Under unusual and quite stressful circumstances, teachers need to report to parents how their child fared academically in the third quarter of the year. Picture: Pixy.org
Under unusual and quite stressful circumstances, teachers need to report to parents how their child fared academically in the third quarter of the year. Picture: Pixy.org

Feeling anxious about your child’s term 3 school report? Focus on these 4 important things

By Opinion Time of article published Oct 13, 2020

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By Krsangi Radhe

As we approach the end of the third academic term of 2020, many learners and parents are feeling anxious about receiving the school report card.

During a pandemic – where numbers and stats, curves and graphs have become the order of the day – children have found themselves back in the classroom.

Under unusual and quite stressful circumstances, teachers will need to report to parents how their child fared academically in the third quarter of the year. Whether this will be an fair reflection of their progress will surely be questioned. However, right now the focus is on what marks will be brought home as the term comes to a close at the end of next week.

How we deal with the days going forward is what is important. Parents need to be sensitive during this time.

Here are a few tips to navigate this period.

EMBRACE THE FACT THAT YOUR CHILD ENTERED A NEW NORM

As with any change there are always days when anxiety overwhelms. When children went back to the classroom, their friendships and ways of socialising were changed.

Wearing a mask all day and having smaller groups (perhaps without their usual support system) also posed a challenge. Some children attended school in different groups on alternate days or weeks.

The morning round of screening proved to be quite stressful too, especially for younger children who had to answer an array of questions before they entered the school property.

These are just some of the challenges our children have faced and we need to understand that being assessed during this time has not been easy.

That being said, we know that children are resilient and have been able to adapt. Nonetheless, we cannot ignore the drastic changes that have taken place. We need to show more empathy towards our children during this time.

PROGRESS RATHER THAN PERFECTION

Understanding where your child is academically is important. Remember that progress is more important than perfection at this stage. This also refers to your child reintegrating into the school system. It has been difficult for some children to adapt, so any progress needs to be acknowledged.

SUPPORT WHERE YOU CAN

Through a simple analysis of how your child coped emotionally and academically during this term, you will be able to identify where you can support them. Communicate with your child and allow them to express their feelings.

Looking at their progress based on academic scores will indicate where they need help in the form of extra lessons or continued practice. Sometimes simple tweaks to the revision programme can help your child do better. Communicating with your child’s teachers will give you a better understanding of how your child coped during this time.

Reaching out for help is not a weakness but rather a step in the right direction. I have seen so many families feeling overwhelmed and this can cause conflict and tension within the home.

Putting in the correct support structures is important in the weeks ahead.

Sometimes it is as simple as sitting with your child after school to have an open chat about how the day went. A warm hug and words of support work wonders.

SPARK JOY WITHIN YOUR HOME

It can still be an overwhelming time (yes, even though we are at level 1 of the lockdown) and as a parent or caregiver the onus is on you to help spark joy within the home.

Children look to their parents to help them find that balance and if parents are stressed and continually anxious, this emotion permeates the home. Choose to spark joy within yourself as this will have a ripple effect at home.

Krsangi Radhe is a neurolinguistic programming practitioner, time line therapist and women’s and children’s empowerment coach. She is also an educator in the public sector, a public relations practitioner and motivational speaker. She can be reached at [email protected] or visit her website www.sankalpacoaching.co.za

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