Paying Your Kids for Good Grades = Epic Parent Fail

Rant 41

Scrabble letters spelling "MONEY"I was a good student growing up. I always got good grades so it was never really an issue. Same with my wife. And now (we're hoping), it's the same with our kids. At least so far.

My wife and I try to instill the importance of education in our kids. We try to show them that they need to go to school and learn as much as they can. How else are they ever going to become Video Game Makers when they're older?

We certainly encourage our kids to do well in school and praise them for working hard. But we've never rewarded them for a specific grade on their report card. I find it sad, actually, that some parents will pay their kids for every single A that they get on their report card. This is just all kinds of ridiculous to me.

I pay enough school taxes as it is already. I'm paying the teachers' salaries, but now I gotta pay the students to learn too? That just seems idiotic to me and a complete betrayal of the entire education system.

I'm all for encouragement and positive reinforcement. Your kid gets an A, that's fantastic. Let them know how proud you are. Heck, even if your kid gets a C, if they normally get Ds and worked their butt off to get a C, they deserve some praise. It's all about putting in the effort and doing your best. In the end, that's the ultimate take away from school.

You're also setting a horrific example by paying kids per letter grade. So what if they don't really care about the money at the moment? Maybe they just had a birthday and got a ton of dough. So now they don't bother putting in any effort and they get Ds. Oh, well. Too bad. Kids have a horrible sense of money to begin with, so you're not really helping at all.

The knowledge kids get and the self-confidence they nurture is the true reward of going to school. Yes you can do something nice or fun for your kids if they do something extremely well. Go out to dinner. See a movie. But don't make it a habit that's predicated on the exact letter grade he or she gets on a report card.

As for grading the parents, well if they're paying their kids to learn, I'd have to give them a big fat F!

Do you pay your kids for good grades?

Photo via Philip Taylor/Flickr

education, elementary school, grades

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early... earlybird11

Wow ill feel sorry your kids for the lack of motivation and drive ur instilling. U probably agree with giving trophies just for showing u p too

Nellie Athome

Paying kids for grades sets them up for the real world where what they do directly determines how much money or success they will have. We had custody of two kids for a few months and the only way not to have a screaming match every morning to get them to go to school was to make school their "job". $10 for every week they had perfect attendance, $5 for every letter grade they improved over their last report card. Also they got docked for missing school (1 week perfect attendance = $10, missed days the next week = $2/day deduction - after the first report card grades going down = $5 deduction per letter grade) That first report card cost us a mint since they both brought their grades up from Ds to As (or $15 each subject) and had perfect attendance but they learned that their effort made a difference and that slacking off cost them. They went from almost flunking out to both being on the Honor Roll and the oldest got a full academic scholarship to college for four years. Education is a job - both for the teachers AND the kids. And paying them teaches them real world values that apply to a real grown up world job where if they screw up they will get fired.

IKnow... IKnow0101

Well I was never paid for getting good grades because my parents were more interested in what we learning and retaining info that just getting an A.  My brother and I was good students but excel in different subjects and my parents never made us feel that we were better or worse than others.  If people choose to award their kids with money, why not?  It may give them motivation.

kjbug... kjbugsmom1517

I fully agree with nellies point of view. I wasnt paid for grades either and didnt care by the time i got to hs when it mattered. Now im going to college as an almost 30 year old and i tell u what? I know what doing well will bring me at the end and im busting but. I expect my kids to put forth all the effort they have. School is there job.

doodl... doodlebut

I've never paid my kids to do well in school. They're expected to do their best, and their reward will be not flipping burgers for a living.

Jespren Jespren

If you get a bonus for exceeding a quota at work do you consider that bad and give it back too? School was my job when I was young, and someday soon it will be my children's job. You get paid to work, it's proper kids do as well. I was a straight A student and *very* frugal with our meger allowance. Bringing home that list of A's was my 'paycheck' and I greatly looked forward to the influx of cash. I was rewarded for my work in a real, tangible way. I had worked hard to earn that money. If you think people should work hard for the love of work, let's see you get paid that way, see how long the love of a good days work motivates you to do your best work.

teach... teacherchick77

I was Valedictorian of my high school and never paid for it. But my dad did tell me when I once got a B in 7th grade, "Well if you're only as smart as a B student, that's okay." (Dripping with sarcasm.) So unfortunately belittling me worked since I never got another B! I would've rather been paid. Lol. I think parents need to do what works best for them and their children. I don't pay my kids, but I don't judge others who do.

Estel... EstellaHavisham

Money is a great motivator. My father used payments in our house from the time we were very young to teach us the value of a dollar and spending wisely.


Twenty bucks (then scaled for certain classes: PE didn't deserve 20, but struggling in physics was worth more) for an A, but they went into "funds." 10% into savings at first. Then as we started making money with part-time jobs (tutoring, yard work for neighbors, etc) he counseled us: what percent would go into savings, what percent into something we'd like to "invest" in (a bike, a school trip -- but not a car! That was an expense!), what percent we'd devote to frivolous spending... 


My dad is an f-ing genius. I am grateful for those lessons. 

nonmember avatar PansyDaisy

My husband and I both got rewarded as kids. It was fun and a good way to teach us about real life. Real life, you say? Yes- like just last month when my husband got his annual bonus based solely on his job performance. $55,000 this year. Guess all those $10 A's came in handy. :)

LadyRabbit White

no its great. it makes them realize school is a job too

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