We’ve all heard the saying “Grades don’t define you” or “Your grades don’t matter.” We tend to remind ourselves of those words every time we get low marks or feel demotivated to study. But are those sayings truly helping us, do they only pull us down further?
While it’s true that our grades don’t define us, they define the effort we’ve exerted for our academics, and for that reason, our grades do matter. However, it doesn’t mean that we need to get straight A’s all the time to prove that we’ve exerted our best efforts. You can study for days and still end up with B’s or even C’s. It’s important to understand that not all students have the same level of ability to earn A’s using the same studying techniques.
Thus, if you have a teen who’s having problems earning high marks, it’s highly likely that they’re using an ineffective study technique, or their study habits need to improve. Let’s figure out how to help them, and where their grades can take them in the future.
The Truth About Grades
If you’re in high school, the universities you’ll apply to for college will consider your grades, apart from the outstanding high school education you’ve completed in Gilbert, Arizona or any other place. When your grades are high, you might have a chance to be offered a scholarship, which means you can save the money that you would’ve used to pay for your student loan. With more money you have for yourself, you can immediately work on your dream career, because you’re not burdened by debt.
Considering that, it’s crucial to make your teen understand that their grades will help them in their career journey, even if the field they’ll choose to be in doesn’t have anything to do with law, accounting, engineering, or any other knowledge-based profession. For example, if they told you that their grades won’t matter because they plan on going to the military, anyway, make it clear that despite that, there might still be times when their grades will matter.
And because your teen’s grades define the effort they’ve exerted for their studies, it earns them the respect of their teachers and peers, even if their hard work doesn’t yield them straight A’s. Their teachers and peers will acknowledge and commend your teen’s efforts as long as they have given their best. As a result, they will have a better school life, being confident in their capabilities and potentials, even if getting straight A’s aren’t their forte.
Encouraging Your Teen to Be Studious
If your teen tends to brush off their academics, or uses an evidently ineffective studying method, help them improve by making a plan for them. They might be reluctant to follow it because that’s just how teens normally react to their parents being involved with their academics, so it’s important to approach the matter with your intentions clear, and without using threats.
List down their assignments on a calendar or planner to determine what subjects they need to study for. This helps them avoid cramming, which is probably the study technique they always resort to.
Create an effective studying environment for them, where there are no distractions and all materials they need are available. Make a study checklist to help them organize their readings and other tasks. A study checklist will also keep them from being overwhelmed by all the information they need to memorize.
Most importantly, use positive reinforcement. Give them a reward for every study goal they complete. Make it clear that you expect them to maintain their good study habits, emphasizing that it is for their benefit and not yours. Have faith that in no time, your teen will learn to regard the importance and real value of their academics and grades.