When I was in high school I got pretty good grades. In general I was an A student. Then, one semester, I got a B- in Spanish.
Guess what? My parents got really worried about it! They asked me a ton of questions and seemed to think I was going off the deep end.
It was just one mediocre grade (not even terrible!) but it caused a lot of stress for my mom and dad. I’m sure not all families react the same way, but I had to talk about the grade with my parents for about a week before they were “back to normal.” It wasn’t fun, but here are some of the ways I defused the situation. Feel free to use them if you’re in a similar situation.
1. I Put It In Perspective
It’s normal for people to blow little things up into massive life-consuming problems. They call it “making a mountain out of a molehill.” This is what some parents do when their kids bring home an occasional bad grade.
When I brought home that one Spanish I made sure to emphasize that I had done well in my other classes and reassure them this was unusual and not part of a downward spiral! I had worked hard on all of my classes and it hurt when all my parents saw was the one grade from the one class.
2. I Let Them Know Why I Did Poorly
If you don’t learn from your mistakes then you’re doomed to repeat them. Sure, one bad grade isn’t good, but what your parents are really worried about is that it might be the start of a downward trend. The last thing they want is for a single B- to turn into a group of C’s next semester! If they feel that this is a possibility they’ll be really worried!
Explain to your parents why you did poorly. Show them the effort you put in. Tell them that you understand where you made your mistakes and that you can fix them by making a few changes such as participating more in class or dedicating more time to homework. Again, if your parents see this bad grade as a one-time occurrence instead of the beginning of the end, they won’t worry so much about it!
3. Tell Them You’ll Speak With Your Teacher
Your teacher knows every mistake you made last semester. He or she was the one who took the points off of every test, quiz, and homework assignment you turned in! Because of this, teachers should be in a great position to help you improve on your weaknesses. Telling your parents that you’ve spoken with your teacher about your grades (or are planning to do so soon) will help them see that you’re approaching the situation rationally and with maturity.
Talking with your teachers also takes some of the pressure off your parents to be the only ones guiding you. This is great for you, because it means fewer worrying facial expressions, less pestering about homework, and more positive and supportive chats at home!