How Does Family Life Affect Grades in High School Students?

Your child’s grades are affected by more than just the time he puts into studying. His life at home exerts a powerful influence over his ability to achieve academically as well. Because high school requires your child to make his best effort to meet these challenges, due to impending graduation and acceptance to college or university, it's especially important to understand how you can help foster a positive environment at home that supports good grades and good habits.


Teenage stress has a broad range of sources -- peers, school, even work. However, stress that originates in the home, such as financial issues or family strain, can have an even more profound effect on her school performance. According to, signs of stress in a teenager include falling grades, depression, headaches, stomachaches, and a lack of participating in fun activities 2.


Your family’s attitude toward downtime and electronics can affect the effort your child puts toward homework. If electronics are regularly and freely used around your home, your high schooler might be less likely to focus on his schoolwork. Limit his use of television, video games and computers until his homework is done, and encourage him to avoid the use of electronics in the hour before bedtime so that he can get a good night’s sleep. Finally, make sure to set a good example when it comes to the use of electronics at home.


Your interest and involvement in your high schooler’s grades can help improve her attitude toward school. The Family Involvement Partnership for Learning states that although involvement from parents results in higher test scores and an increased number of high school graduations, 40 percent of parents in the United States say that they don’t believe they devote enough time to their children’s education. Encourage a routine at home that allows your child to get her homework finished. Show an interest in her school activities and offer encouragement for challenging classes.


In addition to creating a family life environment that encourages your child to do well in high school, you can also make sure he has access to plenty of nutritious foods that will keep him alert and healthy. If your child’s grades are suffering and you’re not sure how to help, talk to the guidance counselor at his school for help.