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  • Stop Thinking That Poor Grades Mean Your Child Is Average

    Just because your child doesn’t excel academically doesn’t mean he won’t succeed in life.
    by Kitty Elicay .
Stop Thinking That Poor Grades Mean Your Child Is Average
PHOTO BY iStock
  • Every parent wants their child to grow up happy, smart, and successful, and based on how most of us have been raised, we see a child’s academic performance as a predictor of future success. But every kid is different. If he does not excel academically, it does not mean he’s a failure automatically. Success comes in different forms.

    Jay Shetty, a vlogger and a motivational speaker, recently uploaded a video that we think will resonate with parents. He shares a powerful message: perfect scores and exams are not everything.

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    The video opens with a group of students huddled in an auditorium. It’s exam season, and a teacher goes in front to remind the students that the upcoming tests would determine their college or university — and their future job. “These exams are going to define you. These exams will determine what you become in life,” the teacher says.

    Shetty, however, begs to disagree. He refers to a letter written by a head teacher in Singapore, which he feels is important for parents, teachers, and students to hear. Here is the letter in full:

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    “Dear parents, the exams of your children are to start soon. I know you are all anxious for your child to do well.

    “But please, do remember, amongst the students, who will be sitting for the exams, there is an artist who doesn’t need to understand Math. There is an entrepreneur, who doesn’t care about History or English literature. There’s a musician, whose Chemistry marks won’t matter. There’s a sportsperson, whose physical fitness is more important than their grade in Physics.

    “If your child does get top marks, that’s great! But if he or she doesn’t, please don’t take away their self-confidence and dignity from them. Tell them it’s ok, it’s just an exam! They are cut out for much bigger things in life.

    “Tell them, no matter what they score, you love them and don’t judge them.

    “Please do this, and when you do, watch your children conquer the world. One exam or low mark won’t take away their dreams and talent.

    “And please, do not think that doctors and engineers are the only happy people in the world.

    With warm regards,
    The Principal.”

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    This anonymous letter has been making the rounds online the past couple of years, and whether it was written by an actual principal or not, it’s a good reminder for parents to ease the stress for their kids in school. In fact, too much pressure can backfire and putting emphasis on perfect scores can lead your child to think his self-worth is measured solely by his achievements.

    It doesn’t mean that school is not important. Learning about math, science, history, language, and arts will help your children navigate the real world when they become adults. But getting an education has to be more than good grades. Children learn grit, which experts think is a significant predictor of success. It is the ability to persevere toward a passion or long-term goal, even in the face of failure. Children with grit don’t give up easily — they will try again because they know it is not the end of the world.

    Should your child fall short of getting good grades, shift your attention to your child’s hard work. This is building her “growth mindset.” This kind of mindset sees everything as an opportunity. Skills aren’t inborn — if you put in the work, you can turn any weakness into a strength.

    As Shetty notes, “Exams are important, but they’re not everything. Grades are good, but they don’t define you. Don’t let one exam or one grade define your whole future. There is so much more potential right inside of you.”

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