1. It's patience and tolerance that count! "You seem discouraged. Let's go over your mistakes together so that you'll be able to avoid them next time."
2. Emphasize what your child does right. "Until now you've been doing just fine. Let's see if we can get you back on track."
3. Support self-expression and creativity. "You've prepared your report in an unusual manner, but you'll want to make certain that you've adequately supported your findings with the proper research."
4. Success with new learning experiences often calls for a well-developed plan of attack. "Let's break this project down into smaller, more manageable components so that it doesn't seem so overwhelming."
5. Make time to communicate with your child. "How did school go today? Tell me something you learned."
6. Positive, constructive criticism is the way to go. "Great! This report has many great ideas! You might want to arrange your thoughts a little better."
7. Compare your child's progress to his/her own record. "Let's not worry about your friend's test grade. It's you and your achievement that I care about."
8. Avoid labeling! Off-handed comments can seriously damage self-esteem. DON'T say: "Jim never takes time to read directions."
9. Focus on the here and now. "I'm happy to see that you'll be turning your report in on time."
10. Continue to expect an increase in accomplishment. "It looks like a tough assignment, but with all that you have accomplished so far, I know you can do it."