Am I the Only Mom Who Cares??? a Poll About Grades...

Updated on November 19, 2012
C.O. asks from Reston, VA
55 answers

I have my tween son (12 years old going on 21) behind me. We are having an argument - or debate - that **I** am the ONLY MOM ON EARTH who cares about his grades. He thinks "C's" are good. I think "C's" are average and know he can do better because he is in Honors classes....

So, I told him I would ask other mom's - so am I the ONLY MOM ON EARTH (:) ) who cares about their kids' grades and that a "C" is not really acceptable - it's "there" but NOT the best he can be.

he says - "some mom's don't care and have said "do I look I care?" Well, **I** for one do care. I'd like to show him there are other mom's out there that believe education is important and he should do his best...not just "average"...

So what's your take?

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So What Happened?

That's my problem....he is NOT giving 2 hours a night to serious homework. It's like he's taking the year off....and he's having MAJOR attitude problems with us (mom and dad) pushing him to do his best.

The teachers even say - "I know he can do better" - yes, he's dyslexic - and a tad ADD (doesn't rate high enough on the charts/tests to actually be considered ADD) but he got himself in Honors. That's HIM. Not me. He got that. He's getting an "A" in English (love his teacher and he loves her too) LOVES LOVES LOVES history but is only getting a C - when he was getting an "A".

We CAN check the "blackboard" for grades and homework...he's turning it in, no missing assignments, he's just not putting himself UP and OUT there.

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J.G.

answers from Chicago on

One of the major reasons why we home school is to avoid grades, so I wish I could tell you that I care, but I don't think grades matters.

3 moms found this helpful

J.B.

answers from Houston on

Oh, I hope my wife chimes in on this one. Her son isn't allowed to bring home less than 'A's
ONLY because she is well aware of his capability. Just passing isn't acceptable.

3 moms found this helpful

✿.3.

answers from Reading on

Hi Cheryl!
No "C"s are not acceptable. I just received my oldest daughter's (12 yrs old) report card and she got 3 Cs. I told her that it is completely unacceptable! Especially since she didn't open her mouth and ask for help or even say anything about having a hard time in those classes.

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S.W.

answers from Minneapolis on

To answer the question directly, I care less about grades than I care about learning. Of course I understand the connection between high grades and college and other opportunities. I encourage them to strive for more, take honors classes if they have that ability, and to do their best work, but in the end it is their work, not mine. If they are learning, that's the important thing in the end.

I care less about grades than my 5th grade daughter does. She puts enough pressure on herself that I don't need to add to it. I've told her that "grades" don't matter until high school, but learning does. She sees me working towards my PhD every day, and working to meet other goals, and she is probably as goal driven as I am.

With my older kids, if they were struggling in a class, I made it their problem to solve, with my support. I could encourage, support, and strategize with them but I couldn't make them care care, or work hard. Motivation has to come from within and no amount of parental pushing can make that happen.

I would suggest talking with him about the history class and listening to what he says about it. Once issues are brought up, ask him how HE intends to solve them. Then, ask how you can help him follow through with HIS plan.

My stepson was the one with high test scores and high potential, and often mid-way through a school quarter he would be failing some classes. Then we'd sit him down and ask him to solve it. And he would. He'd end with an A. His sister was a B student. She was organized and consistent and almost never got herself into the bad spot in the first place. She finished a 4 year college degree in 3.5 years with decent grades. High potential does not always equal consistent motivation, organization skills, and high grades.

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M.W.

answers from San Francisco on

"Imagination is more important than knowledge." Albert Einstein

This is a quote we have hanging up in our home in bold letters. It stirs up quite the debate. And might from some ladies on Mamapedia that alluded to me being "uptight" regarding my response recently to a post...on a totally different topic.

First off I'd like to share that my husband is a very successful businessman. Hires and fires people and also in charge of a large market within the IT world in the San Francisco Bay area and the Pacific Rim. We both hold degrees. Yet...we both went to a Jr. College for two years before heading off to a University. There are different paths to success!! I myself am home full time to help our kids full time on their paths to their success....whatever they choose it to be.

I recently watched the movie, "Race To Nowhere". It is a film about the school system in the U.S. It is a lot like "Waiting For Superman". "Race To Nowhere" really solidified my opinions about grades and our focusing too much on grades...and not so much on learning. It was made by a filmmaker/mom so frustrated by the demands now from school..and after hearing about a young 14 year old girl who committed suicide after getting an F on a Math test. She was an overachiever...never received a bad grade. Such a tragedy!

Your post is about your 12 year old son. I have a 12 year old son also. Then 2 younger children. But I will mainly share our experiences with our 12 year old son.

We care deeply about our kids doing well in school. But...doing well in our book is not wholly quantified by the final grade. We try to look at the whole child...the journey they are having in school. The social and academic aspects of school.

