My Child Did Poorly for His Exams. What Should I Do?
If you ask your children about how the exams were, the answer will always be, “fine,” “great” or “okay.” Yet, despite their positive responses, they might come home with poor or failing grades on their tests.
The question is: As a parent, how do you react to your kid’s poor performance or failure?
Don’t Blame the Child
Blaming is a very common human habit and it can even be said that blaming is an intrinsic part of human nature. When you feel threatened, angry or disappointed over any issue, you will tend to amplify your negative emotions by blaming someone else. This blame culture does not only affect adults but also affects the relationship between parents and children.
We live in a society that shuns mistakes, laughs at failures and values perfection and infallibility above all. This society has thus created a desperate need in parents; a need to see their children succeed in education. Every parent wants their kid to have a stable job, buy a house and lead a happy and healthy life and the starting point of these dreams is education. However, as soon as a kid fails or performs poorly, the blame game will start.
As a parent, when your expectations are not met, it’s normal to feel wrong, especially when you know you’ve been working hard to bring up your kid. However, it will be a huge mistake to blame your kid or take your anger out on them for their poor performance in exams. It will teach them things that no parent would ever want their child to pick up on.
This comparison technique is often used by Asian parents, but that doesn’t mean it will work on all children; instead, it might backfire really easily on some.
When you keep telling your child that he’s so much better than others, he will definitely wind up incredibly arrogant. But, when you repeatedly tell your child that other kids are better than him, you will end up wounding his self-esteem…for life.
When you compare your kid’s results with those of his classmates, the former might fold up like a fan. The constant comparisons like “X, Y, Z are so much better” or” Why aren’t you like…” will torture your kids and create negative emotions in them.
Not all parents do that. But, according to some experts, most of the time, when a parent demeans his kid, the main goal is to get some kind of positive reaction out of the kid. And, by getting that achieved reaction, the parent thinks that he has exerted power over his kid’s life and has given the latter a confidence boost that will make him perform better next time.
Surely, no kid would be motivated to study after hearing his parent telling him that he’ll be well off dropping from school and working in McDonald or his only hope is to be a manual labor.
Give Your Child Some Rest
Given his poor performance in exams, your kid is as angry and as disappointed as you are. The parent is the one supporting and the kid is the one studying. So, imagine how stressed and upset your kid must be after failing his exams.
As a parent, the best and first thing you should do to support your kid is to allow him some rest. The exam stress must have reflected in his sleeping and eating schedules, so make sure he gets enough sleep and have a well-balanced diet.
Opt for an Open Conversation
Some parents would evade the “conversation” phase only because they are afraid of hurting their children. Instead, this stands as a golden opportunity for you to discuss with your kid about everything relating to his studies. Ask for his opinion about the reason behind his exam failure; learn about his study weaknesses and strengths; and, understand how he feels.