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You are here : home > Intelligent Child > Schools > Bad Marks?

Bad Marks?

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Did your child fare poorly in an exam? Instead of telling him what he did wrong, ask him what he thinks were the reasons for his poor performance. It will make a world of difference to his approach the next time.

Your child has fared badly in an exam and is feeling down. Parents in this situation normally react in two ways: They console their child and tell them that they will do better next time around if they study harder, or they shout at their child. Instead, here's what you should do:


Listen to your child and let him vent his feelings. You may be tempted to lecture him, but it will be of little help. You child needs a friendly ear, and not a judgmental one. Work with your child to identify his weaknesses, and together see what you can do to remedy them. Instead of telling your child what he did wrong, let your child tell you where he went wrong. This approach will definitely bring about a new way of looking at a situation, and your child will be more willing to proactively work at correcting the problem.

Ask him

Instead of telling him why you think he got poor grades, ask him what he thinks went wrong. At first, you may hear him say his teacher doesn't like him. Such excuses are common and sadly, all too often they may even be the truth. Why does he think his teacher does not like him? Let him probe his mind and come up with honest answers.

Did he spend too much time playing his new computer game? Could that have been the cause of his dismal performance? If he insists that one thing had nothing to do with another, don't press the point. Instead, remind him that he is the one who needs to identify what went wrong and understand it for himself. "I asked my son to give me five possible reasons as to why he failed in his Maths exam. The reasons ranged from 'The teacher hates me,' to 'not enough practice'," says Charulatha.

"I made him pin the sheet on his bulletin board above his desk at home, and for the next exam I asked him to devise a strategy himself to tackle the above points. He was so geared up for the next paper, and practiced so hard, he stood third in class! His teacher suddenly didn't hate him anymore, and the next time he wants to come first!"

Don't encourage excuses

The mature way of thinking is to learn from a failure. At times parents themselves make excuses for their child's poor performance. In doing so, you are setting a precedent your child may follow his entire life and any time anything goes wrong, he will feel it is someone else's fault. You will see your child blaming others for his poor performances and feeling bitter towards those better off than he.

Explain to your child at the outset that he should not strive to do well in his exams for you. He should desire it themselves. Many children study or try to get good marks because they are afraid of their parents or want to please them. Instead, the best thing would be if you could instill in your child a desire to do well and a healthy feeling of competition.

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lila.10 years ago
good article. it really helps parents to understand a child and this parents behaviour will help the child as well
nimmi.10 years ago
good article,helpful.but if the approach of both parents is not good towards child or there is misunderstanding between parents themselves .this doesnt work.but this cant be ruled out.
Gem.10 years ago
my child just finish her exam, this article is very helpful, as i am a single parent, nobody can tell me what to do or share with. thanks a lot :)
Swathi.10 years ago
bad marks really hurts kids, parents should give them proper guidance. my son use to get bad marks too but he has improved a lot thanks to online assessment tool provided by 24x7guru. he not only improved he is preparing for ‚Äúdestination nasa challenge‚ÄĚ conducted by 24x7guru, guess what winners will be send to nasa .
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