Our school has a site called "school loop". You are emailed daily so you can see your child's grades daily, their assignments, upcoming assignments and if they didn't turn in assignments. Sooo, we can sit down every day and talk about accountability...in real time. But..we don't do it everyday.

I don't talk grades..I talk about accountability. (I say" I" but my husband does the same) I talk about how he feels about his grades. Does he think he can do better. I ask him what he is going to do to do better. I love when the teachers post positive comments so I can praise him and give him a high five. There is even a way to send emails to the teachers through the site. Our son has, on his own, emailed a teacher asking to do extra credit...once he even disagreed with a grade and gave reasons why he thought he deserved better. The teacher responded...and gave him a better grade.

Our son has a mix of A's,B's,C's and even a....gasp....D. That is his D...not ours. We are here to support him...help him...and love him. But it is his grade and as parents we need to know it doesn't reflect on us.

Many parents push their kids because deep down they feel it shows how good they are as parents. They want to have something to brag about. I don't brag about grades..He was on Honor Roll all last year...and I never bragged nor did we put that darn sticker on our car that says, "My Kid is on the Honor Roll at ___Middle School." But it is proudly placed in our home.

Not all children are college bound. Not all children will grow up to be doctors or lawyers. Parents need to look at each individual child and truly see their potential. Not all kids live up to their potential. Many amazing geniuses in their fields did not graduate from college. Many successful businessman/W. never graduated from college. One of the amazing things about our country is that we produce innovators...free thinkers...entrepreneurs. Countries like China are great at manufacturing....but they are manufacturing the intellectual property created in our country. China is sending thousands of people to our country to learn to be creative...something that comes so naturally to us.

Ok..I might be getting off topic. But it goes in line with understanding why some parents may appear like they "don't care about grades". This is something I am passionate about. I have told my kids those same words, "I don't care about the grade." Did you learn something? Did it inspire you?" Those are the things I care about. Millions of kids can regurgitate facts..but did you learn from it..did it spark curiosity to learn more beyond the test?!

Recently our daughter read a book for a book report. She went to take the comprehension test in our school's Reading program on the computer. It wouldn't allow her access for the test....because the book was at a 9th grade level..she is in 5th grade. She talked to the teacher. Teacher said she would get a 0 on the test because it wasn't in her grade leveled range.

She came home crying. I told her flat out, "I don't care about the F!!" Did you read the book? Did you enjoy the book? Do you want to read more? She said yes to all of these. Then I said you get an A in my grade book. Next time she will make sure that she finds a book within the school's requirement for mediocrity!!!!(I didn't say that to her!!)

Back to our 12 year old son. He has an amazing mind. He is so creative..always reading,working on writing his own books, writing music...playing music. The Arts are his niche. He plays drums...and is amazing!! He received a music scholarship already.. and that was last year in the 6th grade. And this year he was chosen among our district's 7th graders to represent all 7th graders at a school district meeting, seating over 500 people, on the importance of the Arts in our schools.(and that was even with his not so stellar grades!!) Funding for the Arts is dying in our schools. Luckily he is talented..and has been noticed.

Sooo, that is my take. I care!! But then I also don't. I do care enough that I am on my second year of hosting a "Homework Club" in my home once a week. It is a safe place for kids to come and work together, tutor each other and work on social skills..it is co-ed. We now have about 13 boys and girls who come. It is loud..it is crazy..it is fun!! I throw drinks and snacks at them and only ask for them to be respectful to me,my home and each other. They are amazing kids..at all academic levels.

So...what am I saying. I guess we have learned that we need to take a breather when the grades come in each day. We look at how he is maturing..how does he treat others...how is our relationship with him doing...etc. We have learned to look at the whole child..not just a grade. I have seen quite a few students while growing up...and among my kids' schoolmates that have parents doing homework,papers and projects for them. Or the kid is cheating to get a good grade..or the kids is downright snotty to classmates and disrespectful to teachers. No thanks...I will take my sweet,kind,sensitive,respectful boy who earned his D.

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C.B.

answers from San Francisco on

Of course we CARE especially as they get into middle and high school because that is going to determine whether or not they get into a good college.

I would not be happy with a "C" if I knew he could do better. If he got a "C" after putting forth his best effort, then that would be okay. But it's the effort or lack thereof that would be a problem, IMHO.

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K.H.

answers from Phoenix on

I teach 7th grade and this is so typical. Keep up the good fight! He'll grow out of it!

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H.W.

answers from Portland on

Cheryl,

I think you might do well to focus more on effort than the grade. Have you discussed with him what he's feeling challenged about with that particular class? I was placed in an honors English class and my grade dropped; part of it was that the teacher was terrible and never discussed the deeper themes of the materials he presented. (The whole class was 'demoted' back into an average English class, by the way..)

