Speaking of Grades....

Updated on February 07, 2012
☆.A. asks from Beverly Hills, CA
18 answers

.....do you tell your child what you "expect" from them?

I mean I think from their first graded project, they all surely know that A is the best and F stinks.

Yet I have a friend that makes comments like "Don't bring me Cs or below..." etc.

"Bring ME"? Are the grades for the parents or something?

I love it when my son excels but constant top perforning I feel, is unrealistic. (Yes, I know it's a pattern establishing, good homework/study habits) but it doesn't upset me when he gets a B or a C--it tells me he needs more work mastering the material, OR sometimes I find ut he HAS grasped it, but the test didn't reflect that--no biggie.

What are your thoughts on kids, expectations and grades?

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answers from Chicago on

I expect my child to do his and her best. As long as I know they've given it their all, the grades they bring home are something to be proud of.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I have fairly high standards but I don't think they are unreasonable. My oldest is in pre-ap classes. What he has been told is A's are great, B's are acceptable if he is trying his best. C's are not preferred but if it is something he is having trouble with - they are ok. Below that is not acceptable. If he is getting B's & C's by goofing off, not doing his work, and being lazy then that won't work. I just want him to try his best and I know as smart as he is, A's (and maybe a B) is the grades he gets. He is also told if he is having problems with something to let us or his teacher know asap so we can get him the help he needs to understand it.

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answers from Orlando on

I know I am probably O. of the few that are like this, I think how we are as parents had to do with so many factors in our lives.
My daughter was a good student on her own, no need to tell her nothing, then she start failing (when she was little). I explained to her:
From 1rst grade until 5th I expected A's because she didn't have to do nothing else, school was her only obligation, she also was my only child, if she didn't understand something I had the time and knowledge to help.
From 6th to 8th, A's and B's are ok, she has more social life, shores, and I am not as capable to teach her stuff besides math.
In highschool, probably a boyfriend, classes more difficult, etc I am hoping she gets A's and B's and very few C's.
And a collage, well, at collage, I would be proud of her on finishing her career no matter what grades.
It was a time when my husband tought I was too hard on her, and I decide to give it a try and let her "try" and just do what she could, she almost fail.
We went back to, I know you can do best. I honestly haven't have to push her any more since almost 2 years.
Does the grades are for me? Ha, I also tell her that, I don't gain anything from you do good or bad, and is the true. Nobody knocks on my door to congratulate me or to pay me or to jell at me for neither.
I told her I love her no matter what, I say this A LOT.
My grandma's mothers didn't went to school, my grandma just finish 3rd grade, my mother just the middle school, I just finish highschool, I do expect, but most of anything I do DESIRE my daughter to have a better life and a easier path, just like the mother of my grandmother and so on.
I don't want her to fail at school, and I know she can do well, and the bar is high until this year, and in highschool will start to slow down but I believe that she now has the tolls for have good grades, in collage, well, that would be my dream but is not my life, she will be ok no matter what because she is very smart and talented.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I am not sure if I am the norm after talking to other parents. I am on top of homework and can see what her strengths and weaknesses are. I try to fill in any gaps she may have from class so that she does know the material come test time. I know she knows her material going in and I expect her to check her work so that she does not make 'stupid' mistakes because that's always what they are.

Will this always be the case? I would imagine that there will come a day when the concepts will not come as easy to her. I would hope studying can overcome that. For now I will enjoy the 'easy' days but always expect her to do her best.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Well... we homeschool... so it's all A's.

People sneer at that who don't get it.

It means we KEEP LEARNING, and practicing, and redoing... until mastery.

Awayschools (most of them) don't have the luxury to spend that kind of time making sure every kid masters what's being taught.

