"Needs to pay attention better and focus"
Ahem - excuse me!! Over here! I think you gave my child the wrong progress report...innocent mistake I'm sure.
You see, my kid is not "below average". At anything. She's smart. Funny. Caring. Considerate. Compassionate. Strong-willed. Enthusiastic. Energetic. Did I mention smart?
Trying to explain to an almost 7 year old that her progress report wasn't all glowing and wonderful while she stares at you excited for you to read it to her, because in her heart she LOVES her school, and her teacher, and her classmates - it's heart-wrenching.
Can you ever tell a child someone thinks she's below average? At Reading, Spelling, and Religion. Excellent in Science and Phonics (she says they're easy, thus the Excellent part). Good at Math, Art and Social Studies.
So, we carefully explained that all the teacher wanted was for her to try a little bit harder at her words and spelling. And sometimes the things that she thinks are really hard take more time and studying than the things that are easy. But that if she wanted to work with the horses some day, she needed to learn how to read so she could take care of them. (Score one for the Mom - anything that has to do with those neighing creatures is sure to motivate, right!?)
I also told her not to be disappointed because I wasn't so hot at Science so she was lucky to be so good at that...and Math wasn't one of my strong suits either.
She sighed, discouraged, and asked how frequently the progress reports came out and exactly when. You see, she already knew if she could make it look good around progress report time, maybe she'd get more "Excellents", which is all she really wants. Told you she was smart...