Michelle - posted on 01/20/2010 ( 11 moms have responded )




Ok. I have always been a scholastically minded person. I did very well in school, was in an international accelerated program, graduated in the top 5% of my class, etc. However, since I've become a mother I've been thinking a lot about this grades issue. Everyone wants their kids to get a good education and thus have good grades, but why do our kids HAVE to have good grades to be smart? My fiance is an incredibly smart person but averaged around a C.
I just think about it this way-- if my son averages around Bs or Cs and it's nothing to do with slacking off or anything, but he has something else that he's passionate about and excels at, why should it be a bad thing that I'm ok with that?
Why do our kids HAVE to have A's?


[deleted account]

From a teacher's perspective, some of my favorites (though we really aren't suppossed to have favorites) were not the A students. My favorites were the ones who put forth their best effort and worked to acheive their grades. Those are the ones that I expect to go far because they are hard workers. Many times the A students were the ones that goofed off and expected things just to be handed to them. They will be like our valedictorian who is currently still playing through college and doesn't have a bachelor's yet. Not trying to categorize kids, this is just a generalized statement. There are some A kids that were hard workers and some C kids that were not. What I'm getting at is good work ethic is more important than being smart.


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Rosie - posted on 01/22/2010




some people see their children as reflections of themselves and whatever went wrong in their life they want their child to do better-out of love, yes, but also out of some weird feeling we have that other people will think you are a better parent if your kid has better grades than theirs.
my son's class recently received their report cards and he told me that his friend had gotten grounded because he got a C. he couldn't understand why his friend was grounded, and he was worried that he would be grounded for getting a C. i explained to him that in our house, as long as i knew he was trying in school that he wouldn't be punished for getting a C. the rest of his report card was all A's, he'd even risen 2 B's last term to A's, and i knew he was trying. i however, didn't know how to explain to him why his friend got grounded, but at least he knows that he will be rewarded for good grades and not punished for "bad" grades-he'll just need to spend a little more time and effort trying to raise that C back up.

[deleted account]

Jodi, I wanted to compliment you on the effort you are putting in to help you children succeed. Most parents wouldn't bother reading the novels. We didn't want to read them when we were in school so why read them But I think you are doing a great job!

Mel - posted on 01/21/2010




well sometimes people are smart but dont put in the effort especially in high school when they start rebelling. I was brilliant at schoo through primary school especially at maths and english. When I got to high school I did nothing and wasa typical teenager but my friends and I did have our english teacher telling us how smart we were and good at writing when we first started yr 8 and that we should get back on track, we just laughed in her face and continued being idiots. Shes now jst a pot smoking dole bludger whom I dont speak to , where as I went back to a different hiigh scholl after dropping out, I was older then the other kids but I applied myself and I left with all As and one B at the end of year 11. I drank heavily and partied all year and wasted time drinking at school but on the weekends I got done all my work so I still came out on top and got awards for being the best at english. Anyways I know my daughter is a very bright little girl but I dont expect her to have As. Shes beautiful and perfect no matter what. She just has to do her best

Sarah - posted on 01/21/2010




I don't think my kids HAVE to get A's in order for me to be proud of them or for them to get on life.
It's all about the effort you put in. For example, i got an E at GCSE Maths. I went back to college and did an evening course to try and pull that grade up a bit, and i got a C. For me, that C meant more to me than any of the other grades i already had, i REALLY struggle with Maths, i was never going to get an A. I worked damn hard to get that C tho, and i was really proud of myself.

I got mainly B's and C's at GCSE level (one A in English Lit! Woo Hoo!!) i could have done better i think if i'd applied myself more. I took my A-levels twice as i'd just been out partying the first time around! lol! Went from an E to a B in Philosophy! It was all to do with my mindset, at 17/18, i just wanted to have fun, at 19/20, i wanted to try harder.