It also means we 'go at our own pace'. We're 1-2 years behind in some areas, and 7 years ahead in our "most ahead" area. Most subjects we're 2-5 years ahead. ((I bring this up, because the 'comeback' that happens with 'mastery' most often is "Kids don't have the luxury "in the real world" to take as long as they need." Well, quite frankly, most kids don't need the amount of time GIVEN. They need LESS. The amount of time given in awayschools is an average. Meaning there will always be bored kids who "got this" 2 months back, and always be kids who are struggling to catch up. It just means the bulk of kids can at least get a C in the time allowed. I can TOTALLY understand the logistics behind this. I just don't like it. I would rather move quickly through the easily mastered areas, and spend the 1:1 time to bring the other areas up to mastery.))


ETA: I NEVER tell my son to do his best. It's an ADHD perfectionism thing. If I instructed him to do his best, he'd be miserable... because there's never enough time, even with homeschooling, for how well he would WANT to do something. It's a danger of having a perfectionist with a good imagination as a kid. Since they "never" do their best in their own minds... no matter WHAT the grade, or how good the work... they always fail in their own minds/hearts. Not good for him, and heartbreaking for me.

((My husband didn't get that, even when I was trying to explain it to him. Told to "do his best" at baseball had my son out in the yard until his hands were bleeding from swinging the bat, and crying because he just needed a little more, just a little more practice!!! Ditto, a missed swing in a game was End. Of. The. World. This translates into EVERYTHING. If my son is attempting to "do his best", I have a very distraught and unhappy kid who can't see how good his work IS (academic, manners, sports, you name it), because he's so focused on his "best". ))

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Williamsport on

Grades are for parents (as a gauge) as well as kids since in early school years, it's completely up to the parents to set all the habits and enable the child to make good grades which then benefit the child going forward throughout school. This comes from academic focus as well as behavior focus and respecting school in general so you can focus. My parents told me not to bring home Ds and Fs which I think was a fair request. It's not OK to be negative and intimidating, but I don't think that request necessarily takes away from being supportive. Their request to get good grades wasn't always relevant to me as I got older, but they had the right to make it. Are grades the end all be all? No, but they are great practice for a lifetime of job reviews and self assessment.

You obviously maintain a good balance between support and letting your son achieve for himself, but I think an alarming amount of parents today are very "my child walks to their own drummer and grades don't matter" when it comes to school and it's not boding well for our national standards. I homeschool right now and I agree totally with Riley on teaching for mastery, and the best parents are also adept at nurturing special circumstances in their child's learning and know when not to push the child into despair, but in general, I think parents who demand and expect certain grades are not out of line. Whatever we're doing in life at any given time, takes concentration and effort. When a child is studying for and taking a test it should be on that-unless of course there are special circumstances where the child is supporting the family and working long hours at a job or something, or they have a disadvantage in that subject. I wouldn't get mad at a C but I would make it clear it should be higher next time if the class is required, and the child is capable. More importantly, I'd be sure to support them to achieve more mastery of the subject, so the test grade would be reflective of that.
My plan is to start out uptight in early years and loosen my grip on grades the older the kids get...but we'll see what happens in real life..

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dover on

We just ask that our kids do *their* best. For O. thing, all kids aren't good at all subjects. So, if they do there homework and turn it in, show up on time, participate, pay attention, ask questions and do their best, how is it helpful to ask them for more. They are giving all they can.

My son has a written expression learning disability called dysgraphia. I could have demanded A's in spelling. I could have made him rewrite his work a thousand times to try and make it neater. AIl I would have accomplished is setting my kid up for failure, killing his self-esteem, and ensuring years of therapy in order to adress his resentment toward me for putting him through it.

The grade isn't nearly as important than the effort.

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answers from Detroit on

My daughter is only 4, but when the time comes, I expect her to give it her best effort. I expect her to have a good attitude and to ask for help when she needs it. I expect her to get what she is capable of. If she's not willing to do that, I'm not going to be happy with poor grades. If she does her best and it is still only a C, so be it - we can still see what can be done to improve it, but she also needs to know that the grades she gets are for herself, not for us.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

I agree with you...I brought home my grades a long time ago...my kids grades are not MINE!

