I used to have such different feelings on this. Like, how all my children were going to be little geniuses (not that they aren't) and turn all their work in early so naturally they'd be on the Honor Roll. You know, because they couldn't help how smart and fastidious they were. Grades really wouldn't be an issue in our house. Just lots of Honor Roll parties where we'd go out for ice cream sundaes to celebrate their brainiac ways.
I guess I sort of forgot the part about genetics. And karma. And free will.
Growing up, I remember my mom being so frustrated with me because I just forgot to turn stuff in or I would wait until the last possible moment to work on big assignments. Science fair, anyone? There's no excitement in planning ahead, you see.
I wasn't brilliant, but I was no dummy. Grades just didn't matter to me as a young person. But. In college, I wished they had mattered more.
And now, the roles are reversed. I am the frustrated mother and my children are starring in the role of very capable procrastinators.
Mr. O's parents did not have an official stance on grades. And really, neither did he until college. Fortunately (or not, from our kids' point of view), we both have an active interest in our children's academic progress. We have tried various methods of encouraging/nagging. The pay for grades, the restrictions for grades? We've been there, done that, and financed the t-shirt company.
But there is a line, isn't there, between instilling good study skills and shoving your own scholastic agenda down their throats. I don't think kids always have the foresight to realize just how important their GPA is to their future college career, but I also know it isn't impossible to overcome once you're there (a helluva lot more expensive though, to be sure).
I have typed and untyped so many thoughts related to this. So let me just state a few of my personal beliefs here.
1. My kids' grades, awards, achievements (or any lack thereof) do not make me a better (or worse) parent.
2. Kids need room to make their own choices and to learn from them. The stakes are not quite so high (academically speaking) in junior high and high school.
3. I love my kids for who they are, not what they do.
And really, I keep that last one as my mantra.
I'm curious, how do you feel about your children's grades and success? Do you see it as a yardstick by which you measure your parenting success?