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House of Horror or Home of Wonder?

My parents marched into the classroom and demanded to know why their son got a B. It was tense. This was my first B in high school and it was clear that this was not an acceptable behavior. I learned right then and there that school was about getting A’s above everything else. I had to figure out the system and make sure I never got another B. School was no longer interesting. School was about gaming the system to get the desired results.


1. School Work Death March, or Fun & Meaningful?

  1. Set the expectation that school and grades are important. Help your kids by getting them into a good school with good teachers.
  2. You need to be excited about the school work. Be positive.
  3. Asking,”Tell me a little about the material,” is a great way to encourage your child on what they are learning. They want to tell you.
  4. Use dinner table conversation as a way to reinforce the positive tone towards school.
  5. Be engaged with your kid’s school work at an early age.

2. When things don’t go right

If they get bad grades,
1. Say, “These aren’t my grades. These are your grades.”
2. Say, “I’d love to hear your thoughts on these grades.”
3. Love them no matter what happens.
4. Keep in contact with their teacher about why they struggled.

3. Celebrate and Encourage their effort, don’t praise the grade.

1. Encourage them by saying, “Your decision to take school seriously and your hard work is paying off.”
2. Encouragement focusses on diligence, kindness, gratitude, effort, etc.
3. Praise, which is not helpful, focuses on the person. Kids are self-centered enough. Focus on their effort.

Steps to help your children:

  1. Affirm your kid’s feelings.
  2. Ask a question about school after the first 6 weeks.
  3. Identify that school gets tougher each year.
  4. Ask, “How can we help you overcome this wall now?”
  5. Let’s figure out how to alter things around here to help you be successful.
  6. I’m sure we can free up some time for you. We suggest ___________.

Parenting Tip/ Pocket Answer

These aren’t my grades. These are your grades.


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Podcast by: Dr. Kevin Leman with Doug & Andrea Terpening Blog: Doug Terpening