Some children work hard and strive to do well and get good grades, whilst others work hard but don’t get such good grades. There are children who don’t like to work very hard, but still do well and those that don’t work hard at all and get poor grades.
No matter the work ethic displayed or the grades your child is getting, talking to them about working harder or smarter can be difficult. Most parents want their children to do well and we want to motivate them to do their best, but it’s a fine line between encouraging or risking our child feeling like we are on their back.
Tips for Improving Grades
One of the things we can do is discuss what we expect from our child in regards to school grades and effort. This may be difficult if your child has no interest in work and grades, but it can help them to tackle any problems that are holding them back.
- Talk about where they are now academically. Ask where they would like to be (or need to be in terms of what’s required for their future plans).
- Ask them which subjects they are good at and those they aren’t so good at. Get your child to keep that in mind when they get the marks back on tests. They cannot expect to get great marks on everything, especially if they don’t enjoy studying that subject or have any interest in the topic. Establish their natural strengths and try to play to those.
- Help them establish any problem they might have when it comes to studying. Are they using the right study style for them? They may need a little help with organising their time or breaking down their work into smaller chunks because it is too overwhelming. Help them to learn a few time management and organisational skills to keep them on track.
- When your child does well, share your pleasure with them. When they don’t do so well, focus on the positives and get them to think about what they could learn from the experience.
For me, the most important thing is to keep the focus off grades and show the importance of life-long learning. Even if they fail one particular test now if they have the ability to learn and enjoy it the grades will come later.
Parents need to help children to get the learning bug and part of that is showing we are interested in the subject they are studying or how they are doing with their studies. Help children to see the joy in learning and developing new skills. They are achieving something for themselves and not just their parents or teachers.
What’s your attitude towards your child’s grades? Are you laid-back or do you put pressure on your child to achieve certain grades?