Some subjects do not come easily, and advanced classes are more difficult. I would check in with your son about where/if he needs help, and if he wants to stay in an Honors class. His rebuffing your concern may be an indication that he's stressed? I don't know, he's your son, not mine.

If my son came home with C's (and were older) those are the questions I would be asking. What is keeping him from doing better in the class? Help understanding the material, help with some of the tasks assigned, tutoring or having more time to study? If he were then keeping to our plan of helping to improve this situation, I'd be accepting of the grades he earned.

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R.A.

answers from Boston on

If my son does his very best effort, I am and would be happy with his grades. A" C" would be acceptable if he did his very best, studies, and did homework on time, etc. Now if he was just slacking off, not studying, not doing homework, etc. No, a C would not be acceptable..

I care if he is doing his best, and I care if he isn't doing his best.

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K.V.

answers from Norfolk on

I am a mom who cares about grades! I push my kids to do their very best, and I have one who does and one who does not. I try to push the fact that they make an effort to be good friends, good christians, overall good people, so they should also make an effort to be good students. Hang in there. My boy seems to be improving with maturity.

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B.C.

answers from Norfolk on

We (myself, my husband and our son) all care a lot.
We want our son to be the best he can be and go as far as he can in life.
If he's having trouble with a subject I'll make sure he gets help to understand it better.
Not caring - on his part or on mine - is not an option.
We are fortunate that he works hard and gets straight A's.
In return for good grades, a great attitude, working hard to be a black belt, practicing clarinet for band and all he helps with around the house (takes out trash, takes trash to the curb, helps bring in groceries and puts them away, loads and unloads the dishwasher, helps me in the yard and gardens - I never tell him 'No' at the book store - he can never have enough books - he's always reading.
Competition in life is tough.
If you're not fired with enthusiasm, you'll be fired - with enthusiasm.

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C.W.

answers from Washington DC on

Growing up, I was not allowed to bring home a C. With my own kids, I have adopted the rule that I expect As and Bs, UNLESS you have tried very hard and a C is the only possibility. I say that because my daughter tries very hard at math and only after struggling can she pull average grades. She came home today and told me that her teacher told them that C was average and that she took that to mean it was okay to get Cs. I told her that she is much better than that and it is not an excuse not to study.

Here is what my parents told me when I complained as a teenager, and it may help your son, "you don't like it here with us and our rules? Well guess what, your ticket out of here is getting into a good college and getting a scholarship. Do that, and you can go anywhere you want to go and make your own rules. And you can't do that if you bring home C's. Keep bringing home C's and you will be right here with us for a long long time." They also took me to college campuses to visit starting around age 12 and the administrators relayed the same message. It worked. I was determined to get the heck out of there. Hope it helps with your son!

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S.H.

answers from Honolulu on

I think a lot of Mom's are like you.
And, college has to be kept in mind too... and planning for that.

Sure, some Moms may not care.
But he is lucky he has a Mom that does care.
But kids this age and older, think they know everything and are "experts" at life.
We know they are not.
The human brain ain't even fully developed until 26 years old.

They say, this age is the lost age.
7th grade?
Its a hard age/grade... kids can tend to flounder at this age/grade. That lots of kids slip at this age.
I went to a "tour" of my district's Middle School, and the Principal said to the parents, that 7th grade is a challenge. Kids at this age/grade... need a lot of prodding. They don't know who or what they are or what is their future. And they can really seem like they are just hard to get through.
I remember, even my parents saying that when I was that age.
For some reason, (I am sure there are articles on it online), that this age/grade, is one of great developmental difficulty and also academically and with motivation.

These are interesting articles about 7th graders:
http://www.tip.duke.edu/node/829
http://www.loveteachblog.com/2012/01/difference-between-7...
http://www.essortment.com/tips-child-through-seventh-grad...
http://www.greatschools.org/students/academic-skills/1271...
http://www.schoolfamily.com/school-family-articles/articl...

A good link on Teens:
http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/10/teenage-brains/...

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M.B.

answers from Tampa on

Maybe that is his best...I don't care what letter grade my son gets as long as he passes and tries.

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D.K.

answers from Pittsburgh on

Well average means just that. If your school is truly grading a C as average then it will be the most common grade. 67% of kids will receive within 1 standard deviation of it. Only a small percentage of kids will receive more than 2 standard deviations above (A) or below (F) the mean. So for many kids doing their best is a B or C. If ALL kids did their best and the school still graded a C as average - the results would be EXACTLY the same. There would be no more kids (2.5%) getting As than there are now.

Now - if your school grades so that C means they have mastered 70% of the material, it is a different story. Then, any kid who masters the material should be able to get an A.

I care very much about education. DH and I both have college and post graduate degrees from Ivy League universities, as do many of our family. BUT - I do not care at all what grades my son is getting. He is almost 7 - what I care about is that he loves school and is learning. As long as he is doing that - I am happy. And an awful lot of what is taught in school (or how it is taught) is stupid (yes - it's a bad word, but it's the truth). And a LOT of bright kids pick that up pretty early.

