Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Same issue, different year

When Devyn was pretty much the last child of her class out of the school today -- as she usually is -- I worried this time. Report cards were going home, and I didn't want her to look at hers.

She worries about report cards every year, though she does not yet have the work-for-good-marks drive. (At this point, school is all about the social environment and the physical activity for her, and I'm okay with that.)

So, we have the same conflict every year: she wants to see the end-of-year report; I do not yield.

Today, I wanted her to understand the basis of my decision, to reveal my opinion. 

Me: Do you know why I didn't let you read your report card?

Devyn: No...

Me: Because whether you have all As or all Fs, a report card can't tell us what you know or what you don't know, whether or not you can do something...

Devyn: (angry stare)

Me: It can only tell us what your teacher reports that she observed or was able to observe. And that's not the same thing, is it?

Devyn: No. (forgiving smile) 

Finally, after all these years, the conversation went as I'd wished. If I should someday decide that report cards are an objective measure by which my kid's self-esteem should be calibrated, I will let her read them and then have her tweak her self-evaluation accordingly. Until then, the report will represent a school-teacher-parent channel of communication only.

But ours is a personal, parenting decision. This means that some or many of Devyn's peers may read their report cards and have probably already done so. I am hoping that Devyn will remember that parents make decisions that are best for their own families.

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