DEAR HARRIETTE: The way I grew up, the only grade my father considered worth getting was an A. He thought getting 100 on a test was the only acceptable score. While I was an A student, I found it extremely stressful to try to live up to his expectations. That’s why when I had my daughter, I decided not to put that same kind of pressure on her. I expect her to do well, but I do not enforce strict rules about grades.
My daughter recently got her report card, and she got all A's (A, A-plus and A-minus), plus one B. My husband was livid that she hadn’t received all A’s. Further, he told me that my father would never accept a B. We got into an argument about this. Sure, that was my father’s way, but what I know is that my daughter tried really hard and did the best she could in this particular subject. A B is not a bad grade in my book.
I tried to calm down my husband and let him know that I will make sure our daughter knows to always do her best, but I don’t want him dashing her confidence by telling her it’s A or nothing. What should I do? -- A or the Highway, Denver
DEAR A OR THE HIGHWAY: You and your husband must come to an agreement on how and what you will say to your daughter about her education and her grades. She should not have to hear the two of you arguing about her grades, nor should she feel conflicted over the way that her parents regard her scores. Talk it out. Do your best to get your husband to agree to be a cheerleader for your daughter in the sense that you both should be actively encouraging her to study and apply what she learns in the best possible ways. If she needs help, get it for her. Talk to her teachers to learn what support the school offers so that she can improve her grades where needed. Work as a team.