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Ask Sophia: Parents Who Have High Expectations For Grades

Q: "My parents are all up in my business about school and grades. Do you have any advice about how to tell your parents to stop worrying because it’s stressing me out and I feel like I’m disappointing them" - Anonymous

Hey Dear Monday fam,

Happy Monday people! We made it through the day (woot!) and it’s October… a month dedicated to finding the perfect (most flattering and unique but basic but creative but not too quirky) Halloween costume!!!!!! In the meantime, until we get to the 31st, school stress is definitely picking up and aggravated by outside pressures from your parents. Of course any normal parents who care about their child will want to check in about school and grades from time to time, look over your report card with you, etc but if you find that your parents are overly invested in your grades, to a point where it’s affecting your mental health and relationship with them, it’s definitely time that you say something. So if it appears you also have the case of nosey parents with really high standards, then you’ve come to the right place!

They’re inherently hyper invested

  • If your parents are naturally high achievers who set high expectations for you and your siblings as well, the main thing you should do is point this out to them and set boundaries. Assure them that you are focused and on top of your sh*t. Your results already show that you are doing fine on your own and you’d appreciate it if they could respect your space. If they truly need to be more involved than just semester report card updates, suggest checking in every few weeks... less about the grades you're getting but more about how you’re feeling in each class (what's challenging, which teachers you like, which teachers you don’t, homework load, etc). Tell them that when they only care about how you’re performing, it makes you feel like you’re disappointing them and being diminished to a letter or percent. That's a sucky feeling. I know this feeling because I’ve also felt a lot of added stress from the expectations of my parents, but when I voiced this similar sentiment to them a year or two ago they were super receptive.

You’ve given them a reason to care

  • Tbh, I feel like this is the more common scenario. Your grades are kind of mediocre or you don’t do so well on a few tests and then your parents become the grades police and are now on your butt about EVERYTHING. First, ask for help. Your parents want to see you succeed, if that means you need some extra support (like hiring a tutor or peer tutoring at school) then don’t be afraid to ask for it. Remind them that you’re under a lot of pressure and you’re doing your best. Be upfront that you have your strengths and your weaknesses. You understand that there are some areas in which you can improve but that you wish they would recognize the things you DO crush more often instead of just pointing out your failures. Walk them through what you’re doing to bounce back and ask that they maybe stop breathing down your neck 24/7.

I hope this helps!

We got this,


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