Multiple Children and Grades

Updated on October 05, 2011
V.W. asks from Atlantic Beach, FL
11 answers

Playing off of an earlier question... those of you who reward or punish based upon the grades, what do you do when you have 2 or more children who are very different types of students? For example, at our house, the younger child always brings home straight A's in everything, not just report cards, but every single assignment along the way, and not just "A's" but 99 or 100 on the report card. She's in gifted classes. Then we have an older child who is more of a "B" type student. He gets the A here or there on the assignments or the report card, but also has some struggles in some things staying out of the "C" range. Also a bright kid, not tested for gifted, and very differently motivated--as in he isn't, really. They are not so young that they are not aware of the differences in their report cards and the expectations they each have, but for those of you in this situation: DO you reward/punish differently amongst your own children? For example: Johnny made a B so he gets____ and Susie made a B, but she doesn't get ____ ?
Just curious....

ETA: Yes, I agree it wouldn't be fair to require them to adhere to the same system... but how to explain that to THEM without making it sound like one isn't "as smart" as the other? No matter how you word it, that is how they will take it. As for the gifted one, she is pretty well organized and independent already. Not much to be done there. She is more organized than I am.... except maybe about cleaning her room! lol

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers


answers from Houston on

I think you have to reward the effort the child who is having a harder time is making. It wouldn't be fair to have a set system, since the children are so different.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers


answers from Dover on

My kids are similarly different to yours, but old enough to know it. My son is 12 & in "academically talented" classes all around. Last year his overall GPA was 4.25, yes, higher than a 4.0. My daughter is 10 & struggles for mostly B's with an A & probably a couple of C's thrown in over the school year.

I do not believe in punishing OR rewarding for grades. My kids are different so I treat them differently. The one thing they have in common is that school is their job & they are both expected to do their absolute best in every single class, whether it's their favorite or not. I know that Hailey does extra homework to help her understand the lessons they learned that day. Mike has extra homework because of the AT classes, so that basically evens out. They work on as much of their homework as they can finish without help before I get home from work. When I get home from work we all have 25 minutes of silent reading time where I set the timer on my phone & all 3 of us sit down & read whatever book we're in the middle of which knocks their daily required reading out. Then they sit at the dining room table & work through whatever they needed help with while I start dinner. I don't have any problem with requesting a teacher to please go over a lesson again with Hailey when it's something she clearly isn't grasping. When report cards come home, there are no surprises because I'm aware of their grades on a daily basis because of how we handle homework & studying (as just explained). It's because of this that report card day is just another day in our house. I tell them both that I'm proud of them, but that I always KNEW they could do it.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Have them each set a goal for themselves for each marking period. If A's are realistic for your younger... then that's the goal. If B's are a realistic, but effortful goal for your older child, then that's his goal. Encourage them to make their goals something that they really need to work on!

Post their goals wherever they do their homework and study. Have them "chart" their progress towards that goal each time they bring home a quiz or test. If at the end of the marking period they met their goal- great! Do something special. If they didn't, talk about why. They beauty of charting their progress along the way is that you can intervene when things start to go wrong and nothing will be a "surprise" to them in the end!

Take this as an introduction to personal responsibility and setting/achieving goals!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Cheyenne on

I grew up with 6 kids in one family and we NEVER knew what the other kids got...we went down with Mom and Dad to their office alone to look at grades. And the only judgements they gave us was "Did you do your best work?" If we were capable of A work and got a C (esp if we skimped on studying and my parents always knew), then yes, we might lose privileges and such, but if we got a B and were only capable of B work, then we were not punished for not getting perfect grades (we never got prizes/money for good grades...the only time we did was in elementary and Taco Johns and a arcade would give you free tacos and coins for every A you got, but we were not allowed to go up to the door together to show our report cards...each one alone). My parents were pretty fair, never compared us and we knew we all had our own strengths and weaknesses and if we were seeking help if we needed it and were trying our hardest, that was all that mattered in their books!

