I have always raised my three boys with the same saying, “you’re more than just a number, you’re more than just a grade. In a world where everything academically is based on your grades, you need to make your teen’s world about love for learning. If you are finding yourself constantly on your teen about their grades, you are setting yourself up for a battle that you will not win, and you will also ensure a total disconnect. “How did you do on your Math test?” It should be replaced with “Was it a good test?” Most teens will give you a strange look when you ask that question and respond by telling you the grade they received.
Explain to your teen that a good test forces you to learn more and put together what you were taught. It’s not just about your final grade. As parents, you need to focus much less on your child’s final grade and much more if they are acquiring a love of learning. Sharp parents look for teachers and schools to instill a love of learning in their children. They do not push their child into an honors class if that class causes undue stress on their child.
The same goes for your teen and athletics. Do you find yourself always asking your student-athlete questions like “Who won?, Did you play much? Did they play well?” Instead, look at the learning moments of their games. Opportunities like “I saw when your team was down 10 points you really dug in deep trying to pull yourselves out of the hole.” This line of questioning might not come naturally to your teen; however, they will open up in time.
After all, you’re asking questions about the most important person in your teenager’s eyes, themselves.
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