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Parenting Your Teenager: Responding to a Poor Progress Report in School

Q. We just got our daughter's progress report, and it looks as if no matter how hard she works she'll get all C's and D's, when she had been getting A's and B's. What do you recommend to help her do better next nine weeks?

A. There could be many issues going on, but here's the best simple, quick-start suggestion I can offer.

You already know what the outcome will be for this report card, so there doesn't need to be any weeping and gnashing of teeth or high drama when the report card arrives.

When you get her report card, on a separate sheet of paper, make three columns.

In the first column, list her classes.

In the second column, list the grade in each class.

In the third column, list the grade that is the goal for the next report card.

While she certainly may be capable of raising each class more than one letter grade, that's the goal I suggest you set. If she got a D, then the goal is a C. If she got a C, then the goal is a B, and so on.

In this way, she experiences the task ahead as doable, and you get to see good results, if she raises each class by one letter grade. In just two grading periods, a D can be a B and a C can be an A. It's also certainly acceptable if she exceeds the goal and improves more than one letter grade in any class.

Visit ParentingYourTeenager.com for tips and tools for thriving during the teen years. You can also subscribe to our f*r*e*e 5 day e-program on The Top 5 Things to Never Say to Your Teenager, from parenting coach and expert Jeff Herring.

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