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Improving Bad Grades - Tips for Parents and Tweens


Mother helping daughter with homework
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Every parent wants their child to be successful at school and to thrive academically. But sometimes children come home with bad grades, and report cards that don’t reveal a child’s true capacity for learning.

If your tween is struggling with bad grades, there’s a lot you can do to help. For one, be understanding about any challenges your child might be facing, such as social issues or even issues at home. Next, help your child improve his grades. Below are a few suggestions.

Improving Bad Grades - Tips That Make a Difference

  • Review Homework: The best way to know if your child is struggling is to review his homework from time to time. By doing so, you might flag a problem before it becomes serious. You can also take the opportunity to coach your child and help answer questions he might be having. In addition, consider making flash cards with your child to help him prepare for quizzes or tests.
  • Make Studying Fun: Let’s face it. Most kids don’t love homework. But helping your child attend to his studies is important. Try to make homework enjoyable by providing snacks while he’s studying, encouraging him, or even keeping him company while he pushes through his assignments. Consider doing something together when his homework is completed, such as taking a walk or making dinner together. Giving him something to look forward to can help him focus on his studies in order to complete them.
  • Contact His Teachers: If your child isn’t doing well at school, you need to make contact with his teachers. Ask for a parent/teacher conference, either by phone or in person. Go over his homework, tests and quizzes and ask for specific advice and suggestions on what you might do to help your child. If you think a teacher isn’t supporting your child at school, or helping to answer questions your child might be having, it might be worth your while to contact the school guidance counselor. Keep track of any conversations you have with your child’s teacher, including by email, in order to give the counselor a complete picture of your child’s problem.
  • Hire a Tutor: Tutors really do work, and they can help improve your child’s bad grades. Some tutors work for free, others are fee based, usually by the hour. To find a tutor, contact your child’s school for recommendations, or ask other parents for the names of tutors they’ve used. Sometimes teachers offer after school assistance, for students who are struggling.
  • Be Optimistic: Parents can stress their children out, and that can severely impact your child’s performance at school. Try not to place too much pressure on your child to succeed. Let him know that you have faith in his abilities, and that you know he’s trying his best. Offer positive encouragement, and let him know that you’re there to help him every step of the way.
  • Find Out What’s Going On: Sometimes grades suffer when something in life is going wrong. Find out if your child is dealing with bullying, rejection at school, or some other issue, such as puberty. You may find that once that problem has been resolved, your child’s grades improve.
  • Set Goals: Children need goals just like parents do, and by helping your child set goals, you’re giving them something specific to work towards. Sit down with your tween and discuss where his grades should be at the end of the semester or quarter. Set realistic goals, that are actually achievable. Be sure you and your child review the goals periodically, and be sure to celebrate once a goal has been reached.
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