I want my kids to do the best they can, i will strive to help them (tho i will leave the Maths to hubby!) As i've said tho, in some subjects, perhaps them getting a C will be more of an achievement than it seems like. :)

Jodi - posted on 01/20/2010




I currently have a step daughter just about to start her final year at school, and a son starting high school. Both of them put in the effort, but neither of them are A students. They struggle in certain areas and excel in others, and I recognise that. The only thing I expect from my kids is effort. I work with them to help them at homework time (in fact, I have just promised my stepdaughter I will read her novels for this year's English and Literature classes so I can help her and discuss them with her), I always make time to give my effort, I expect them to make the effort too, because I know this will give them the best outcome they are capable of :).

I was also an A student at school, but I never had an issue with anyone who wasn't, and I still don't. I think one of the biggest problems when I was at school is that they went through a phase where they wouldn't actually grade students other than Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory, because they didn't want to discriminate against those who couldn't achieve an A. It became a bit of a disincentive for making the A effort, if I was going to achieve the same result as the C effort. I do remember that. It was a system that encouraged people to be lazy :)

Charlie - posted on 01/20/2010




I agree its more about the effort put into something than the actual outcome .

Charlie - posted on 01/20/2010




There are varied types of smart , some of the most intellectual people i know have NO IDEA how to communicate with people or have social awareness and the opposite is true of those with street smarts , then we have the sporting types who are brilliant at their applied sport and very successful and may not have even finished school .

I think its more of an ego stroke for parents to have a high achieving child , if you have one naturally then GREAT if not then dont despair and dont make them feel bad about it .

Veronica - posted on 01/20/2010




I think some of it is social status. And wanting their children to have bigger options open when they leave high-school - as most kids get noticed from university/colleges when they excel really well in school. As social status- there are a lot of parents that want their kids to be the best for bragging rights, etc. etc.

My opinion - we all did really well in school - we were not strait A students in elem./highschool - but in college we've all excelled even more. My mom was more about getting education - than what the grades were. She always encouraged us to do the best WE could do - and that she was proud of us no matter what. She did well, in my opinion. When i do something, i dont worry about failing - i see myself as succeeding or exceeding because Im at least trying/doing something.

Otherwise, im not so sure why parents are this way. Its kind of the same thing with sports too - they want their kdis to be the star athletes - and it makes me sick how they run these kids ragged and down to the ground - with practice to perfection - in middle/highschool!! Maybe they didnt get anywhere in life and want better for their children - or maybe they hold a higher social stature and dont want less than average kids. Either way, whatever way - I think letting kids grow the best way they are going to - is the best way to go. Helping them with their struggles, and helping them advance their talants (within reason!!), encouragement and loving them and being proud of who they are - is what is more important.

Amie - posted on 01/20/2010




I agree with Diana that it depends on the child. For instance, I was capable and did get A's. I worked to my potential. When I came home with B's or C's my parents knew it was because I was slacking off. On the other hand my brother was a solid B- student. He worked to his potential but he was never really academically inclined. He was always much more interested in cars. His career is now as an Autobody tech. He loves his job.

I think it's more important to "push" them in their strongest areas and work on them to just do their very best in those where they are weaker. It doesn't mean they are a failure if they aren't a straight A student.

[deleted account]

I think this very much depends on the child. I remember being frustrated as a child to find out that my middle brother got the same rewards for C's that I got for A's. However, he is not as scholastically minded as I, and even though he's smart, he doesn't test well. My parents recognized that and adjusted accordingly. I did very well in school-and I want my son to, as well, but not every child can do that. If my son turns out to be one of those children then I will accept lower grades without as much fuss (though I would absolutely try tutoring as well)-but if he's performing at a lower level than what he is capable of, then you bet that I'll be doing what I can to make sure he tries hard enough to meet his potential. I think there has to be a happy medium between making kids too self conscious about grades and insinuating that grades are completely unimportant, and parents also have to take a child's capability into consideration.

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