Part of being involved in your child’s academic life is knowing how they are performing in school. That’s why it’s important to have ongoing conversations with your child about what they are learning, what parts they are enjoying most and if anything is proving to be too difficult.
But they’re not the only one you should discuss their performance with. It’s also important to touch base with your child’s educator to make sure they are actively engaging in class and performing well academically. For tips on how to communicate with you child’s educator, check out our article here.
Once you receive feedback from your child’s educator or find areas for improvement, try to talk to your child as soon as possible. Giving feedback can be a bit difficult because you don’t want your child to feel like you’re putting them down, nor do you want to risk them losing their drive to excel in school. Consider these tips to engage in a productive conversation with your child:
- Allocate time at home: For finding the best time to talk to your child, plan on waiting until you are home and have your child’s undivided attention. You want to make sure that what you have to say is heard and well received.
- Start with the positives: When you first sit down with your child, focus on positive qualities or skills your child has displayed. Have a casual conversation before shifting gears into talking about school. Make sure your child feels like they are being respected first before addressing areas of improvement.
- Provide examples: Use concrete examples so your child understands what you are describing. Be mindful not to compare your child’s actions to those of others. This can increase an unwarranted level of competition and potentially discourage your child from improving.
- Be sensitive to your child’s needs: Make sure your conversation is a dialogue. Throughout the conversation, ask your child what they think and if they can explain anything differently from their perspective. Ultimately you want to create a progressive conversation, so allowing your child to communicate back to you is essential.
- Set goals: Take time at the end of your conversation to create a roadmap for growth. If your child needs to work on multiplication for example, set weekly goals to practice the times tables to increase speed. Little milestones are much more understandable for your child and will make improving on the specific points of feedback easier.
- Schedule an appointment with your child and educator: Sometimes children can have a difficult time receiving feedback from their parents. In that case, seek the advice of a professional, like their educator. To increase your credibility and show that you care about your child’s success, find time for your child to be a part of the meeting to ensure they receive constructive feedback straight from the source.
- Check back in with your child: As your child works on implementing the feedback, be sure to maintain an open dialogue and monitor their level of improvement. If you have any concerns that specific goals aren’t being reached on schedule, consider scheduling another appointment with your child’s educator to get their advice.
The ability to accept criticism gracefully is a part of growing up. While it may be difficult for them to initially process feedback, make it known that you are there for them and willing to help in any way. Show your child that they have support in the home and the potential to succeed.