What to Do When Your Child Brings Home Bad Grades?

    Posted by Mackenzie S on December 03, 2019

    Bad grades are often inevitable. But how do you prepare? Here are some ways to incorporate positive parenting to tackle bad grades:


    • It is you and your children versus the bad grades, not you versus your children.
      It might be scary for your child to come up to you about their grades out of fear of punishment. Remind your child that your family is a team, and the bad grades will take a team to defeat. Making sure your child does not feel alone during this time is important. Take the time to ask what you can do to help. It could be checking their homework, providing tools to create flashcards or even hiring a tutor.

    • Do not react out of anger, but out of support.
      It is easy to let your frustration show when your child brings home bad grades. If you feel like you might not use positive parenting techniques in the moment, take the time to tell your child that you will discuss the bad grades later. Do whatever you need to do to be in a mindset of support versus punishment.

    • Provide positive reinforcement, such as recognition for good grades and consistent study habits. When your child makes strides towards improvement, acknowledge them. This does not have to be a tangible reward, but it could be. Sometimes, a simple “I am proud of you” goes a long way.

    • Remind your child that there are many things they are good at!
      It is also important to recognize that just because your child does not naturally excel in one subject, it does not mean that they are less intelligent. Provide encouragement by saying kind words about all the things that they are good at. Tell them how much you love their sense of humor. Or remind them how good they are at sports or being a good sibling. This bad grade is does not deem them a failure.

    • Contact the teacher if your child does not open up.
      There are times when bad grades could be the result of an underlying issue in life. Whether it is problems at school with friends, trouble sleeping or even potential hearing or sight issues that otherwise went unnoticed, help do some fact-finding with your child’s teacher to help them to help your child.

    Bad grades are not a reflection of your abilities as a parent, but how you respond can make all the difference for your children. Make sure your child knows that they are loved, regardless of grades, and encourage them to try again!


    Cleveland Clinic Pediatric Department (2013). "8 Tips for Talking About Bad Grades." Retrieved from:

    Dolin, A. "How to Handle Bad Grades: A Practical Guide For Parents." Retrieved from:

    Health eNews (2014). "5 Tips to Help Parents Handle Bad Grades." Retrieved from:

    Svenson, A.. "When Report Cards Don't Make the Grade." Retrieved from:

    Pickering, J., Hong, J. (2015). "If you want your child to bring home better grades, stop yelling and try this." Retrieved from:

    O'Donnell, J. (2019). "Tips for Improving Your Tween's Bad Grades." Retrieved from:


    Topics: Motivation, Positive, struggling, Self-Esteem, Success, Parenting, Better Grades, Child Success, Successful Kids, Better Parenting, Child Improvement, Child Rearing, Teaching Children, Child Education, Child Needs, Challenging Children, Child Development, Strategies for Success, Positive Learning, Identity Development, Cognitive Development, Disciplining Children, Decision Making, Goal Setting, Socio-emotional Development, Confidence, Child Psychology, Promoting Learning, Food for Thought, Confident Kids, Better Study Habits, Improved Grades, Academic Success, Positive Reinforcement, Failing Student, childhood development, Stress Relief for Children, Parenting Tips, Child Anxiety, Parenting Skills, Test Anxiety, Math Anxiety, Child Failure, Parent-Child Relationships, Active Listening, Growing Minds, Misbehaving, Bad Habits, perfectionism, pressure, 2019, what works in 2020

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