I am strongly opposed to homework. There is plenty of evidence showing no benefit to learning from homework in the elementary and middle school grades. The evidence in high school is unclear - could go either way - but certainly no big benefit. At the moment his teacher is not stressing homework, he has maybe 5 minutes 2-3 nights a week and he can do it in class if he doesn't do it at home. We will see what happens next year. I am hoping strongly for another teacher who is not big into homework (fortunately seems to be the trend in our school).

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H.G.

answers from New York on

My 8th grade daughter is in all honors classes too. Last year she just sailed by - no attitude problem, just didn't put her all into it for the classes she didn't love. she got a C and mostly solid Bs with a couple of As. She started out this year doing the same thing and she actually got an F on a test she should have been more prepared for. I think that straightened her out because she's taking things a bit more seriously.

I explained to her that if she was trying her absolute best and she only got a C in a class, then I'd be OK with that. However, if I know she could do better and she gets a C, I'm not OK with that. She is really trying harder to shoot for As in her classes. She's learning that putting in that extra effort is worth it. She's proud of herself and we're proud of her.

Please tell your son that Moms who don't care will think that a C is no big deal. Moms who care help their kids to be the best they can be. Thinking ahead to college and entering the working world - the "C" candidate doesn't necessarily get into the college of their choice and they're not going to get the job they really want. Those things go to the "A" list people. Just a fact of life. Do the work, be prepared and the world is your oyster. Good for you for caring!

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☆.A.

answers from Pittsburgh on

I care.
But I don't obsess. I am fairly laid back about it.
I tell my son to try his best at all times, and if he has problems, let me know & I will help him with extra practice, explaining concepts, etc.
He's 9.
He starts middle school next year.
I've explained that the hand holding ends. (By teachers, etc.)
That his grades are HIS grades.
That said, an occasional C in elementary or middle school is not equivalent to life failure.
Honors classes are harder (I know!)
He could be skating through regular classes with A's, but wouldn't he be cheating himself?
Not all kids are straight A students.
What's more important to me is challenge and effort.

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B.F.

answers from Dallas on

Obviously what your doing is not motivating him. If you do it harder, it's not likely to motivate him. You have to change tracks.

My youngest went with his big brother to all the college trips we went on. It turned out to be the biggest motivator for him. He listened to the talks about the importance of grades. In TX, you get an automatic admission to college if you are in the top 10 percent of your graduating class. That does not include admission to the department of your choice, I.e. computer engineering.

What your son needs is the motivational end point and work back from there. Yes, you can slack but not and have your cake, too. What's his cake? Introduce him to people with interesting jobs. Or go the other way and introduce him to people who have lousy jobs!

Good luck!

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K.C.

answers from Philadelphia on

I'm with you. For the most part C's are not acceptable in my house, either.

Unless my child studied their butt off and made every effort. If they STILL get a C, that's ok. I'm not necessarily happy, but I'll accept it. And that HAS happened.

But if they fool around and make ridiculous mistakes because they're not paying attention, or they don't study hard enough, or don't put forth the effort I know they can...well THAT C is unacceptable. And THAT has ALSO happened.

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T.B.

answers from Washington DC on

Short and sweet......grades do NOT matter if you plan on flipping burgers for the rest of your life.

Grades DO matter if you would like to get accepted into a decent college. Grades also matter if you plan on applying for scholarships to said college.

Try looking at it this way: You are only in school for a few short years compared to the rest of your life. Put the effort and hard work in now to ensure you are not struggling to make ends meet for the rest of your life. Your time and effort are a valid investment in your future.

Peace and Blessings,
T. B

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A.V.

answers from Washington DC on

In our home, a C is only acceptable when we understand that the child has tried. My SS was pulling a C in a very hard Honors Calculus class his senior year. He eeked out a B with a lot of tutoring and struggle, but had he gotten a C we would have accepted it. A C when the student is capable of As and Bs and is just skating along? Not here. We reward As and Bs and Cs mean you need to study or you need a tutor or maybe you need not go out with friends because you slapped together a project and got a low grade.

So, NO, you are not the only parent that considers a C not an acceptable grade under most circumstances.

Oh, and you can say that a C in Honors can also indicate that the work is too challenging so if he likes being in the smart kid class, he needs to pick it up. I did AP and Honors and pulled As and Bs except in math, but even then I got my C as required by my mother (same rules I follow - so even GRANDmothers care). :P

But you knew that already, didn't you? :)

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S.B.

answers from Redding on

I am a mom who seriously cares about grades.

Both of my kids are very intelligent and as for "C's"...I always felt that stood for "Couldn't be bothered to try a little harder".

There is always the chance for extra credit. My son has always hated math, which is fine, but guess what he gets his best score in?

