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Report Cards And Their Influence On Parenting

I never got bad grades so I never feared report card days, but I can see where it would cause stress for some kids. I say this because even with Alyssa's near perfect report card (on Friday the 13th ;) I still felt myself transform from Calm Mommy (ahhhhhh) to Type A Mommy.

Now in my own defense, I don't think it's a bad thing to examine your child's area of weakness (in her case "oral", as in: speaking French in class), and try to help her improve. However if it weren't for the report card, I more than likely would have left it alone and given her a chance to grow into more confidence.

Here's the dilemma: kids are individuals, with their own rates of progress in various subjects. There is a certain amount of benefit in catering to that, and letting a child grow into areas of aptitude (as in, they'll learn when they're ready). If they're ready on their own terms, learning is faster, more likely to stick, and a lot less stressful.

On the other hand, real life just isn't like that! There is equal value in gently nudging (shove! ;) a child out of his/her comfort zone and stretching their learning boundaries, so that they're better equipped to deal with the demands of reality once they leave the safety of the nest.

(Sigh! Reality at the age of 6? Sheesh)

In the end, I did the "shove" thing with Alyssa and her oral shortcomings. I pressured her and forced her (specifically: we did some reading out loud). I struggled with the question of am I helping her, or creating a bad experience? After her initial resistance, she gushed with excitement about how easy it is once you try, and how much better she felt.


What about you - how do you handle a teacher's critique of your child? This is such an open ended question because every scenario is slightly different, and no single response is appropriate all the time. It's a case by case judgement call, and as parents we simply do the best we can.
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