You might be feeling a bit upset because they didn’t get a good report, while also disappointed because you know they haven’t been trying their best. This is what the kids refer to as the "Mum's gonna kill me report" and talking about it isn't a fun conversation. It is an important one though.
Things that DON'T work:
• Blaming their father
• Writing an equally scathing report about their performance at home
• Starting a conversation with them if you are feeling particularly angry or frustrated
• Jumping to the conclusion that this report is a verdict on how successful your child will be in life
Things that DO work:
• Picking the right time to chat to them; maybe make them a Milo – Milo makes everyone feel better, especially with SuperWines for dunking
• Asking them what is going on for them at school and why they are finding it so difficult to apply themselves
• Asking them about their friendships and their teacher (I’m not saying it’s the teacher’s fault), and try to find out what might be causing them to struggle at school
• Making a plan together on how you can support them in the future. (Not financially and not in the distant future. More of a “do you need tutoring?” sort of plan)
• Telling them that the education system doesn’t suit everyone, however, most of the time we need to work out how to do our best within whatever system we find ourselves
• Telling them that you love them regardless of what the report says and it is not a reflection of how valuable they are to you
Remember, there are only a few valid moments as a parent when you get to use the “I’m not angry, I’m just disappointed. But it will never change how much I love you.” line. This is one of them. Use it wisely.
Lastly, remember that who your child is becoming is far more important than what they are achieving. Make sure you take the time to notice specific things about your child that you can give them compliments about. Every human has something beautiful and significant to offer to our world. Sometimes the only thing that is required is for someone to notice that thing and then to offer heaps of encouragement to do it more. Keep that in mind as you are talking to your child about their report.