Children who are expected by their parents to do well in school will likely live up to that expectation and children who are expected to underachieve are likely to underachieve, according to a recent study.
In short, kids will get the grades parents expect them to have, said the study which was published in the Journal of Family Psychology.
Researchers Alexander Jensen of Brigham Young University and Susan McHale of Penn State analyzed data from 388 pairs of parents along with their first- and second-borns.
The parents were asked questions about their children: which of the two is a better student, how similar or different were they when it comes to schoolwork, etc.
They found that parents generally believed that their older child was the better student and that daughters performed better in school than sons.
For the following school year, the researchers then tracked the children’s school performances. They found that the parents’ belief of their children’s capabilities had an effect on the children’s performances. The sibling that parents expected to do better in school outperformed the other one by an average GPA of 0.21 points.
The study also found disheartening news from the data; that even when the child who was considered to be the lesser student outperformed the other one, the parents’ former beliefs and expectations would still hold. The child who the parents saw as the achiever would still be seen as the better student even if they’re proven otherwise.
Setting aside the shortcomings of a study like this one (that’s it’s not a sound science), it would still help both child and his/her studies if the parent would adjust expectations so as to be beneficial to all their children.
Sources: June 18, 2015. "How Parents’ Expectations Mess With Kids’ Grades". time.com June 23, 2015. "Parental Expectations Can Affect Kids' Grades". parenting.com