Report Cards are Coming! How Viewing Grades as Feedback can Earn Parents an A+

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Adventures in Wisdom provides tips for handling grades without impacting kids self-esteem

How parents discuss grades can impact their child's self-esteem.

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In a few short weeks, children all over the country will receive their report cards. But Adventures in Wisdom is encouraging parents to talk with their kids about grades now.

“Kids often define themselves based on the grades they receive – if they receive an ‘A’ they feel smart. If they receive an ‘F’ they may feel like a failure. Unfortunately when kids label themselves based on grades it can have a negative impact on their self-esteem which may rise and fall based on the grades they receive,” said Renaye Thornborrow, author of the Advenutres in Wisdom Life Coaching Program for Kids. “Now is the time for parents to teach their children to perceive grades as ‘feedback’ rather than a label of whether they are ‘smart’ or ‘dumb’.”

Thornborrow explains that feedback is just a result – it is a measure of how well the child learned the material. For example, if a child brings home A’s, instead of saying something like, “You’re so smart. You’re an ‘A-student’!” Parents could say, “Wow – you made some great grades. Looks like you really learned the material.” On the flipside, a “C” on a test or report card 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 are prepared going forward.”

“This approach tackles the low grade as a problem to be solved versus labeling the child,” said Thornborrow.

Using grades as feedback is effective for homework as well. Parents can work with their children to establish a threshold grade for homework (i.e. 85%, 90%, etc.). If grades are below that level, children know ahead of time that they will need to rework the homework to ensure that they learn the material. With this approach redoing the work isn’t punishment; it’s striving for learning and excellence.

When kids learn to interpret grades as feedback it enables them to deal with both high grades and low grades without impacting their self-esteem.

About Adventures in Wisdom
Based in Austin, Texas, Adventures in Wisdom is a breakthrough life coaching program for kids that uses short stories and activities to teach children ages 6-12 how to develop powerful self-esteem and self-confidence; achieve their goals; handle challenges such as fear, failure, and peer pressure; and create happy fulfilling lives. Kids learn over 25 critical life skills via eBooks or audio programs that can be completed while at home or in the car. For more information call 860-580-WISE or visit


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Amy Dean
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