Having bad grades is a pretty awful thing. Having to tell your parents about it is even worse. Here are some tips that may help you deliver the dreadful news.
#1: It’s not mine I swear!
This method is guaranteed if you are a natural-born actor who can pull this off without getting your parents suspicious. First of all, you will start by saying how hard you have been studying and how unfair is the grading process. A mistake must have been made or maybe it’s an error in calculation.
The key to the success of this method is to present yourself as the innocent victim. At this point in time, you’d wish you hadn’t been sleeping in your drama class!
Tip: Mention the 300 LE fees for just ONE course, if they ask for a recalculation. This will make them forget the whole thing!
#2: The “Shock” Method
A mistake we all do, is that when we deliver bad news, we always send negative vibes before saying anything. All the fidgeting and mumbling will serve to infuriate your parents even more. Be brave! No introductory chats! Just stand in front of them and say “So… Just wanted you guys to know that I’m on probation… Again…”
Now let’s go to part 2 of your plan which is for you to run for your life (preferably find a relative who can welcome you to stay at their house for a while, BEFORE carrying on with this method). Don’t try to crash at a friend’s house because that friend of yours is probably looking for a place to stay as well.
Tip: Things will be easier for you in Ramadan. All you need to do is tell them the news a couple of minutes after Iftar. The time lapse between your parents’ brain activity and their actual physical response will give you enough time to run.
#3: Indirect approach
Technically, this method is similar to “The Shock” except that you are not going to be home to deliver the news, which is even better. You should be miles away at a safe distance. All you need is your phone. Send them a text message or a voice note.
You are going to need a spy inside the house (aka. one of your siblings) to tell you exactly what your parents reaction was. Accordingly, you will decide whether to go home that night or not.
Tip: if your grades are bad, you can go home after a few hours. If they are REALLY bad, don’t risk it!
#4: The “Golden Boy” technique
You can always go old school and do it the traditional way. Act like the little angel that had fallen from heaven. Be nice, sweet-talk your parents and give them a hand every now and then.
This technique might seem ancient and ineffective, but it has been used for as long as humanity existed. Yet, we still hear of it in our days, which means one thing: those who had used it, lived to tell the tale!
Tip: You should be the one to confess willingly. Don’t wait for a “What is it?!” from your parents. If you ever hear those words, Abort Mission Immediately!
#5: Do a little exposé on your parents’ educational record
Without doubt, your parents told you they were the best at everything they did when they were your age, including their education. But is it really the truth?! It’s time for you to find out. You will discover that their grades were not so perfect as well. Let’s face it, No grades ever will be!
Use this evidence as an excuse for your bad grades and blame it all on the genes. It works each and every time. Don’t make the mistake of asking your parents about their educational performance because they will “beautify” the ugly truth. It’s the grandparents, the aunts and the uncles who will gladly help you out and be your source of information.
Tip: If you are one of those unfortunate people whose parents were straight As’ students. This might not be the right technique for you.
#6: Make it anybody’s fault but yours!
“The exams were hard and I’m no Einstein!” or “You know I didn’t want this major from the beginning”. Pick up any excuse, turn the tables and make it their fault. This is somehow kind of mean, but, that’s your life hanging on a thread here.
Tip: Prepare the words in your head before saying them. You have to choose them wisely because if you go too far, this plan will backfire and you are going to be missed.
#7: Make it even worse!
This is a psychological method that works best with overprotective parents. Make them feel like there are way worse things in life that can happen to you and it’s not the end of the world. Start the conversation with topics like drug abuse among university students and how it’s been increasing nowadays.
Once you do this, they will be emotionally prepared for the worst when you say “I’ve got something to tell you”. That’s the perfect moment to tell them about your grades, which is nothing compared to being a drug addict.
Tip: You might not hear a direct “Thank God!” from your parents but this approach will definitely help calm their wrath.
#8: “You want the good news or the bad news?!”
This is a common technique we use in our daily life so it should be easy. Though it has no scientific explanation, parents always ask for the good news first (as if the bad news will just go away if they ignore it!).
The bad news? Your not so satisfying grades. The good news? Well, this will require a little use of imagination. Some words like “the good news is that I almost hit my little toe against the table edge. ALMOST!” is pretty unconvincing and lame. But hey! You gotta do what you gotta do.
Tip: it would me much easier if you really had some worthy good news like a summer training job or any non-academic achievement.
#9: Make them doubt their own sanity
This technique depends on your ability to use body language. It’s quite strange how your facial expressions can change the whole situation. Try to deliver your heartbreaking news in a cheerful voice with a wide smile on your face.
If you do so, your parents will have one of two thoughts. One, you have lost it. Two, they did. The good part is that both thoughts will be in your benefit. You will either convince them that they are insane and that those awful grades of yours are actually good, or that the shock has caused you to lose your own mind and they will sympathize with you.
Tip: Don’t overreact because there is a fine line between being in shock and being mentally disturbed.
#10: Don’t keep it in the family
Now with the last and most fun technique you can use. Family gatherings are sacred during the holy month. Now is your chance to tell your parents while being in one of those HUGE gatherings. Right there in front of your aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins and neighbors, just drop your bomb and say it out loud for everyone to hear.
Your parents are not going to hurt you in front of all these people – hopefully – so this is the good part. The fact that there is a big crowd around you will give your parents time to calm down.
Disclaimer: The INSIDER newspaper won’t be held responsible for any physical or verbal abuse that may be inflicted upon you once you are back home.
What if nothing works out for me? Well, just don’t tell them and Pray to God they never find out!