Is it OK to be "average"?

United States
March 2, 2007 7:46am CST
I see so many of my own friends getting on their kids about "their grades". Upset because their kids get a "C". A "C" grade means average. Why do so many of us expect "above average" from the world, including our own kids? I personally tell my kids that "C" is very acceptable if you've done your best because there's nothing wrong with average. Not everyone in the world is meant to be above average in EVERYTHING and I honestly think we all have certain things we're "above average" in while other things are completely acceptable to be "average". What do you think?
22 people like this
76 responses
@akumei1269 (1749)
• India
3 Mar 07
It's a interesting topic. I call it parental instinct that they want their kids to be above average.This is is nothing but their wish of their kids going above thamselves .Of course pride also fuels it sometimes . If kids excell parents may have somthing to be proud of . From my own life I may tell you , I am leading an average life .Nothing in me is spectacular . I am not unhappy . But sometimes I feel bad .I don't want my son to lead a similar life . There is a practical need of standing above average now a days thogh it is not possible for all to be above average at the same time . Now what should we do ? I cannot make a borne average kid to excell . But it is also true that everychild has something , some traits or skills where he/she has a in borne advantage . While it is easy to find out it , if it pertains to study , it may be obscure in case other fields . The duty of parents is to explore it thoruhg keen observation of the kid . Here , we cannot be complacent taking a stoic position . Because , the childhood is the time to mould their skills and aptitude which are hidden but rich.
2 people like this
@tamanash (952)
• India
2 Mar 07
to force your children to do somethiing extra ordinary will add extra pressure on them and eventually they will finish last.i think childrens should be pressure free and while pressure free they can do their best.you are absolutely right not to force your child to perform extraordinary.the most important thing is whether he/she have tried oor not.if they tried but still dint perform then its acceptable.we should concentrate on overall ability.
• Romania
2 Mar 07
Well,it depends.It is about the tendancy each one of should have,meaning if all of us were A students, then they would be forced to make a bigger grade,to ensure that society is not staying on the same level.If you have C , that is you.Theres nothing wrong with you.You have tot tend,however,to obtain bigger grades.
• Canada
2 Mar 07
I think every child excels at something... some kids can get a 90% in Math but barely scrape by in English. Others can be the most amazing writers but get dismal grades in geography. Our minds can only do what they can do. We only have certain interest levels for certain things. Personally, I hated Geometry. I was an honor student in everything else but I could only manage about a 65% in Geometry, no matter how hard I tried or how much I studied. I just didn't get it. Fortunately, I wasn't the only one in the class that had trouble with it and our teacher was amazing. He told us, right from the start, that there are many people who have trouble with the concepts and they just can't visualize or grasp the subject matter. He said, "Not everyone's mind works this way and I understand that." He never really failed anyone in that class because he said, as long as we tried and he could see that we made our best efforts, we deserved credit for that. There's definitely a trend now to push kids to be the "best and brightest" in everything. I mean, parents are discussing "quality preschools" when their kids are barely out of the womb. I think it's important to be an involved and aware parent. You need to know what your kids have for homework, when they have tests, ask afterwards how they did on the tests or projects or speeches... just being part of their education really allows you to celebrate their successes and help them out with their shortcomings. We all know our kids. We know their strengths and weaknesses. As long as they put the same effort into what they like as what they don't like, then they are really doing all they can. I think that's what should be commended... it's not always about the "bottom line."
2 people like this
2 Mar 07
I think its perfectly acceptable to be average - after all if everyone had grade A's there wouldnt be enough jobs or uni places etc for everyone. Of course we all want our kids to do well but i think too much pressure to get the best grades can only lead to problems especially if your kid isnt up to that, just makes them feel inadequate. i try to encourage my kids to do their best but if they get a bad grade or an average grade thats ok as long as theyve tried their best. Its hard not to get annoyed when you know they could have done better but i think that its more important to ensure they know your proud of them nomatter what instead of chastising them for not doing better. From personal experience they occaisionally exceed expectations when it comes to the crunch without pressure or punishment.
1 person likes this
@Joey322 (272)
• United States
2 Mar 07
i'm o.k. if you let your kids be "average", just as long as they don't become adults who sit around complaining that life and world aren't fair. if they don't push themselves and then end up with a crappy job, and they're o.k. with that, then fine, but i don't want to hear any whining or complaining.
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Mar 07
I definitely agree. There's a difference though between "average" and not putting forth effort to obtain an average grade. If you can sit on your butt and get "average" then you're not working hard enough for sure. My issue is that I think a lot of people have taken "average" to mean not good and that's not what it is. Average is exactly that... what the common person obtains.
