How To Encourage Your Child To Get Good Grades

Children can be effectively motivated to achieve good grades in school through a combination of parental praise, encouragement, and support.

All parents want their kids to do well in school. We post their hand-drawn pictures on the refrigerator and hang ceramic handprints on the wall. At grade time we make a fuss over good or bad reports.

As children move through the academic system and come of age through the maturing process, they occasionally stumble and perhaps falter on the road to educational success. An important parental function is to be there for our kids when they encounter obstacles to their learning progress and guide them over or around these barriers to success.

If you are concerned about helping your child get high grades in school, the following tips may be helpful.

1. Talk about it. Don't expect your child to know what is expected or how you feel about the good or bad grades that come home at report time. Be clear in setting a reasonable standard. While you want to emphasize that careless neglect of studies will lead to loss of privileges (such as telephone, computer, or television), you should highlight the positives of earning good grades and what rewards may be expected.

2. Write it down. Post a chart on the refrigerator for young children, or make a contract with high school kids that rewards high marks with driving or social privileges. Whatever your system is, make a written copy so students can check it anytime, especially if the guidelines are detailed or complex, such as awarding $5 per A, $4 per B, and nothing per C or lower. Ignoring children's school grades means they will likely not care either.

3. Offer a reward. As indicated above, rewards may be tangible, such as dollar amounts, or they may be intangible, like privileges. Be reasonable in assessing the value of your student's academic performance, keeping in mind that some kids are natural scholars while others are clearly the opposite.

4. Gear studies to your child's aptitude. If your son loves sports, order a software program that uses professional game clips or players' names to endorse a learning method. For kids who love the outdoors, suggest they ask for extra credit assignments connected to nature study. Look for ways to link personal interests to school progress.

5. Get involved. Volunteer at school. Studies show that parents who help out at their child's school tend to see improved grades in their children's report cards. You also may want to suggest that the teacher adopt a rewards program (using books, ice cream, fast food, etc.) as an incentive to prompt high achievement levels.

6. Give hugs. Recent research indicates that kids still like Mom and Dad to hug or embrace them, but not in front of their friends. Parents remain the most influential people in their kids' lives, so be a good role model in valuing education, reading for leisure, and praising academic success.

Kids are naturally curious and love to learn about things that interest them. Tap this quality to motivate your children to strive for excellence. Both you and they will benefit.

© High Speed Ventures 2011