Whether it's a pop quiz in math or a big history exam, it's never fun when your child brings home a failing grade. Although you may be feeling angry, disappointed, frustrated, or all of the above about your child's test score, they're also probably feeling those things, plus anxiety about having to tell you about it (most schools require a parent's signature on a failed test). As a parent, you might be feeling lost at how to best handle the situation, but the most important thing to remember is not to overreact.
Kids fail tests for a number of reasons, whether it's anxiety about taking tests, being distraught or distracted about something going on in their lives at home or at school, or simply not studying enough. The list goes on. What you want to do is help them identify the cause of their failure.
Once you've communicated with your child and they realize what caused them to fail, you can help them come up with a solution to prevent it from happening again, like getting them a tutor or teaching them how to cope with anxiety, for example. By helping your child come up with a solution instead of losing your cool, your child will know you're on their team, they can trust you, and you want to help them succeed. Keep reading for some other helpful tips to consider when your child fails a test.
1. Do Not Compare Your Child's Test Results to Others'
This is particularly true for siblings. All that will do is lower your child's already bruised self-esteem and make them form ill feelings toward said individual.
2. Try Again When Possible
If you think their teacher will allow it, have your child ask them if they can retake the test (it's especially important that your child asks the teacher themselves). Have your child explain to their teacher why they failed the test and ask if it can be retaken. That way, your child will begin learning to advocate for themselves.
3. Celebrate Success
No matter how small the success may be, like getting a C on their next test instead of an F, let your child know that you're proud of the improvement they made by celebrating their success. This will help their self-esteem and reinforce the fact that you'll always support them.