The Importance of Parents

Samuel - Arcadia, California
Entered on March 22, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: parenthood

I believe that parental actions have drastic effects on a child, more than many would believe. I remember how I was struggling in Algebra Honors in 7th grade, and how my dad’s response to my struggle directly affected what happened afterwards.

I had gotten into Algebra honors due to my excellence in my sixth grade math class, but once in, I go lost. During the first semester of the class, I didn’t understand many of the concepts taught, such as distributing the negative or that subtracting a negative was simply adding. As a result, I didn’t do so well on the tests, scoring in the eighty percentiles, rather than my normal nineties, and averaging an eighty-five percent at the end of the semester.

Having gotten a B rather than my usual A, I had a sinking feeling in my stomach as I waited the next few weeks for my dad to get the report card. Usually, my dad would go through the roof whenever he saw a B on my report card, and I was expecting to receive the usual response. When the report card finally arrived, I was paralyzed with dread as my dad read it, awaiting the inevitable reprimand. But then he surprised me; rather than getting angry and began shouting, he turned and asked me what happened in math. And when I told him that I didn’t understand many of the concepts, rather than lecturing me on how I should have asked for help a lot earlier, he simply stated that from now on, during the evenings, he would go over math with me and help me to understand them.

With his post-dinner lessons, I was finally able to understand the concepts, and began to excel in my class again. The first of the second semester, I scored an A+, and at the end of the semester, I averaged a 101%.

I’ve always wondered, however, what would have happened had my dad acted otherwise on that evening. Had he never commented on the B, I might have continued to slide downhill, possibly eventually getting a D in the class, and getting kicked out of honors. And had he gotten angry as was his normal reaction, I might have lost all confidence in myself, and simply dropped out of honors. Either possibility would have been a nightmare for me.

Through that moment of time, I realized how much effect parental actions have over their children. My dad acted in a way that saved my academic record. Had he acted in any other way, I could only imagine the worst.