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How To Get Your Parents To Shut Up About Grades

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How To Get Your Parents To Shut Up About Grades

“My parents are always on my case about school. They expect me to get straight As and nag me if I’m not doing homework all the time. How can I get them to leave me alone?”

Here’s the thing. Your mom and dad want you to do well in school – well enough to graduate or maybe well enough to get into college or maybe well enough to get into a really good college. They have these expectations. But they can’t actually do anything to make their expectations a reality. They can’t go to school for you. So they do the only thing they can do: they nag.

So the answer to the question “How can I get my parents to leave me alone about my grades?” is, really, you can’t. Until you graduate, they’re not going to stop fretting about your progress. It won’t help to tell them you don’t care about graduating or that you don’t care about getting into college, or that you don’t care about getting into a really good college. In fact, telling them any of that might make them nag you even harder. Because this is not about you, actually. It’s about them.

The way to get your parents off your back is to help them feel more reassured about your schoolwork. You have to figure out what they’re afraid of and do what you need to do to help them be more relaxed.

So, stop and think.

  1. Are you behind in the credits you need to graduate high school? If you flunked a semester of English or something so you don’t have the full four years you need to leave high school behind, then that’s a problem. It’s a problem you need to fix, probably by taking an extra English course or summer school.
  2. Are you flunking a subject right now? If you are, realize that to graduate you not only need all the required courses to graduate but you also need a passing GPA. The bottom line is you can’t afford to flunk out. Do whatever you need to do to bring your grades up.
  3. Are you absent or late too much of the time? Get your butt in gear and get to class. Sure, you’re bored and you hate school. But show up, every day.

Maybe you’re doing all these things already. Maybe you’re on track to graduate, no problem, and you’re passing all your classes, and you do go to school and mostly you stay awake in every class. But your parents still ride you about your grades. They expect, not just Cs and Bs but straight As. Now what?

Now you smile sweetly and put in your time. Four years. Just four years and you can go off to college or go get a job. Once you turn 18, you don’t have to share your grades with anyone and your parents can’t demand your school or your employer to tell them how you’re doing. Be nice. Be patient. Your future is yours.

What will that future look like? Keep in mind that your Mom and Dad are anxious right now because they want the best for you. You should want the best too. While it might seem like caving in to fulfill your parents’ expectations and be a “good child,” fulfilling their expectations might actually be the best thing for you to do. Even though you might not want to admit it, Mom and Dad could be right.

Be careful to keep your own best interests in mind. Do what you need to do to finish high school and start your own life. If that means getting better grades, then now is the time to start.

Dr. Patricia Nan Anderson Dr. Patricia Anderson is a nationally acclaimed educational psychologist and the author of Parenting: A Field Guide. Dr. Anderson is on the Early Childhood faculty at Walden University and she is a Contributing Editor for Advantage4Parents. Learn more about Dr. Anderson at www.patricianananderson.com
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