REPORT CARD; CHANCE TO IMPROVE
More than 17 million 500 thousand students in pre-schools, primary schools, and secondary schools are getting ready to receive their report cards. As students are about to begin their 3 month summer break, the experts state that report card is a good source for children in terms of informing them about areas they need to improve, and that expecting children to be perfect is a big delusion.
Songül Özgün, Lecturer at IUE Vocational School of Health Services, Child Development Program, stated that children received report cards as a fruit of their labor all throughout the year. Özgün said, “This is an indicator of a child’s output of academic development, not his/her personality. A report card, in this sense, is a good source for you to identify which areas your child needs to improve. Parents need to understand their expectations of their children first of all when report cards don’t turn out the way expected. If there is any expectation beyond the child’s academic capacity, they need to change this. None of us are prefect, and expecting them to be so would be a big delusion.”
‘Appreciate Their Success’
Özgün reported that each child had different areas of interests and skills, and that they would not be able to display the same performance in each class. “Appreciating your child’s success and respecting their choices would make them feel precious. It would motivate their performance at school. And when it comes to courses that need improvement, it is important to make the child study for short periods of time without getting them bored,” said Özgün.
‘Communication Instead of Punishment’
Özgün also said that parents need to stay away from displaying an oppressive and punitive attitude in the event of children getting average grades, and that such an attitude would not be changing the future report cards. She suggested that, instead of criticizing them, better communication should be established with children, and that parents need to avoid using labels such as ‘lazy’, ‘unsuccessful’ which judge the personality of the child. Children should be allowed to express themselves, and establishing a healthy communication based on trust would improve sense of responsibility in children, said Özgün.
‘Do Not Compare!’
Özgün remarked that one of the biggest mistakes parents made was to compare their children with their siblings or their friends. Özgün made the following recommendations to parents:
“Being compared affects the child’s self-respect negatively. The child feels hopeless about succeeding. Parents having different opinions and behaviors would have a negative effect on both your child and you. Parents being consistent and decisive would guide the child appropriately. Parents need to remember that they are only a child. They should be allowed time for physical activities. Children’s studying thresholds should be taken into consideration when preparing a study schedule. Material and moral reinforcers and rewards should be used; rewards in high monetary value should be avoided.”
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