@BlackBay (584)
• Canada
2 Mar 07
I think many parents want the Best for their childrens futures. Colleges and University want above average grades or they won't look and your application, I think it shows to them that you are hard working and want to get into their school. Personally I don't beleive in pushing a child hard for good grades is a good idea because it puts to much pressure on them and the don't enjoy being a kid. Theres lots of time to get serious or push for success when then grow up.
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Mar 07
I agree. Thanks for answering!
• Canada
2 Mar 07
I think a child(or adult) for that matter, should always strive to be the best they can. For a child to accept being average, because nobody has inspired them and shown faith in their abilities to improve, is a shame. To strive to improve is to grow, and it is part of a parents responsibility to encourage that growth in their children. At least that is the way I see it. To be average at something after trying your best is commendable and there is certainly nothing wrong with that.
• United States
2 Mar 07
The title of this post is what drew it to me. I once wrote a poem titled, "I Want To Be Average". I came up in school behind a brother that made everything look easy. As you can imagine the pressure was on to do the same at times. It is amazing to me that we as a soceity have made average a bad thing. I am all about high expectations, but not at the expense of our mental health or worse yet at the mental health of children. Great Topic !!
• United States
2 Mar 07
OMG.. I've always felt for my sister because of the same thing. Strange part is.. we are 10 years apart but she still had many of my teachers. I'm not bragging by any means because let me tell you.. I'm NOT any better off then the kids who weren't classified as smart as me and probably worse then some... but I was a brilliant student. I surpassed college levels on tests in 4th and 5th grade. I was the first in my community (city of 150K) to ever do a dual enrollment where I went to college and high school at the same time, cutting off 2 years of a 4 year degree. So when my sister came up they all expected her to be this brilliant book worm like her sister and she and I are the complete opposites! LOL She'd spend her last dollar on a tube of lipstick and curling iron while I'd never think twice to spend mine on a good book. She'd rather go out with friends while I was home studying for school more often then not. So when she was ticked at me 10 years later for making her life miserable I felt so bad for her! It's VERY unfair when teachers do that.
2 Mar 07
There is nothing wrong with being "average" can you imagine a world where everyone is "A" - lol. Seriously, there is nothing wrong with being "average" and certainly no need to put pressure on kids to perform to the stratospheric when they are maintaining their levels. Besides, if you expect average and you get a higher grade, then it is a bonus.
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Mar 07
Exactly how I was thinking. If everyone was an "A" then... well.. and "A" would be "average" (which technically makes more sense then C for average.. but anyways! LOL). I agree a kid should work up to their abitlities and strive harder and harder but to put a child down for not being an honor student, etc. is just beyond my comprehension.
• United States
2 Mar 07
If they do their best and a "C" is their best then good for them.You should encourage them to try harder though because most of the time a "C" is what you get when you do the very minimual work, or at leat it was in my case. Then you want to do their best and chathem to be at their best. There is nothing wrong with being average though. I myself find what most people would consider average looking women very pretty. Being average makes you stand out, so i gues that makes you above avearge. Kind of a catch 22 I guess lol.
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Mar 07
LOL... I agree... above average seems less approachable in many ways. "Too brainy", "too pretty", "too buff"... but an average of all those things, people aren't put off by. I dont think you should accept a "C" if you can get better but I think in many cases parents just automatically assume average means stupid. It's far from the case!
@chertsy (3804)
• United States
2 Mar 07
When my daughter brings home her report card. If I see that she went down in a subject from a B to a C, I will tell her that I'm proud of her. But I know, she can do better, which she proved to me that she could have easily gotten a B again. Now I'm really proud of her in subjects that me and her husband stunk at, because she brings home a good grade for that six weeks. She already knows what she wants to do with her future, so she has to work harder to achieve that goal. Hard to get a really good GPA, with C's all the time.
• United States
2 Mar 07
I agree... if grades are sliding then you know they have potential to do what they've done before unless there's a particular reason. But remember... Einstein was considerd well "below average" as far as his school work went! LOL
• United States
2 Mar 07
C's no longer truely mean average. I personally beleive that there is no reason any child can not get atleast a B. Teachers are so quick to give extra credit or allow retakes on test's that a child did poorly on. I think that schools in general need to expect more out of kids. My brother in law is a teacher and parents get on his case for giving their kids homework! My younger brother once turned in an assignment for Language Arts, it was the most poorly written thing I have ever read! No paragraphs, no thesis, he didn't even bother to use spell check! The saddest thing is that he still got a B! If I would have been his teacher I would not have even let him turn it in! That is why I am homeschooling my children, I will know their true potential and so long as they are reaching it and always trying their hardest to excel at all they do I will be proud of them. I beleive that many kids now with C averages know that they can get away with it so they never try to do better and I think that is going to cause alot of problems in their future.
