A average, did your parents consider you to be inept, even unintelligent?
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Also another motivator was denigrating the child, telling him/her that he/she will work at a dead end job if grades weren't up to snuff. Child would be further told that he/she is not apt, stupid, or retarded.
Are we related? LOL!
Seriously I can't tell you how often I was asked; "Are you retarded?" "Have you lost your mind?" " You're f-ing up your life! "Maybe you should just give your uncle a call to see if he can get you a job in the steel mill!"
Excellent answer indeed!
What your mother did was a BUSINESS model of motivation.
I was told to make an A in school. In elementary school, I was an A student but in high school and college,a B student much to my parent's chagrin! If one wasn't an A student, my parents looked down on him/her! They were quite intolerant of failures.