I expect them to have questions, need help and want to learn. I expect them to enjoy school, to want to go...and as long as they are enjoying the learning process and getting something out of it I don't want to think I would be upset with a C. I can't say I won't be...right now in first grade (and through out Elem school) they don't give letter grades but number marks...1-4 (1 is needs improvement and 4 excels)...we were told at conference that she gave her all 3s because if she gave her 4s there would be no need for first grade. HUH? Give her what she deserves and let me decide on the need!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Albany on

Well, it's occured to me that public schools don't really expect much. All you need to do is show up, awake, turn your work in on time, and behave like a normal human person and you're on the honor roll.

Yes, I expect my kids to excel at school, and they do. Of course, they are starting at 100 and going from there. THey have no 'challenges'. They are happy healthy regular upper middle income suburban kids with a relaxed nurturing home life.

The O. in the middle has to work a little harder then the other two. From him, I am not looking for a 97 in every class. In fact, his GPA at the end of his junior year was only 3.2. Even THIS was enough for academic scholarship offers from the schools he applied for. So yeah....

I DO believe, what EVER they decide to do, they should give it their all. What's the point of doing a thing anyway if you're not in 100%.

While I don't say anything like 'bring me this grade or that', when a grade is lower then I expected, I will say 'what happened here?'

I think it's just a question of self respect. After all, somebody's gonna be the highest achiever, why not you?

So I do aim high, but I gotta tell ya, I break MANY MANY parenting experts 'rules' with regards to other things. So it's about balance. You go to work/school, you do your best everyday, you come home and completely relax, you laugh, you party, you do whatever you like to do, or nothing at all, if you like.

Even my freakishly focused kid has occasionally bombed a test or missed an assignment. You shake it off, your roll up your sleeves and get busy making up for it.


3 moms found this helpful


answers from La Crosse on

With my oldest I expect a lot out of him and he hears about it when he doesn't.

I get so fusterated with him!! On all of the IBST he tests out 11th grade - 12+. According to the tests he is O. of the top two students every year. He is a freshmen.

He takes tests in any class and gets an A on them every time ( except Math and I know he struggles in math, that's ok, I except that). But then I get his midterms or his report cards and this last quarter he get all D's and F's. I was ( and still am) livid with him! I called his student dean and emailed everyone of his teachers to find out what is going on and he hasn't turned in any homework this quarter! So his only scores are test scores, it doesn't do much getting an A when there is no homework to back it up. He does the homework every night, I watch him and make sure its completed. But for some reason after he leaves here with it in his back pack and gets to the class its missing... every day!

Then I was upset with the teachers. At some point they should have brought it up to me what was going on instead of letting an entire quarter going by with out a word of it. I get he is now in high school and its his responsibility now... but still.

So right now I have an angry 15yr old who is grounded from everything except chores and his room and of course school. Except on Friday nights, if he gets everything turned in at school ( all of his teachers now email me every Friday and tell if something hasn't been turned in and an updated grade) and does all of his chores during the week I will let him watch tv with us this night only.

Sorry for the rant! :)

As long as my kids are doing thier homework and trying thier best then I am happy with what ever grade they bring home, because then I know at least they did thier best and I honestly can't expect anymore than that. I was pretty much a C student and would be happy when I get B's on my report card. I had never had anything lower than a C, I did my best ( most of the time) so I can't expect my kids to anything better than thier best... no matter what the average/ grade comes out to be.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Albuquerque on

We tell our kids that because we know how smart they are we expect them to try hard and do well because we know that they are capable of it. They've shown us that they can consistently get a's and b's with a little effort, and whenever their grades drop their teachers tell us that work hasn't been turned in.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

My daughter is in the 2nd grade and for the most part all she brings home is As and yes it is expected of her but only because we know she is capable of doing it. She is not reprimanded for bad grades but rather we work towards learning, and further exploring the material. My son does not receive typical grades, quite yet, as he is autistic and the types of material he is "graded" on differs from typical children. Do I expect perfection from either child? No but I do expect them to work to the best of their abilities.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

I just want my kids to be proud of the work they were able to get done. IF they are not, then we know there needs to be some tough love.

