It’s Okay You Don’t Have a Report Card to Post

The first quarter of school always flies by. It takes a solid two weeks for kids to shake off the summer just in time for Labor Day holiday. New teachers, new classmates, fall sports, school fairs, and BAM! It is October and 1/4 of the way through school. We all know what that means – it’s report card time.

And with this time of year comes something that I really loathe:

The unavoidable mass posting of report cards.

Now don’t get me wrong we are all proud of our children’s accomplishments, I often post when my daughter wins at a singing competition or my son’s baseball team wins the championship. But the one thing that I have never posted (and doubt I ever will), are my children’s grades, much less their entire report card. And for what I feel like are good reasons.

Like most parents reading this, I have two kids that are very unique and talented in their own ways. This transcends into all aspects of their life including school. They have had very different educational journeys, combined with time during Covid, on top of having to change schools. School is one area in our family that we have had some hurdles to over come.

See one of my children has a learning disorder and is diagnosed ADD. It took years for us to get a proper diagnosis and school was challenging for a long time. We still have periods where things go sideways and we have to get back on track. With the way testing and homework is now, it takes very little to drop a good grade, especially when they start to get older and are faced with more responsibility. Grades is an ongoing, stressful discussion when you have a child that struggles. I have cried more tears reading teacher’s emails than you can imagine. I’ve actually never spoken so candidly about it out in the open, because it is something I truly struggle with. Report card time is always a balance of encouragement, empathy, and guidance. It’s also a time of reassurance, because at the end of the day are grades important? Yes. However, building up my child’s spirit when I know they’ve done their best is at the top of my list. As a mom, we all just want our kids to be the best and succeed. Unfortunately for some, it’s just not that easy.

But if you are like my other child, it is. Has never brought home less than a B on a report card and has made honor roll every single quarter. Flies through life by the seat of their pants and beyond being super talkative, has never had any issues when it comes to school. Report cards are always exciting because they come with certificates, pins, and recognition. I have had to learn to celebrate their success while not making my other child feel less than. We’ve had to have humbling conversations at time about how everyone learns differently, not only here but at school as well. No one ever explained to me what it was like to struggle in school; I have had to experience it through my child’s eyes. It is so important for kids to know that their peers don’t necessarily live the same life experiences they do or learn like they do, and for them to be empathetic to that.

I have never posted about grades, because like many things you find on social media, it is just one more thing to brag about. No one is posting their kids report card who struggled all year, they’re posting the straight As & the Honor Rolls. I have one of those kids too, and I am so proud! I just don’t need the validation from other adults online that I am a good parent because my child is smart and has good grades. Because you know what? I’m equally of good of parent to the equally as smart child who may not have. And so are you. Accomplishments come in many forms, whether that be Alpha Honor Roll or just passing math with a C. In this family, both carry the same importance and are celebrated the same.

If you are parent that doesn’t have a “postable” report card, don’t feel alone as you scroll past the cheering emojis and honor roll pictures. Revel in the little wins of the semester with your kids and be a cheerleader for their future. Let them know how proud you are, just for making it through because life is hard – even when you are little! And most of all, give yourself a pat on the back as a parent. Nothing truly prepares us for navigating the journey of school or life with our children. We’re just out here doing the best we can for them and we all deserve As in my book!

Dana Wattigney
Moving from Nebraska in middle school, Dana considers herself a New Orleanian 25 years later. She now lives in Belle Chasse with her husband Ryan, 12-year-old Mila, and 8-year-old Rex. As the Executive Director of the YMCA in her community, she is very involved in all aspects of family life. You can find her on the weekend doing DIY projects, cheering on LSU or the Saints, and spending time with her family. A lover of all revelry, there is no festival, concert, or event that she won't go to! Catch her with the Krewe of Cleopatra each Mardi Gras. She gets out of town with her kids as much as possible, they enjoy the outdoors, especially the mountains & the beach. Affectionately known as "Dana Dolittle" to her friends, you can expect her to have a random animal she is trying to help at any given time. Dana loves to write & says there are no topics off limits.


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