With reports and essays, etc, I always made them handwrite everything out first, outlines, etc, and then type it. They turned both in. That way, the teachers could see the actual work they put in to it. They always received extra credit for doing so.

My son is 17 now and a senior in high school. He's on the honor roll.
It really doesn't take much for an "average" assignment to be far and above.

You are certainly not the only mom on earth who cares about these things.
My kids definitely benefitted by following the "mom" method. I started with them early and it was just a normal course of business for them. They may have grumbled, but they sure did love the great report cards.

Also, I think it prepares them for life.
You can't do the littlest expected of you at work and still expect to receive raises and promotions based on merit if you are only giving half of your best or putting forth an "average" effort.

I never demanded straight A's, but a C is too close to a D in my opinion.
My kids were clearly intelligent, no learning disabilities, ect. C's just didn't make me very happy.

Just my opinion.

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J.S.

answers from Hartford on

Ahem. Cheryl O's son, are you still reading? I'm a mom with a 12 year old daughter. I will tell you what I tell my daughter and my two other daughters. Get ready.

C's are not good grades. C's are not "good enough" when you are capable of A's and B's. You may not be expected to get an A on every single assignment or test or homework, but you ARE expected to make your best effort every on every single assignment, test, and homework. You are capable and therefore, you will make the effort. If you study and do your work and do your best, but you still don't "make the grade" then I'll still be proud.

Your grades are a reflection of how hard you're willing to work and how much effort you put into your work. Why would you want anyone to think that you're not worth an A? YOU are not average, so why should your grades be stuck at C?

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V.W.

answers from Jacksonville on

If it is one class, that he doesn't like and has a hard time with, but all the rest of his classes are A's... then I'd be a little more likely to let this one hill be taken...
BUT, in general, in answer to your question specifically:
YES. I CARE. A LOT.
And so does DAD.
To give you an idea... our son is 14 (9th grade). He has a couple Honors classes as well, but they are on the block system here, so he only has 4 classes at a time. FOUR. 2 core and 2 whatever they call them now (we used to call them electives).

Health/PE he has an 89.
Coordinate Algebra, he has an 85.
Lit/Comp (Honors) he has an 84 (before the weighting).
Foundations/Logistics (fancy name for AUTO SHOP!! Urg) he has an 86.

We know he can do better. We want some A's. Preferrably in the algebra and Lit/Comp. No, C is NOT acceptable, in ANY of it.

He almost NEVER brings home any homework. Seriously. Almost never. A couple of projects in Lit so far, that's about it. He says he finishes his math homework at the end of class every day.

In our house, "C" is what you earn when you are just getting by. It's the "default" grade. The "you passed" grade. And it is unacceptable.

He is scheduled for Honors Biology and Honors World History next semester... and a woodworking and a computers class. (sigh)... see they have these "career academies".... which in theory are great ideas. I really do want my son to graduate high school, with not only a pre-college education (and hopefully some college credits as well), but with an actual SKILL he can use in the real world. But saying he is taking auto shop just bothers me somehow. Help me with this ladies. These academies will allow him to graduate and go to college with some credit already on his transcript, PLUS have an actual certification to do actual work. Like ASE certification. Or CNA. Or certified welder. This is a good thing... why do I have this internal grimace when I see these courses on his schedule?

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T.S.

answers from San Francisco on

Some moms don't care about lots of things, clean clothes and teeth, healthy food and regular exercise, learning how to read and write and THINK.
Someday we thoughtful mothers WILL be appreciated by our children!!!
Remind him (for the umpteenth time I'm sure) that you DO care, which is why you are disappointed in the C's, because you know he is too smart to settle for average.
Of course if he is putting in a serious two+ hours a night studying and working hard then maybe a C is the best he can get, but it doesn't sound like that's the case :)

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C.T.

answers from Santa Fe on

Heck no! I would be VERY upset if my son were bringing home Cs. Luckily he is a bit of a perfectionist and so far he's an A student. Explain to your son why it is so important to keep his grades up. Explain the connection to college, grad school, and what kind of jobs you can get later in life.

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M.B.

answers from Austin on

When my son would answer that he was "doing enough" to get by, his big sister would say... "Doing 'enough' isn't what got me to Johns Hopkins!"

Unfortunately, he still basically scraped by.... but he is now doing what he wants to do... he is in Culinary school, studying to be a chef. That is what he has talked about since he was in middle school.

And yes... he was also one that was in Honor's classes, too....

Did we come up with a magic way to get him to care? No, not really. Another family that I saw came down hard if their son brought home anything less than an 'A' ..... including cancelling his Ski trip with the church youth group the day before he was supposed to leave.

Did it work? I don't really know....... I never came down that hard.

But... as I said, he is working toward the career he has been dreaming about..... and that was important to him. (However, he has had a hard time keeping jobs... he has a bad habit of showing up late.......so that is something we are still working on with him!)

