Is a student's goal of a C grade average good
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Note: "Ask the Learning Advisor -- Ideas for Raising Successful
Children" is a free syndicated column from The Parent
[AUG. 26, 2005]
Q: This year
my son has the attitude that a C grade is average and that's all he
needs to strive for. What can I do to get him to see that a C in
today's world is not much? I know he is very capable of higher
A: You know that he's capable.
Now just get him to recognize it! Students today are often involved
in a variety of after-school and weekend activities. It is a
challenge for them to balance their academic and extracurricular
lives. Peer pressure is also starting to play a greater role. Here's
what you can do to motivate your son:
Ask him what's going on,
and listen carefully to what he has to say. Take care to really
listen. Resist the urge to interrupt or argue. Just listen.
Don't be afraid of long silences. When it becomes clear that you
really expect an answer -- and that you are prepared to wait for
one -- he is likely to talk to you. He may be just as concerned
as you are. Is his change in attitude caused by problems at
school? New friends? Let him know that you are there to help.
Continue to encourage him.
Let him know that you don't expect him to be perfect in
everything but that you expect him to do his best in school.
Tell him how much you value education and that grades are
important. Then point out some things that your son is doing
well. Emphasize the positive with him.
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Talk to his teachers. They
see your son in class every day, and they may have insights
about his attitude. Work with them to develop a plan to
encourage and motivate your son.
Look at the big picture.
How much is your son trying to do? Is he involved in too many
activities? Is he spending too much time socializing with
friends or on the computer? Talk to him about setting up a
regular routine and study schedule. Good organization and study
skills can give your son confidence.
- Make it clear that you have high expectations for
him, that you love him and that you will support him when he
For more information about helping
children learn or to submit your own question, go to
http://advisor.parent-institute.com. All questions will receive
a prompt answer by e-mail.