What to Do if Your Teen Gets a Failing Grade


It can be a jarring sight: The dreaded “F” on the report card. Parents want what’s best for their kids, and seeing a failing grade can make you feel hopeless and worried. How will the grade affect their overall average? Will the failing mark make it harder for them to get accepted into university? And, perhaps most pressing, what can you do to help? 

It’s helpful to remember that failing grades happen. They aren’t an evaluation of the kid, but rather an indication that something went awry in the learning process. Thankfully, education always allows for second chances. If your teen gets a failing grade, here are a few steps you can take toward identifying the issue, cultivating a positive environment, and earning a passing grade. 

Stay Calm

You may be tempted to get angry. After all, that may be how your parents dealt with it when you had trouble at school. But punishment, reproach and firm-handed discipline can do more harm than good

If a kid senses that people are “angry at them,” they may view the grade as a personal failing. “Why even try?” they might wonder. 

You want them to maintain a healthy, happy relationship with their education. Therefore, try to remain calm and reframe the failing grade as a roadblock – an unexpected hurdle they will have to clear on their academic journey. 

Pinpoint the Issue

Put on your detective’s cap and try to tease out the reasons for the failing grade. 

Was the material too difficult? Did your kid avoid doing work because they felt unsupported and alone with the challenging course material? Have they been stressed recently? Or, could there be an underlying mental health issue contributing to their troubles? 

Register to Retake the Course Online

Luckily, your kid can register to retake a failed class. Consider enrolling in an online school to take the course. A quality online school may be exactly what your kid needs to feel academically empowered, focused and supported. 

Online courses are self-paced, which means the student can personalize their learning. They can spend more time on challenging concepts, taking as much time as they need to learn, retain and internalize the material. 

Great online schools also feature layers of support; your kid can reach out to their teacher with questions and access 24/7 tutoring. Lastly, online learning largely removes destabilizing distractions (like bullying, peer pressure and social anxiety) from your kid’s education. 

Online schools feature several courses that kids have trouble with: Grade 11 Chemistry, Grade 12 Advanced Functions and Grade 12 Physics, to name a few. 

Encourage Them to Accept Help

As your kid retakes their course, they may come up against familiar frustrations. But this time is going to be different!

Encourage your kid to reach out for help when they get stuck. They can message their teacher, access tutoring (as mentioned above) or even come to their parents when they have issues. They do not have to go it alone. 

It’s tough for parents to see their kids fail. But if you remain a supportive, encouraging figure, steering them toward sensible solutions like online learning, you can help them get through it. 

About Author

LaDonna Dennis

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer...SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and "Grams" to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna's fur babies are her world.

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