I, too, thought that you should always try your best.......

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M.M.

answers from Chicago on

To your son and mine:

Yes, we care about the grades.

Because you, our kids need anything and everything to make you competitive out there. Do not be fulled, you will not be just competing with the imbeciles from your classroom or your home town. Education is global now! You will be competing with Chinese, Indians, Russian and many other well educated, multilingual, tutor-trained, sharp toothed, wealthy, and success-thirsty young tigers!

If you do not work on yourself, you may never even meet this competition - they will just fly over your head - to better, brighter, successful and wealthy future.

Do you want to compete out there? Unfortunately, you are just too young to get it, but life will not stop and give you credit for not knowing the rules of the game.

Grades matter, and many other things... Listen to your Mom, she is your best friend, the best you ever had. Be the best you can be! Good luck!

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K.W.

answers from Los Angeles on

Absolutely you should care.
He should always do his best because that's his job. If a c is not his best...

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M.F.

answers from Portland on

The actual letter grade does not matter to me, AS LONG as I know she is doing her best and really trying.
If a C is her best, than at least she is doing her best and she will pass.
If I can tell she is struggling and she is getting C's than I would see how I can help and be glad she is passing.

On the other hand if she seems to never have homework and never be doing anything for that class and has a C, then I would feel like I need to see what is going on.

But at the end of the day, average is better than failing.

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L.L.

answers from Rochester on

My oldest is 7 and is graded with numbers...1 is awful, 2 needs improving, 3 is meeting expectations for grade level, and 4 is exceeding grade level. If she got less than a 3 (less than an A, in my mind), I would have problems with it...and she's only 7!!

Grades are important. It's important to care. This is all setting you up for real life!!!

Yes, I care too. :)

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B.D.

answers from Pittsburgh on

Grades do matter, and I'll let you in on a little secret. Even straight A's doesn't necessarily mean the child is learning anything. Only you know what your son is capable of, if he is being challeged, and if he truly is learning something new.

Are his study and time management skills good? If not then maybe it is time to revisit them and learn new habits.

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R.M.

answers from San Francisco on

Lol Cheryl,

I have heard the "only mom on earth" argument from my kids about a number of things.

Cheryl's son -- sorry, but your mom is right. If you are in Honors, you should at least be getting a B. C for a smart kid means minimal effort. If your mom were requiring you to get all A's, then I would agree with you. But you won't have to put out that much more effort to get B's, and it's more fun to get B's and A's in school than to get less.

Put out the effort - it's worth it.

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T.M.

answers from Tampa on

Yes. I absolutely care! My oldest is only in 1st grade. He is probably average middle of the pack. It just makes me heartsick because I KNOW that he is capable of SO much more. I see the things he does and I definitely can tell when he just has been lazy on something. That is what makes me mad. If he gets a B and I know that he really tried and put his best effort out there, then I can live with it.

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C.S.

answers from Las Vegas on

My daughter better do better than C's. If she brings home C's, I will remove an activity so she can spend more time studying.

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A.L.

answers from Las Vegas on

You are not alone, I definitely care about grades because MANY colleges care... Therefore, if my son is to go to one as I say of HIS choice, his grades matter. However, I do make it a point to say that if you have truly and honestly done your best and that for example merits a B, then ok... I can deal with that. but if he were to get C s, which on a rare occasion he will get on a quiz, I am usually a little taken back.. since I am used to him getting mostly A s... Overall, grades DO and will continue to matter in our house.. I stress to my son that education is important and it's important to give it his all... So far, the plan is working.. :)

Best to you

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L.F.

answers from San Francisco on

I care. I expect my kids to give 100% every day at school. I believe they are capable of getting excellent grades and will accept no less. I don't focus as much on the letter grade then I do the effort behind it.

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V.T.

answers from Washington DC on

If "C"s are the best he can do, than you should be happy. However, it sounds from your post, that he can do better. Then yes you should care, I would care a lot. My parents didn't care and at the end of the day, neither did I. I was able to get into college, but if I had been expected to do better in High school, I would of done better and I could of gotten into a better school. I went to a small private school. My grades weren't even good enough to get me into the University of Maryland and I was an in state resident at the time. I really wish my parents cared and expected more out of me. I ended up doing well for myself financially, when I worked, but I know I could of done a lot better. With my kids, I expect the best grade they can get, they will be pushed at home to do better. My kids aren't falling through the cracks like I did.

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K.B.

answers from Cincinnati on

I got one C my entire high school career. It was the 4th quarter of my sophomore year in Chemisty and my punishment was a 10pm curfew for the ENTIRE summer. I thought I was going to die. I never got another C though.

