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Paying Your Kids for Good Grades = Epic Parent Fail

by Andrew Kardon on November 21, 2012 at 9:24 PM

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

Filed Under: education, elementary school, grades

Comments

41
  • Bertha21
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    Bertha21

    November 21, 2012 at 9:36 PM
    No. My mom paid me $20 for every A I got per semester. My brother would pay me $30, or take me and one friend of my choosing out to eat wherever I wanted, for every two weeks of perfect attendance. It worked pretty well.
  • gem09...
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    gem092011

    November 21, 2012 at 9:45 PM
    A complete betrayal of the entire education system?? Dramatic much?!? Lol!!

    My parents paid me for grades in middle school and highschool. $20 for an A, $15 for an A-, $10 for a B+, and $5 for a B. I thought it was cool. It gave me something fun to shoot for. They also took us out to a apecial dinner for good report cards.

    I graduated near the top of my private highschool, I went to a great undergraduate college, and I got a full scholarship to law school. I'm now working as an attorney for a really well-known entity.

    So, nope. I don't think the fact that my parents paid me for grades ruined my life. (And I also love my parents very much.) In fact,when my kids are old enough we will probably implement a similar system.
  • kelti...
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    kelticmom

    November 21, 2012 at 9:53 PM
    Well in most jobs you receive a bonus or pay raise for extra effort/great sales, so why not offer that extra encouragment to a child that can easily swing a B, to put forth extra work to get an A?
  • kelti...
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    kelticmom

    November 21, 2012 at 9:56 PM
    I went to a private school, where anything below an 80% was an automatic F, and you had to repeat the work and re-test, so an A was hard core. A little motivation is a great thing.
  • bills...
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    billsfan1104

    November 21, 2012 at 9:56 PM
    Dramatic much? What others do to help encourage their OWN kids, is none of your business. What is the harm?
  • LadyDIN
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    LadyDIN

    November 21, 2012 at 9:59 PM

    I plan on it. My parents didn't, and I had no tangible reason to bust my ass for a made up letter.  I'm hoping to find what works to encourage my son.


  • BPayne09
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    BPayne09

    November 21, 2012 at 10:21 PM
    Wow. You are very dramatic. My parents didn't push me at all in school and I wish they had. As long as I passes it didn't matter to them. Sure I was praised for good grades but that was it. I think if I had had that little incentive I probably would have tried harder. I fully plan on some kind of reward for my son when he does well in school.
  • the4m...
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    the4mutts

    November 21, 2012 at 10:25 PM
    Uuugh why was I not suprised when I checked to see who the author of this dribble was?
    You're ridiculious Andrew.
  • Histo...
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    HistoryMamaX3

    November 21, 2012 at 10:35 PM

    I got money as a kid for my grades... I think you underestimate kids and their ability to understand money. And my kids are little yet, we don't reward for grades but we do reward for doing big things. That is how our world works, and I'd love to teach my children to shoot for the big jobs with the bigger rewards.


  • jalaz77
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    jalaz77

    November 21, 2012 at 10:35 PM
    I will cause if you look at the financially successful people around you, they all have had good grades. The better grades you get the better chance of a good school you choose and the more financially sound future you will have. This isn't always true but yea paying makes sense. I had no reason to try in school, my parents were great and my mom pushed me more than my dad (dad was an A student, things were easy for him) but what did I care? Now had I gotten paid and reminded of what good grades can do to a person then I would of tried harder. I don't blame my parents for being a late bloomer cause when I went back to school later in life I excelled. I will again cause I know good grades gives me options of where I will do my masters and give me a decent job to pay back the loans. Hard to pay loans with a job you don't have cause you flunked out of school.
1-10 of 41 comments

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