How to Talk to Your Student About Disappointing Results

The end of the school year is approaching, and not all students and parents will be happy with the final marks. What do you do if your student’s results are not what you’d hoped?

It’s essential to stay calm and discuss disappointing results reasonably. You don’t want your student to feel attacked, particularly if they’ve tried their hardest.  There are many reasons for poor results, and the best way to ascertain why your child didn’t perform well is by talking to the teacher.

You’ll also need to discuss your child’s results with them, and this can be tricky. These tips will help you have a constructive conversation.

Show Empathy

Disappointing their family can be devastating for a child. Even if your student realises they performed poorly because they didn’t apply themselves, you still need to show empathy and understanding. Listen to what they have to say and let them vent if they need to. You can share your views too, but don’t blow the situation out of proportion.

Young people need experience dealing with negative emotions, and this is a valuable opportunity to learn resilience. Use it as a teachable moment to help them develop maturity and perspective by explaining that one setback doesn’t define them.

Focus on the positive things that can come from disappointment, because they will be motivated to try harder next year. It’s important for your child to feel supported and loved at this time.

Seek Solutions

After your student has had some time to reflect and come to terms with their disappointing marks, you can begin to discuss ideas for improvement. If your student struggles to keep up in class, you might consider getting additional help. If they’re easily distracted and have trouble completing homework and assignments, a technology ban for several hours each day might be appropriate.

The extent you involve your child in this discussion will depend on their age and maturity level. They might not agree with everything you say, but it’s important for them to feel part of the conversation. By discussing solutions with your child, you are modelling problem solving and teaching them about agency and responsibility.

Set Goals

Once you’ve identified strategies to address you student’s poor results, it’s time to put some goals in place for the next school year. These goals should be realistic, otherwise your child will become more demoralised if they fail to meet them.

It’s a good idea to consult teachers and professional tutors when coming up with goals as they can advise you on what’s achievable for your student and help with strategies for reaching them.

Look Forward

Your focus, after discussing your student’s results and coming up with strategies and goals, is on the future. It’s important for parents and students to move past disappointment and let go of negative feelings. Next year is a new beginning and you want your child to approach it with positivity and confidence.

Follow these tips for calm, constructive conversations about results.

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