (teachers).
What grade-guessing does for your child:
1. Prepare to Listen Well
It’s a lot easier to hear “I agree,” or “What makes you say that?” in response to a less-than-optional performance than it is to be accosted with, “What a bad grade!” Big Boss can still be firm AND kind when Junior presents the problems first.
Juniorette also has a sense—possibly vague—of her strengths. “I’m good in music.” But is it natural ability or willingness to work with others? Is it following directions or simply hard work? There is curiosity to learn specifically what we do well so that we can do it again and be appreciated!
2. Appreciate the Feedback
Evaluation takes time and effort. The kids only have to do it for themselves, but the teachers have to do it for everyone in the class. (My big effort) X (N° of kids in class) = MEGA time and effort!
3. Accept Correction
Very few of us have been the perfect student—in school or in life. Of course, we’ll try to convince ourselves that we are! Self-evaluation gets us to that point where we can admit to areas for improvement...and even build a hope to get help.
Make it Happen
- Have your child guess her grades BEFORE getting the report card.
- When the report card arrives, review it together. Admire the good grades and take note together of those that need attention.
- Compare the grade-guess to the reality: 1. Have Junior identify the similarities, 2. then the differences, 3 and together make a plan.
Act on It
Does your child need to build self-confidence? She evaluates herself lower than others? Build in more affirmation into your daily routine. “Honey, did you notice how creative you were in answering that math problem? You tried it on your own, then asked your brother for help, and now you did it correctly!”
Is he oblivious to his disruptive behaviour? His grades are passable, but teachers hate his attitude. Point out the results of his behaviour at home. “Did you notice what happened when you came into the living room? We were talking and reading quietly and you blasted the radio. How did people respond to you? Could your teacher be reacting in a similar way?”
Play It…Even If It Does Not Feel Like a Game
We started grade-guessing when report card time was far from fun. Sure, we parents faced resistance. We all—young and old tough nuts—gained in maturity. Meet the new-attitude Junior and Big Boss! We're now team members on the How-2-get-Teachers-2-help-Junior-REACH-his-goals. (see Fast Forward to Your Future) It’s much more fun being on the same team…and making it a winning one. GO FOR IT!