I am planning on homeschooling my kids, so it will be interesting to see how that changes things for me, but I will probably do about what my parents did...never discuss grades in front of other siblings, no comparing, keep things fair, hold my kids accountable for the type of work I know they are capable of!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

First of all, I have an only, so I'll never have to deal with this.

But what came to mind first was what about devising a plan with each child as to what they *think* they might improve on for the next report period. And that's not only grades...maybe your gifted daughter needs better organization or independent work habits? Just a thought....tough Q.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Miami on

My girls were the same and I just accepted each one for who they were (are) and that's it. Children don't have to bring home A's to be loved. Maybe your child has an undiscovered learning disability which is quite common. I would never think of punishing or rewarding. A simple "atta boy/atta girl" was enough in my house. No fanfare.........Rewards/punishments never work.



answers from Dallas on

I personally don't believe in punishment or reward based simply on the grade on the report card. I think parents should take multiple factors into consideration....the grade itself, whether they feel the child is working to their capability, improvement from one grading period to the next, etc.

I answered a question about grades recently and mentioned that growing up my brother and I were very different students. School came very easily for me and I could make mostly A's and a few B's without too much effort. My brother on the other hand, would study twice as long and hard and would make C's and occasionally B's. My parents always simply looked at the grade on the report card and didn't take the level of effort and the fact that some people are naturally better students than others. So, my brother would outwork me in every way, but I would reap more rewards/less punishment because my grades were better.

It probably wasn't fair to my brother and I believe it ultimately made him resent me a little bit because it was easier for me.



answers from Denver on

I agree with meeting with them separately. They are different kids with different strengths and needs. I would try to reward the behavior more than the outcome. Did he/she try her best? Put in the effort? Reward that - those are the lessons we want to teach, right?


answers from Fort Walton Beach on

I just want to say - wow, this is a good question! We have a slightly similar situation (daughter is 5 yo and is things come easy to her, son is 7 yo and ADHD, so tasks/homework are more difficult), so I can't wait to see the answers you get.



answers from Minneapolis on

We don't reward or punish based on report cards. We only express our admiration for hard work and completion and improvement. Motivation needs to come from within to work.

I've worked as an HR Manager, in employee performance management. I would never have discussed one person's performance in front of another employee, only in private. I would have separate conversations, separate goal setting, and separate incentives for each employee. I would use these same principles if I had multiple children.


answers from Pocatello on

You could do a private meeting with each of them at report card time... think of it like a "yearly review" you might get at a job.

At the end of first quarter meet privately with each one... talk to them about what they are already doing well and what they could improve upon, and ASK what they need from you. Reward them for good grades now, but then set the terms for what needs to be done to earn a reward next quarter. for one it may be "If you MAINTAIN the same standard of grades and good work, at your next quarter "meeting" you'll get ____ reward", for another it may be "You are doing well in these subjects, but could do better in these... - I expect you to maintain the same quality in the former, and raise the latter to a B average for __ reward... if you don't improve you will not earn __ reward in your next review"

AND expect your kids to ask for help if they are struggling... If you suspect that your eldest just isn't motivated (which often means they are BORED) try to set up a meeting with teachers to see what can be done to keep him interested and engaged. If he is someone who DOESN'T DO THEIR HOMEWORK (my trademark) you may have to literally make him do at least an hour of homework every night... no exceptions, and make him show you what he has done, before he is allowed to go "play" (hang out, watch TV, surf the internet. Also, if you suspect he is gifted, see about adding or replacing assignments with independent study projects. I thrived on those, because I was relatively "free" to study things that fascinated me, and learned so much more than memorizing textbooks. Plus, those independent projects proved to be much more similar to the assignments given in college than "normal" schoolwork was.

Point being, I think success in school requires a three way partnership: Student, Teacher, Parent. The Student's Job is to do the work and learn... the teacher's job is to provide the resources to help the student learn, and provide an engaging and productive learning environment... and the parent's job is to make sure the other two are doing their jobs and assist them in doing so!

Good Luck!

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions