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Should Parents Pressure Kids to Get Good Grades?

Coaching Kids 4 Success, Michelle Forcier | Jan 30, 2022 | Article

If you want your children to get good grades, you should make sure they know that's your expectation. Right? Maybe not. Pressure may not help them succeed.

Parental pressure to excel can increase kids stress and have a negative impact on their well-being. Especially, if parents value grades or achievements over things like empathy, compassion, kindness, and social skills.

When parents push achievement in school, it can create stress, anxiety, and maybe even poorer grades…

If you tell your child that you'll be happy, as long as, they try their best, but then criticize them when they don't win or they don't earn an A in every class: Remember that actions can often speak louder than words, especially when it comes to kids' perceptions.

Unfortunately, when children define themselves based on their grades, it can have a negative impact on their self-esteem – even for “A-students”. If they bring home an A, they feel great about themselves. If they bring home a C, they get down on themselves.

Don't Criticize

A sure-fire way to wreck kids' self-esteem is to point out their shortcomings and focus on what they did wrong. Instead, help your children come up with ways to solve problems, and let them know that you are proud of their efforts. Stay positive and help them see solutions instead of going negative and harping on the problems.

Focus on their grades as being feedback on how well they learned the material. If they didn’t learn the material well, then help them strategize on how to get additional help for next time.

Don't Emphasize Winning

The world is giving children the message that they need to hurry up and do better; there’s no getting away from that unfortunately. Given how much pressure kids already face to succeed, it’s more important than ever for parents to focus on good values and provide a safe space where kids feel supported.

Talk to your kids about the importance of having integrity, showing respect, and exhibiting good manners. Discuss why being unkind, or being selfish can harm relationships. Remind them that friends and family are as important as achievements and awards in life.

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