I want them to feel the disappointment of not doing so great...And understand that doing the best they can always leaves you feeling good.

If they dont do great I will encourage them to keep at it. Help them more with the issues when they come up in homework.

The other thing is to have a good communication line with the teacher...So you can pick up on some of the things that they maybe struggling in, that they are not telling you about.

No pressure. I want them to enjoy school. And learn from their mistakes. I will be happy with a BIG FAIL as long as they keep at it...

NOW IF.....I saw they were slacking off...not ''trying'' and grades were coming back like that....Yikes. Lord help me if we get there....But I believe there has to be some effort to be able to fail....OR It is my job to insure they bring me back at least passing. Because if they are failing without trying..That is on me as the parent.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

Nope. I make a big deal out of the good grades and we work on any areas she may be having issues in. Which is not any yet. She is just in 2nd grade so it's not an issue.

I don't know how I will be when she is older. We always comment about when she goes off to college so I hope we are setting a good example for her and her brother. I don't think I would ever jump on the kids for getting "C" in a class if I knew they had really tried.

History is boring to me, I could totally do without hearing about all the invasions and wars that happened hundreds of years ago. I took American History since the Civil War in Jr. College. I worked my hiney off. I asked questions, I did extra papers, everything I could do. The class was graded on the Mastery system. An "MH" was Mastered with Honors and worth 4.0. All tests and assignments had to be at 90% or better. An "M" was Mastered, worth 3.25 and all work had to be at 80% or better. Then a "CR" was credit for the class and was worth 2.5 and everything had to be 70% or better. Even if I had made a 100% on every thing I had done and O. test or paper had a 70% on it the best I could do in the class was the "CR". We could do the work over if we wanted to try again.

I made an average of 68% in that class. The teacher held me back for a moment on the last day and told me that I had not actually passed but he knew I had really really tried. He loved history and knew it was O. of those subjects that not everyone else would care about. He passed me anyway with a "CR" if for nothing more than sheer effort.

I always think of this story when someone asks about grades. They don't always reflect what is actually going on. You know your child, we all know they have potential and that if supported they can achieve much success.

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answers from Dallas on

When my kids were in kinder & 1st I didn't worry too much about it. By the time 2nd rolled around I was a little concerned about how many 'do-overs' they were being allowed. My children are capable of bringing home A's and B's (they have demonstrated this) so that is what we expect. If their grades drop below a B they are restricted from recreational activities. Of course we talk to their teachers and make sure they truly understand the material before we hold them accountable, but so far every time we've had low grades it's because they didn't do the work or rushed through it. In order to foster good study & work habits we hold them to a standard we know they are capable of achieving. They know if they want to play with friends after school, play soccer, be in choir, etc etc their grades have to be B or higher (cumulative, not individual assignments). Any individual assigment below a B they must redo at home, with me, to make sure they understand it. Again, I have yet to find a low grade due to lack of understanding of the subject matter - it's either because they haven't studied or they rushed through the assignment. Public schools, even good ones, often reward mediocrity. I want the bar set a little higher for my kids.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Harrisburg on

We know what our kids' IQs are - they're very high. They should be getting straight A's - every time. That said, no O. is perfect, so we're content if they get A's and B's. Anything less than a B in our house and they lose their computer/facebook privileges during the school week. (They get it back on the weekends.) We give them all the tools they need to succeed. Our oldest is now in high school where the grades count for college admissions and scholarships so it's important he does his best.

I would never say "Don't bring ME..." But I do say..."Will that grade enable YOU to reach your future goals or will it hinder you?"

You've gotta know your kids. Because we know what ours are capable of, the standards are high. If not, O. of the two gets really lazy. Best effort is expected - all the time.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

No, I don't tell my kids to "bring me" anything. This is their work.

We tell them that we expect them to do their best.

Grades are a gauge - that's all they are - from a teacher to the parent to let you know how your child is understanding a subject they are teaching. Some get it - some don't.

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