C's are not good. They are average at best. They are not acceptable in my house. Each one of my kids is capable of bringing home straight A's(with maybe a few B's) and that is what I expect from them. The only exception would be if it was an extremely tough course/teacher and I saw that they were putting forth all the effort they possibly could, but still got a C. Then, and only then, I might let it slide.

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A.R.

answers from Houston on

I care and I only have babies. Then again my father raised me to care. Every grade I brought home received the same response - you can do better. I remember hearing that even in college and even when I was breaking curves on tests. The standards should be set high and most of the time most capable folks can and will rise to the challenge. Good luck and a stern finger wag to your son. Ultimately his underachieving only hurts and handicaps himself.

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S.B.

answers from Kansas City on

My daughter is five, but if she brought home less than a B+ I would be very surprised and start taking away her distractions until things get better.

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D.G.

answers from Dallas on

I take grades seriously. But I also look at whether their grade is due to blowing off the work or if they are really working hard and just can't get it. A's & B's are acceptable. C's are not UNLESS I know they have worked hard, done the work, asked for extra help and are still struggling. Then a C is ok. A failing grade is NEVER ok. They have to be trying for a C to be ok with me. Just because I know my kids are smart and they can pull a better grade than that.

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L.M.

answers from Washington DC on

Grades matter an enormous amount! I agree with you! Getting good grades teaches you how to work hard and good time management skills, which is what you need to be a successful human being. Once kids are in high school, their grades will count a tremendous amount and will dictate whether they get into a good college, or not. If you go to a top school, you greatly increase your chances of getting good jobs for the rest of your life, interviewers see top schools on resumes as signs that the candidate is smart, self-motivated and hard-working. You're also surrounded by other smart and driven people at a good school. I think the problem with kids is that they only think of TODAY- not of 10 years from now. It's hard to think about how your actions will impact your future, esp. if you're 12 years old. What are some future careers your son is interested in? You could look up job openings on a job board (like CareerBuilder or Monster) and show him the job requirements, then talk to him seriously about what needs to do NOW, and in high school and college to get there. Are there any relatives or family friends that he really admires? Have them chat with him about how they got to where they are today.
Good luck, this is the toughest age for kids!

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D.N.

answers from Chicago on

Tell your son he is wrong. We had conferences the on the 6th. My son is better this year (lots of missing homework last year) but not where he should be. He is also in honors classes. He tried to say that he just does not test well. His standard test scores from last year were in the 95% and up range, meaning his scores were better than 95% of other kids in his age/grade. He is not applying himself and not doing what he could. If he struggled and got a C, I might be more "lenient" with it. But, since I can see he is not applying himself. and I KNOW for a fact that he can do better, a C is NOT GOOD ENOUGH. Ask your son if he wants someone to give him something that is 'good enough' like a video game that plays but is not complete or bad graphics. Or maybe a really slow internet connection. It would be good enough to get online but not where he would really want to be.
Ok, I need to add that in a way he is right also. Some moms do not care. But a majority do, maybe 95%. maybe more. I say that because I had a tenant that did not care how her sons did in school. The school sent a post card before they moved out. They wanted a conference with mom for the oldest. She threw it out, told him she was not going (they wree in the hallway). He was failing. His best friend dropped out of school because his mom didn't care and did not bother registering him for school. His grades were bad and he didn;t study so why bother (I heard this conversation on my porch one day in the summer). The boys are 14.

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G.S.

answers from New York on

My husband & I have always disagreed about this, we both care a great deal about our daughters academics but I often feel he expects too much from them. He feels that they should bring home no less then A's & B's but I feel that if the best they can do is a C that it is average and he should realize that. After reading the comments to your post my opinion of this has been swayed, if they only need a C then that's all they'll work up towards. And something else my husband said, next time you do his laundry just wash his clothes , don't dry them & tell him they're washed...you did just enough to get them clean & maybe he'll understand that if you expect less you'll get less. Best of luck to you & your son, I hope he realizes that there are a lot of parents that care a whole lot about their children's school work. My husband checks my oldest daughter's grades/homework via computer on a daily basis & she better be ready to answer any questions he has right then & there.

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A.M.

answers from Hartford on

I care about grades for a 12 year old.....my 6 year old I was more concerned he was learning to adjust to first grade. At middle and high school if a child cannot set boundries to get their work done then mom/dad/another adult need to step in an help them learn time management. Try to set aside a set time and a set space he needs to do his homework in. I had problems with reading and writing and worked better/focused when a radio or musidc was on. At first brake it up into smaller segments, or he might need to do homework in small segments so he stays focused. Once he gets into a routine it will be easier but the intial step might be a challenge.

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M.G.

answers from Seattle on

In our home grades are very important. It is imperative that my children do their personal best at all times. A C is unacceptable if I know that a higher grade is attainable. As and Bs are honestly the only grades I would like to see from my children because I know they are capable of doing that well at all times. It is known full well that they have plenty of help in doing anything and they will always have it they just need to ask.

