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Cypress TX Newborn Photographer, How to talk with your kids about grades

Whether your kids tend to earn A’s, B’s, C’s, or F’s, kids often define “who they are” based on the grades they receive.

Cypress TX, Newborn  Photographer

Unfortunately, when kids label themselves based on grades, it can have a negative impact on their self-esteem – even for “A-students”. Why? Because if they bring home an A they feel great about themselves….If they bring home a C they get down on themselves. This creates the yo-yo self-esteem that we’ve talked about in earlier articles.

So how can you talk with your kids about grades so that their self-esteem doesn’t rise and fall based on their grade point average?

The key is to talk about grades as feedback.

This creates the yo-yo self-esteem that we’ve talked about in earlier articles.

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.

So how might this work?

What if your child brings home a “C”? Instead of saying something like, “You’re so smart.!" or "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 is 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 as well. Decide with your child what grade represents solid knowledge of the material - is it 80%, 85%, 90%, 95%? Once you come to an agreement, let the child know that any paper that receives a grade below the threshold will need to be reworked to ensure that he 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 work with your kids to see grades as feedback – not as a reflection of who they are or of 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.

Have a great school year!

Copyright © 2020 Renaye Thornborrow, All rights reserved.

Anedny Portrait Studio specializes in newborn sessions in Cypress TX and surrounding areas of Houston TX, Tomball TX, Spring TX and The Woodlands TX. In addition to newborn, we also offer maternity and family photo sessions.

It makes me so happy you are here and I am eager to talk to you about your newborn photography session. I am sure you and your family will enjoy my boutique studio. While I wrap and cuddle your baby, you can relax and enjoy a laid back atmosphere, listen to soft music, help yourself to any of our snacks made available for you and even enjoy a glass of wine, bubbly water or fresh coffee. I will take some beautiful images for you to cherish forever. Let us pamper mom with hair and makeup; your experience will be unforgettable and enjoyable, since I've thought through every detail for you.

Are you expecting? Let me capture the beauty of your maternity. Have you scheduled your newborn baby photo session? Let me help you customize the perfect session for your new bundle of joy. To learn more about your experience, click here.

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I invite you to request a complimentary consultation with me, either by phone, remotely via Google Meet or even through FaceTime. This is the perfect way to get to know me, "see" my studio and also take a glimpse of sample products. I am always happy to help answer any questions you may have and reserve your date. Please contact me here or email me directly at

Sessions are now booking through 2022. Please reserve your date early to ensure you are confirmed in my calendar.

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