Parents vs. Bad Grades

Student Holding Test with F Grade

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Student Holding Test with F Grade

Lexi Ariete, Contributor

As a child grows older and advances through school, they go through having the challenge of keeping up good grades in their classes. With different parents, comes different parenting; and with bad grades, comes different punishments. There should be an effective, yet reasonable approach when giving out those punishments. 

First, parents need to recognize the cause of the bad grade. It is always best to talk to the child about the problem, and see if they know what the problem is themselves. As much as kids would hate to admit it, phones can be very distracting during homework or school (if allowed in the classes). According to Felicia Nazareth, some of the main problems when it comes to a bad grade are, “sickness, lack of interest, trouble with understanding the concepts, burn out, and emotional levels.” 

When a parent encounters a bad grade, the first thing not to do is just take everything away from the child without an explanation. Lectures are a tactic but often go in through one ear and out the other. One of the tactics that work best is to talk to the child. The parents should let child respond to questions, not just turn the conversation into a lecture again. For example, ask the child if they realize or know what may be distracting them, or holding them back from getting a good grade. If the problem was the phone, hypothetically, then it is reasonable to take the phone away. But one thing that helps is to make a sort of checkpoint. A checkpoint could be to take away the phone. The way they can earn it back is if they have a quarter to raise their grade to an acceptable grade (according to the parent). Once they reach the checkpoint, they can have the phone back. Although, if it happens again then they can try the same checkpoint and raise the goal therefore the child learns and tries hard at the same time. 

There is a difference between unreasonable and reasonable punishments. Yelling: “I’m going to take your phone away,” teaches the child nothing except for the fact that their phone is taken away. Then the child will just go to their friends and go on a rant about how unfair the situation is. But, if the parent helps the child and gets involved with their schoolwork, then improvements may be more visible (if the child cooperates). Of course, there are other punishments, such as limiting hang out time with friends, or taking away tv time, etc. The main thing to keep in mind is to talk to the child and make sure they understand why and how they got the bad grade and find solutions for how they can solve it.