Most kids struggle with their grades at some point in time. A lack of understanding or lack of interest, even seemingly unrelated issues, can all have an impact on a child’s grades. I wanted to discuss with you all the best way to go about handling the drop in your child’s grades. The approach you take can be crucial in shaping how your child approaches the issue, and how to overcome it together.

Don’t:

  • get upset with your child. It is far better to approach your child in a caring and understanding way to ensure that they understand whilst their grades have dropped, they are not going to be negatively criticised for this but rather this is an issue you can overcome together.                      
  • resort to punishments such as grounding or taking away their devices. Instead, consider limiting the usage of certain devices as immediately going into “punishment mode” can result in your child being upset or frustrated with you. It is important that bad grades are not a cause of punishment, but an opportunity to improve.
  • give your child the ‘silent treatment’. As a tutor, I often see many well-meaning but unsure parents ask their child to study alone in their room for extended periods of time. This is counterproductive. The reason a child is struggling is often due to a gap in their understanding. The solution is not isolation but finding your child support. You could consult their teacher, or even seek assistance outside of school to help develop their study skills.
  • create an “us versus them” scenario. It is crucial that your child does not feel as if they are on opposing sides to you or their teacher. Working together with your child and their teacher as a team is a great strategy to help boost your child’s grades.
  • make your child’s study only about the improvement of their grades. I cannot stress this enough, it is so important to show your child that their wellbeing is more important than the grade that appears on the paper. Improvement doesn’t always result in a rise in a student’s grades. It can come in the form of an improvement in their study skills, or their understanding of a topic. By showing your child that there is more to learning than getting a high grade, you are teaching them an integral part of what it means to be a good student and a high achiever: hard work and improvement in a range of different areas.

To finish, I’d like to end it on a positive note and discuss the important things to do when your child has poor grades.

Firstly, sit and talk to them. Try and get to the bottom as to why they aren’t achieving certain grades. Is their teacher explaining too fast? Are they getting distracted by peers? Or is it even something seemingly unrelated outside of the classroom? Getting to the bottom of this together helps to build a strong relationship between you and your child through trust and mutual respect.

It’s always important to source extra support if you or your child feel it’s needed. Whether it be seeing a teacher at lunch for extra help, going to an afterschool homework club or even looking for a tutor, it is important to show your child there is extra support for them.

Finally, I’d just like to highlight that grades are not the be-all and end-all. Every child is unique and as long as your child is doing the best they can then that’s all that you can ever expect!