Whether your children’s grades tend to be A’s, B’s, C’s, or F’s, kids often define “who they are” based on the grades they receive. As a result, children’s grades and self-esteem are often strongly linked.
“I’m an A-student.”
“I’m not very smart.”
“I’m an average student.”
Unfortunately, when children label themselves based on grades, it can have a negative impact on their self-esteem – even for “A-students”. If they bring home an A, they feel great about themselves. If they bring home a C, they get down on themselves.
The key is to talk about grades as feedback
Feedback is just a result that occurs based on an action that was taken – it is a measure of how well they learned the material. Grades don’t mean that they are “smart” or “dumb,” “good” or “bad” — it just means they either learned what they needed to know, or they didn’t.
When kids learn to interpret grades as feedback and not “who they are,” it enables them to deal with both good grades and bad grades without impacting their self-esteem.
Reframe the conversation around children’s grades and self-esteem
How might this work? Say your child brings home an A…
Instead of saying something like, “You’re so smart. You’re an ‘A-student’!” You could say, “Wow — you made some great grades. Looks like you really learned the material!”
Do you see how the first comment “labels the child,” whereas the second comment provides objective feedback on the child’s work?
What if your child brings home a C?
This is a great time to say something like, “Doesn’t look like you learned the material that you needed to know for this test. Let’s put together a plan to make sure you learn what you need to know to move forward… Otherwise you may fall behind and future tests will be even more difficult.”
Do you see how this approach tackles the low grade as a problem to be solved? This enables the child to focus on improving the grade versus feeling bad about himself for making a poor grade.
This approach works great for homework, too
Decide with your child what homework grade represents solid knowledge of the material — is it 80%, 85%, 90%, 95%? After coming to an agreement, let the child know that any paper that receives a grade below the goal will need to be reworked to ensure that they understands the material well enough to move forward in class. When you take this approach, redoing the work isn’t punishment; it’s striving for learning and excellence.
The most important takeaway is to see children’s grades as feedback — work with your kids to help them understand that grades are not a reflection of who they are or “how smart” they are. When kids learn to see grades as feedback of their effort, instead of as a “label,” they are able to separate how they feel about themselves (their self-esteem) from the grade.
How Kids Can Learn Mindset Skills – and 2 Ways You Can Help Them
Self-esteem, self-confidence, good decision making, resilience, and goal setting are all mindset skills that kids can learn for life.
Adventures in Wisdom is leading a worldwide movement to bring mindset skills, personal development and life coaching to kids. Since 2013, we’ve certified hundreds of coaches in over 30 countries.
Kids learn 27 mindset skills – by either working with a certified child life coach (WISDOM Coach) or working with their parent in a home study course.
Learn everything you need to know about Life Coaching for Kids here.
1. Want to be a Life Coach for Kids?
You can create impact and income – working part time or full time – as a certified WISDOM Coach®.
You can get certified to use the Adventures in Wisdom Life Coaching for Kids Curriculum, where you’ll use fun coaching stories, activities and a proven STORY Coaching process to teach mindset skills and life coach kids.
WISDOM Coaches use coaching stories and activities to help children develop mindset skills for confidence, resilience, self-esteem, self-leadership, and achievement so that they can be confident and prepared to handle the ups and downs of growing up, reach their fullest potential, and thrive.
To see what it’s all about and learn how you can create a business you love as a life coach for kids, simply click below. You’ll find everything you need to know, including how to apply and save.
2. Want to Find a WISDOM Coach for Your Child?
Simple click below to:
- Use the “Connect with a Coach” form or
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