I know a lot of parents who have a nervous tick — they just have to check their kid’s grades in the online system to make sure that they’re doing ok. Many parents do this on a weekly (or even hourly!) basis. I call it a “nervous tick” for a few reasons — first, parents do it without thinking, and secondly, they end up being quite anxious afterward (the word “nervous” is so accurate!).
Also, and perhaps more importantly, the parent’s anxiety can get transferred to the student. This is what happened recently with a client of mine. Watch the video to hear what the client requested of his mom and me, and the interesting little experiment we’re going to do for 3 weeks.
Hey there, don’t have time for the full video? No worries, I’ve got your back with a short summary:
This video is for you parents out there today! I just finished having a conversation with a student, a sophomore in High School, and one of the things we do each week is check his grades to see what zeros are there, why work is missing, and work on build habits to deal with these missing assignments. The problem here is that not only do I ask him about his grades, but then his mom asks him about his grades, and he said to me, “I’m tired of it, I’m tired all I’m doing is talking about my grades. I just want to talk to you Gretchen about them.” So we decided since I was going on vacation before this video was recorded, to do a little experiment for 3 weeks. We gave his mom two options:
After I talked with the mom, she said, “Oh my god, it would bring me such joy to not check grades.” So she said she just wouldn’t check the grades. We’ll see if she can follow through, cause it can be such a difficult task as a parent who is worried about student success. Regardless, I highly recommend that parents, you experiment with either not checking your students’ grades or set a date and only check the grades with the student. This way you aren’t jumping down your student’s back with all this anxiety about the grades and can talk about them in an anxiety-free zone.