How to Talk With Kids About Grades

By Barron Whited, MS. ED, College Expert June 3, 2016
As the school year draws to a close, it is important to discuss your children’s study habits and how these habits may influence their progress in school next year. When parents review grades with their children in a positive manner, it shows children that they are supported and there are avenues for help and improvement. Here are some tips for talking with your kids about their grades:

1. Listen to your children
Parents should listen to their children, without judgement, to find out if there is anything personal going on in their lives. If children are going through something traumatic, it could be affecting their grades and attendance. If students are struggling, it is vital to get them the support they need to do better in school through counseling and tutoring. Children who know they can talk to their parents will be more likely to open up about their problems and concerns.

2. Set expectations
It is important for parents to set clear expectations on the grades they would like their child to achieve. It also can help if they encourage them to set their own expectations regarding grades. Student may do better in certain classes than others because of their interest in the material. Other classes may be more difficult to understand and require more time to complete the assignments.

3. Focus on strengths
Parents can help kids improve their grades by focusing on their strengths in their classes. If they are doing well in certain classes, such as math or science, it helps to remind them of their successes. If they are struggling in some classes, review with them the assignments they have done well in for the year. It is important to turn negative situations into positives.

4. Seek solutions
If children are facing challenges, it might help to speak with the teacher to see what can be done to help them improve their grades. Parents may want to explore options, such as tutoring or any study sessions, that may be available for their students. If they have fallen behind too much in the class, it might be a good idea to look into summer school options at your local school district or through online programs.

5. Provide encouragement
It may help if parents provide encouragement by telling their child, “You are wonderful,” “Strive to do your best” and “Your family believes in you”. If they continually hear these positive messages, those messages can help improve their self-worth and confidence. Students can increase their grades if they are given the resources to succeed.