Bright Side

6 Powerful Reasons Why Yelling at Your Child for Their Grades Can’t Help. And 10 Things That Can Save the Situation

Parents should always find ways to help their kids do well in school, but it might surprise them to learn that even after the report cards come in, they can still cause problems for kids after the fact. A bad grade is something that should be dealt with seriously, but parents who tend to yell and shame their kids might actually do a lot of harm to them in the long run. In fact, there are better alternatives that are not only easier on the kids and the parents, but can be actually helpful as well.

We at Bright Side always want to help children succeed, so we’re explaining why yelling at your children over grades can do more harm than good AND what you should be doing instead!

Yelling at your kids because of school grades can actually make things worse. Here’s why:

  • It might not address the actual problems your kid is having at school. For example, a parent might limit their child’s social activities to help their children do better in school, but studies show that this only helps if social activities were distracting kids in the first place. When your child is having problems in school, you have to get to the root of the issue to change things.
  • You risk frustrating your kids and making them reluctant to ask for help at home, for school work. Your child might not come with you for help if they think they will only be punished for not doing well in the first place. As time goes on, this might even turn toward resistance toward school work in general. Kids can become so frustrated that they might not be willing to try anymore.
  • Yelling can only do so much. Eventually, kids will get used to it, which will make them resent behaving well all the more.
  • Because of these reasons, yelling can actually have a negative effect on your child’s future grades. If the issues remain unaddressed and students feel a greater resistance, they are not going to get the help they actually need.
  • It humiliates your children, which can make them react negatively to the situation. Kids will think that they are the victim in the situation and not take responsibility for their own grades.
  • It can hurt your voice. See, yelling hurts people on both sides of the argument! We’re just looking out for you here.

Instead, there are many simple, basic rules you can follow that can help your kids and are better for your sanity:

  • Give your kids a quiet space to work. This can help your kids avoid distractions and get into the habit of regularly doing their school work. It also shows that you are there to help. For a bonus, create a space that is stocked with the school supplies your kids could need!
  • Habits are not always a bad thing. Form after-school routines. This will get kids into the habit of giving attention to their homework and making sure everything is finished the night before. It seems obvious in hindsight, but you are teaching your kids to take advantage of the time they are given to prepare for something, which always comes in handy.
  • Get involved with your kids’ teachers. Together, you can figure out which factors are causing kids to have problems with their work. This might also encourage your kids to think of their teachers as people they can go to for support. At the very least it will help you avoid your kids saying, “That’s not how they taught us in school,” when you are helping them with their homework.

  • Keep track of your child’s progress. This will help you realize which things help them and which don’t. It also helps keep you aware of when your child might be falling back into old bad habits or when they are encountering a new problem.
  • Remember that rewards work better than threats. Positive reinforcement for doing well in school, even something as simple as taking your kid to the park, can motivate better than the fear of punishment. When kids are more concerned about the punishment, they care more about trying to avoid getting into trouble than actually doing their work.

  • Try as many learning styles as possible. Some children learn better visually, audibly, by doing hands-on activities, with tutors, or even a combination of all of these things. We each learn in different ways.
  • Develop good reading habits. It can be stimulating and regular reading can help you get the answers you need, especially in school.
  • Remember that kids need breaks. It is good for their mental health and doing too much can do more harm than good, even with something as important as school work. Exercise is especially important during breaks.
  • Communicate with your children. Let them know that you are always there to help, even when problems arise at school. This can also help you figure out what your child is having problems with.
  • Have high expectations. While you should never expect too much, you should never accept your child getting poor grades as normal. While they will happen, they should always be addressed.

Do you have any other ideas that can help children improve their performance in school? Do you know any other reasons why you shouldn’t yell at your child? Share with us in the comments!

Illustrated by Alena Sofronova for Bright Side