My daughter told me over dinner the other night, that a lot of her friend’s parents are pushing them hard for good grades, using threats of not getting to do or have stuff they want and so on. So when she said “I am so happy you don’t push me that way. I know you are happy if I do my best, and learn as much as I can, regardless of the grade I get“. standard

So in a sense, I’ve been striving towards this family standard that Seth spoke about, quite a few years by now.

I asked my daughter: If you would get top grades but not learn a lot, or not so good grades but learn a lot, which do you think I’d opt for? She replied immediately, picking the latter choice. And she’s right. Learning is much more important for me than grades. Grades might (and should!) be a reflection of how much and well you learn, but really, I don’t think that’s how they work at all. You can learn an astonishing amount of stuff, and still get a low grade. It all depends upon your starting point, doesn’t it? Unfortunately the effort put into learning isn’t taken into consideration in grades.

Asking for, and praising, top grades, might be a strategy that backfires on you, as a parent. You run the risk of promoting external motivational factors, rather than encourage inner motivation. Instead, ask for, and praise, learning and the work your child (and yourself!) puts into it!

Reflection #7 of 24 from the notes I took and the experience I had at the Seth Godin Q&A-session in London, November 2015. This was my Advent Calendar 2015 on, and as I loved each and every post so much, I am reusing them for this years’ Advent Calendar here! These reflections will be posted daily from December 1st to the 24th.