Hard Work over Talent: When a C is better than an B+

C grade“It’s unfair!” One of my kids shouted out when I reacted negatively over his grade.   As a parent we know the word “unfair” makes us reach for the oxygen and brace for a long and emotional talk with the kids.   My innately smart child is complaining why I can’t be happy for his B+ and won’t even mention a thing over his sibling’s C.

We know our children, and they are different from each other in terms of talent and skill. One may be the sporty one, one is creative, and the other one the people-person kind of kid. And I would like to believe I appreciate their unique talents. However, one thing I deeply value is hard work and effort.

And I see hard work when a kid copies and does his homework, jots down notes and studies well to prepare for a test.   Which brings me back to “why a C is better than a B+” If I know you can do an A and you didn’t get an A because you didn’t exert effort then we have a bit of a problem. If I know you did your very best and got a C then that’s fine with me.

I clearly remember my Filipino teacher in Maryknoll High School, Ms. Fernando, when she said, “Tandaan nyo, daig ng masipag ang matalinong hindi masipag” (Remember, the hard working person is better than the smart person who isn’t hard working). And that made a mark on me. I’m not born smart, I get 75 in Math and barely passed Algebra but that barely passing mark is something I labored over and is the reason why I never had to take up mandatory summer lessons.



I know people who are Magna Cum Laudes but can’t keep a job because no matter how smart you are if you don’t do the job, it won’t get done, kid. In the workplace or even if they set up a business, talent should always be coupled with effort to do their best.

“And that my child, is the reason why a C is better than the B+”

Go Do It!


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