Talking to your tween about grades

Talking to your tween about her grades can be a touchy subject. If you find out she got a poor grade on a big test, or her overall averages have gone down, you may feel frustrated, disappointed or angry. Chances are, even if she doesn't tell you, your daughter is feeling a few of these things as well.Before you react from a place of frustration, take some time to consider a more positive approach to working with your tween on her school performance.

When we look at grades, it's important to consider the effort your tween put into her work and to talk with her about that in an open and positive way. The relationship between effort and grades is not always so easy to gauge. Some grades may be a reflection of a lack of effort, while others may be a sign that, despite working hard, your tween is struggling in a certain area and could really use some help. Some high grades may indicate your child is gifted in a subject but not putting in her best effort. When looking at grades, keep the big picture in mind. It's important to help your tween learn how to put forth her best effort regardless of the grade, and you can help her figure out how to do that in a positive way. Find a balance between using grades and effort to measure your tween's success in school.

Open up the conversation by asking her what she thinks about her grade and the effort she put forth. Ask her if she has any ideas for what might be done differently next time. It's important to really listen to her before offering any of your own solutions, and try to help her take the lead on creating a game plan for upcoming assignments. Have her set her own goal for the next grading period, then collaborate with her to create some workable steps to help her feel successful. Remember to help her keep the goal realistic and achievable, and be sure to follow up with her gently and positively over the coming weeks to help keep her accountable!