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Mar 07
That may be the case in some districts. I know here they have 2 grading scales. One is for the honors academy and one is for the 'regular' school. I'm not sure if that's good or bad but I understand the problem of some teachers making "average" a much lower then desired thing when they practically hand out C's. But I think it's very dependent upon your district too. I homeschooled my 3 kids too. And I have to say they do very well now that they're in high school in the public system. BUT that's because they truly CAN do it and I know their abilities since I taught them for 9 school years thus far! I just dislike it when a parent belittles a child for being "average". If most weren't average.. then average wouldn't exist.
2 Mar 07
u knw wat...school grades do not really matter!!! i was average in class....it was pathetic...every1 around me including my parents kept goin at me!!! but it dint help me much other than make my life miserable!! but nw in college...im top grade....my teacherz are pretty impressed by me!! they think i hav a g8 future!! i hope they never meet my school teachers...they are only goin to hav a heart-attack!! so u see..the average me...became the best student in my class!! its all abt time...gv ur kids some time...show faith in them....by the time they mature, they ll know whats good for them!! cheerz ^_^
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Mar 07
Couldn't agree more! I think a lot of times we have to allow the kids to find themselves and their abilities. There's nothing wrong with striving to better yourself but you don't have to be top dog in the class or you're worthless.
@cyntrow (8524)
• United States
2 Mar 07
I've only gotten upset with my kids grades if I felt they weren't trying at all. My oldest could squeak out a B without even opening a book. If he got a C I knew it was because he wasn't doing anything. Now, my second, his C's are like A's for me. He has a problem with tests, but he generally knows the material. That is more important in my opinion. He can learn, he just doesn't test well.
1 person likes this
@karvin87 (1034)
• India
2 Mar 07
hey its perfectly fine to be average...think it this way not every1 who's sitting at top today were excellent in thier young days..take for example Mr. Bill gates was not good at studies but only was into computers and he made his fortune in it!!! so its more imp to find out one's interest and develop it to fullest after all its not the score card tht one would look when u r old rather your accomplishments would ans everything...cheers!
1 person likes this
• Philippines
2 Mar 07
I've never required excellent grades from my children. To me it's enough to see them grow wisely and become responsible individuals. You're right; everyone is unique in his own way. What is important is for us to use properly and not to waste whatever talent we have.
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Mar 07
I couldn't agree more. I think you can tell if your child is working "up to potential". And having a letter on a piece of paper doesn't make that child a person we'd want to be involved with. How they act and treat others is what makes me want to be with someone, not their IQ.
@cjsmom (1423)
• United States
4 Mar 07
With CJ, being almost 9 and having Autism, we work on his homework together every night...He is doing so well, A's and B's. Well, his last Science subject that we worked on for several weeks was on, the body systems and things that I don't even remember learning until high school. I knew he was ready for the test when it came and I prepared myself for a C, at the worst. His personal aide wasn't at school the day he took it (not used to anyone else) and guess what?...he got an F..! I was so upset because I knew that he knew most of it. They gave him a study guide and then decide to ask questions in a whole different way. I voiced my opinion to his third grade teacher and it wasn't very pleasant..! She said he could take it over and, this time, he got a B-..! I was so thrilled..! So, after this long rendition of 'the life of CJ'...lol I totally agree that a C as nothing to be ashamed of, especially as you say, as long as they try their best that's all that matters.
• India
3 Mar 07
being average in todays world is a curse...no,i m not saying that u have to b an alrounder or the best in all spheres in ur life...but still atleast u have to be good at wat u do...gettin a C grade..well its average no doubt. By the way wat do u mean by being average??? r studis the only criteria for judging whether a person is average???? i hav met a lot many people who in their school days were average students or in fact below average tooo..but today they r highly successful just getting a C is no judgement criteria for being average.there r multiple intelligences in this world .a person might not hav logical intelligence but might have verbal intelligence......
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Mar 07
i was always raised to try as hard as i could and if a C was my best then it was okay. however i was hard on myself. I pushed myself pretty hard to have A's and have a high GPA. I personally see a C as not really putting enough effort into something. The way I see it is you only do enough to get by.
1 person likes this
@myjack (132)
• China
3 Mar 07
I quite agree with you,I think "c" is a good condition,because there will much stress on the people who get higher or lower grade ,there is nothing wrong when you got c if you try your best.Well,maybe some parents hold the idea that "there is no "best" ,there is only "better"."so they think c isn't good enough.
1 person likes this
@blueman (16513)
• India
3 Mar 07
with the competion in every field getting tougher getting higher grades from the beginning will help the child i guess.
1 person likes this
@subseven (64)
3 Mar 07
I think its natural instinct to try and do better than average! otherwise there would be no advances in technology or culture. everything would stay the same if noone aspired to be better!
1 person likes this