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Carol Bainbridge

Getting Straight A's Could Be a Sign of Trouble

By August 29, 2011

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Report cards are important. Parents look them over to see what grades their children have earned. And parents care because those grades say something about what our children are learning and how successful they will be in life.  Or do they?

Most parents hope to see report cards full of A's. Maybe a B here or there isn't all that bad, but we believe that if our child gets A's in all his subjects, then we know he has mastered the material and is well along the road to success.

However, straight A's may actually be a sign of something else. Yes, those A's might tell us that our child has mastered the material, but they may also be telling us that our child hasn't learned the value of hard work. What leads to success is not just knowledge, but a willingness to work hard.  When those straight A's are earned too easily, a child may not understand how to put forth the effort it takes to be successful in life. To be successful, one needs to be able to cope with failures and continue trying even when the going gets a little rough.

Persistence is at least as important as knowledge. If those A's come too easily to a child, they don't learn how to persist and deal with the frustration one can feel when they run into a problem. Giving up does not lead to success.

August 29, 2011 at 9:55 am
(1) Rita says:

Children that get good grades easily and are always at the top of their class, are often in for a rude awakening when they enter college or some type of gifted program.

They are used to being the smartest kids in the class. It is hard for them and quite a shock when they realize everyone else in the class is just as smart or smarter than they are.

It is at this point that they either develop coping skills or they don’t and give up.

September 2, 2011 at 1:23 am
(2) Carol, Gifted Children Guide says:

You’re so right, Rita! It’s hard to get people to understand this, though. On the one hand, gifted kids can be criticized for having everything come easy to them, but then on the other hand, their parents can be criticized for asking that their kids get more demanding work!

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