How to Tell Parents About Bad Grades

How to Tell Parents About Bad Grades

The grades are in! Those grades might be amazing or those grades might be less than amazing. Either way, your parents will want to know your grades.

You might be feeling ashamed, embarrassed, or quite frankly terrified to share bad grades with your parents. That’s why this week I’m sharing my 3 step process for talking grades with your parents.

Parents care a lot about grades. It’s one of the few ways they can tell how things are going for you during college. It reveals to them how well you’re understanding, if you are taking care of your business, and if you’re doing the hard work college requires.

But the truth is college is really hard, and sometimes you have a bad semester. Maybe you made poor choices, maybe you got sick, or maybe you worked your tail off in a really hard class and that C is a freaking badge of honor. No matter what ultimately caused your bad grades, you might be feeling real dread about letting your parents in on your fail.

Remember that your parent’s disappointment comes from a place of love. They love you so stinking much that they want you to live an amazing, successful life. This is why they get real upset when you do less than your best. To them bad grades are a code red threat to your success and safety!

When talking to your parents about your situation, you job is to reassure them that you can recover from the mistake. My 3 step process is designed to help ease your parent's anger, not prevent it. The real objective here is to have a productive conversation about how to improve your performance next semester.  


How to Talk to Your Parents About Bad Grades Step-by-Step

1. Tell the truth

The truth is always better. Lies always come out and once they do your parents will be even more mad. Air out the problem by being honest with your parents about your situation.

2. Take Responsibility

This means putting the bad grades on yourself. Taking responsibility is a key feature of adulting. It means blaming no one but yourself for the outcome. But don’t beat yourself up over what happened. Own your mistake and move forward.

3. Create an Improvement Plan

Yes, take responsibility, but then transform that responsibility into action to improve. Failure is the world’s way of letting you know that you need to adjust something you’re doing. Nothing more. Examine what steps lead to the failure and identify what you can do differently next time.


Remember you have the power to create a better college experience tell us how you plan to crush it next semester in the comments below. Your words of wisdom help provide insight and inspiration to others just like you.

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