How NOT to talk to your child about your concerns about their grades, brought to you from one mom's experience (okay, yes...from MY experience)...
Things to definitely not do:
1. Wait for the right time, maybe a few hours or even a couple of days, if its a busy weekend, but then suddenly, randomly bring it up on Monday morning on the 5-minute drive to school with the sibling in the back seat, when your already a tiny bit late, and when your child is barely able to move because of the monday morning absence of magic.
2. Raise your voice back when your child gets defensive.
3. Share a brief moment of silent, sullen eye-contact as your child shuts the door and walks away toward the school, feeling even worse now that they did before...which hadn't seemed possible, but apparently is.
4. Feel like crap about yourself on the drive home. Kick yourself multiple times.
5. Pray like hell that somehow something good will happen at school to reverse your lack of wisdom and to help encourage your child. This one is actually okay to do. We are always praying for our children, aren't we?