This mom cares and so does the dad in this household.

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S.M.

answers from Dallas on

I expect straight A's from my daughter. She is in the gifted program and I know what she is capable of, so that is what I expect of her.

For another take on it - When I was growing up, my mom was one of the moms who didn't care, she accepted my A's, B's, and C's and always told me it was great. But I was capable of so much more. Now that I am and adult and a mom, I wish she had been harder on me. I feel like if she had pushed me to do my best, I would have been able to accomplish a lot more.

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J.B.

answers from Boston on

Yes I care, but in the context of each child's ability. Your child sounds capable of doing more, so poor grades from him (and I consider a C to be poor) would annoy me too.

My SD (14) is an honors student. That she has any B grades at all is annoying to me, because there is no reason that the two B's that she got shouldn't have been A's - especially because one of them is in the only non-honors class that she takes. So I congratulated her on the A's and raised an eyebrow on the B's - because someone who is capable of elite-level grades should get them. She should be getting high honors, not just honor roll. We push her because she can do better.

My oldest son (14) has learning disabilities and AD/HD. His goal is B's in college-prep class. His report card had several C's and a D - totally not acceptable, so he can go to homecoming this week (we already spent money on a ticket and a suit) but other than that, is grounded until every assignment is turned in on time and every test or quiz is an 80 or better. Might be a long winter here.

My little guys are too young for real grades and don't get report cards until January anyway, so my expectation for them is that they do their homework, study for tests and complete their classwork. They have no learning issues so no worries with them so far.

So nope...lots of parents care - the good ones!

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J.B.

answers from Spokane on

i take school and grades very seriously! my daughter needs to bring home atleast b's.. i dont need her perfect but to atleast put for the effort to pass. the high school i went to took out the d grade so litterally you had to have a b or you failed.

edit---- have you thought maybe he is bored???

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K.I.

answers from Los Angeles on

We care at our house too!

At our house, getting C's means that you need to do better/try harder.

D.S.

answers from Norfolk on

Hi, cheryl:

Grades are a standard to be able to identify where students are having difficulty.

Some students are visuals and learning by seeing the work. Other learn by hearing and have a good memory to regurgitate what they have heard. some students learn by doing.

You have expectations for your son that he feels like are too high for him. Evidently he feel pressure that he has to please you and others to be worthy of love.

Maybe he likes to talk about his studies. Does the family sit down at supper time and talk about what is taught in the classes?

When it comes to his grades, ask him these questions:
What happened?
What were you thinking of at the time?
What have you thought about since?
Who has been affected by what you have done? In what way?
What do you think you need to do to make things right?

You can change the wording to suit the situation.
Good luck.
D.

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F.C.

answers from Tampa on

I have a 15yo - 10yo & 8yo and am so happy that we have edline at our schools - which is a secure website where I can check grades/classwork/homework daily. It is great b/c I have it set to where if their grades drop BELOW a B (even if they drop to a B-) I get an automatic email.

I do care and know school is so hard but if they get a C in a class and have been trying - extra work/tutoring/etc then that is OK but not the norm

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A.C.

answers from Savannah on

I've never personally met a mom who didn't care about her child's grades. Some people have lower grade expectations, but that is because they know their child has some sort of issue where they CAN'T make A's. My friend is happy her child makes C's, but that is because her child is dyslexic and has several other problems as well, and a counselor that meets with her everyday. My friend desires and expects her child to do the best she can, but if a C is the best she can do, so be it. If your child has the ability to press in and achieve better grades, darn straight he should try harder. Do your best!

My youngest is a very smart little boy, but too young to "judge" right now. My oldest is in kindergarten. I see how smart he is, I see what he is capable of, and I see when he slacks off and shuts off his brain sometimes. I don't know if kids are aware of it, but things really ARE visible to the parents who love them and wish the best for them. How I respond to his shut down moments varies from time to time, depends on the need as I see it: does he need a break and some rest, or does he need to lose the TV or even his sports? As long as he's doing his best, I'll do my best to help guide him so he can succeed. (Guiding can be "let's take a break, go read a comic book" or "You have too much on your plate, let's remove soccer from the equation, unless you can make better grades". I'm not tiger mom, I'm not cracking the whip on him......much. :P But slacking off isn't going to help. I didn't like this specific teacher in school, so I just slacked and didn't do anything in her class. Turns out as an adult, and hindsight 20/20, I now see that I didn't show her anything. I proved her right. That bothers me to this day.

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K.O.

answers from Atlanta on

I care. C's would be completely unacceptable and I would have an absolute fit. (I'm not thrilled with B's either.) My husband and I both made it through to college with only A's, and that's the established base line for the kids. Now, if there was a subject where I knew my child was struggling in, and he/we were putting forth the effort at home between studying and homework and a B came home on the report card, then that would be ok - but outside of that, only A's are allowed in our house.

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