Celebrating Your Child’s First Report Card

Many families reward their children when they bring home report cards with good grades, but what about the very first report card your child ever receives? Regardless of the marks (which are hopefully good, of course), you can establish a positive outlook on discovering your child’s strengths and determining where some additional help or attention might be needed by making a big deal about that initial report card.

We have put together a list of non-monetary ways to recognize your school-aged child’s efforts. You can choose one (or more!) to celebrate the first report card from pre-k, kindergarten or first grade, the first middle or high school grades report, or any outstanding report card throughout your child’s school years.

Pick the Menu

Depending on how many kids you have and how varied their tastes may be, earning the right to choose what’s for dinner can be a wonderful reward. Set some ground rules first by determining whether the options include dining out, drive-thru, or home cooked dishes only. If you are eating in and you have time, head to the store with your child that afternoon to grab the necessary ingredients for the desired dish. Otherwise, schedule a night for the festive meal. Dress up the dinner table with flowers, cloth napkins, and the good china.

A Special Plate

A celebratory dinner plate will be a worthwhile investment throughout your kids’ younger years. You can purchase a pre-made plate, or design your own using ceramic paint markers (make sure the pens are food and dishwasher safe). Make eating off this plate a privilege for special occasions only, such as birthdays, making the honor roll, or winning a game. Serving a meal on this plate when your child brings home the first report card shows that you value her efforts in school.

Bake a Cake

Whip up your favorite from-scratch recipe, make it from a mix, or pick one up from the grocery store bakery counter. You can even take the time to mix, bake, and frost it together. It doesn’t have to be huge or fancy, but a cake in your child’s favorite flavor will go a long way toward showing your pride and appreciation. Write a special message with icing, toss on some sprinkles, and prepare to make an impression he will not soon forget.

Friend Sleepover

Having a friend stay the night is especially exciting for younger kids, so informing your child that they can ask a pal to a sleepover for making a focused effort at school will encourage them to keep up the good work. Pick an upcoming weekend during which you don’t have many plans, especially if this will be the first sleepover for your child (because you may not get a great deal of sleep). Whipping up a special breakfast in the morning is a nice added touch.

Extra Screen Time

You may be accustomed to taking away time on the television, tablet, or computer when your child’s behavior is less than appropriate. Turn the tables and dole out some extra time to celebrate report card day. You can allow them to have extra time that day only or let them “bank” it and spread it out as he wishes. In the future, you may opt to give out screen time minutes in increments based on the grades they bring home, such as 15 minutes for each B and 30 for every A.

Make It Custom

Consider your child’s personality and passions to choose a reward that suits perfectly. One child might be delighted by a museum outing to see the dinosaur exhibit, while another might prefer an afternoon at a favorite bookstore and a new book or two. You know better than anyone what makes your kiddo tick. If you’re not certain, ask your child to create a wishlist of things they would love to do on a special day. Employ that insight to generate motivation and determination in your child.

Movie Night

If you enjoy a regular family movie night, allow your child to pick the flick for this week’s showing. Even if this is not a typical activity in your home, you can make it a special event by preparing popcorn and snacks, piling pillows and blankets on the couch or floor, and dimming the lights. Then, snuggle up together to watch the movie that they selected.

Make a Date

Whether you have a large brood or an only child, time spent with Mom, Dad, or both parents is always special to kids. Spend time doing something together during which your focus is only on your child. Ask Grandma and Grandpa to babysit their siblings, or plan for one parent to stay at home. Put your phone awaymake loads of eye contact, and create meaningful memories.

That very first report card is the start of a lifetime of feedback, evaluation, and criticism. Recognizing it from a positive perspective will set your child on a path of hard work, self-assessment and awareness that will lead to success.  

How do you plan on celebrating your kiddo’s very first report card? Share your fun ideas with us!

Tags : everyday celebrations   report card   rewards   kindergarten   milestones   

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