Do you pay for your child's grades?

Canada
January 10, 2007 10:42am CST
This has always been a source of debate among several families that I know. I have never given my children cash for getting good grades but I know several people who do (with some even paying per grade... like $3 for every "A" or $20 if the overall average is "80% or higher", that kind of thing). What I've done for the longest time is that, after report cards come out, we have a "report card dinner." The girls get to choose whatever take-out/junk food/etc., that they'd like - with no complaints or comments from me or my husband. But that's it. No gifts, no checks, nothing of the sort. I guess I just want them to do their best because they actually care about their grades, not because of what they are going to get. Now, I'm really blessed that both girls are honor students, making grades ranging from high 80's to high 90's. They like school and they want to do well. However, I can absolutely see the other side of the coin where a student either hates school or just doesn't care if they do well and the parents might feel that the cash reward is a way to get them motivated. How do you feel about this?
7 people like this
12 responses
@icequeen (2843)
• Canada
10 Jan 07
No...we have never done that. We always tell our son..how good he is doing and how proud we are instead. I think that giving money is not the right message...but I guess some parents do. I think that is just a form of bribery...and that kids should learn for thier own sakes and for thier futures.
2 people like this
• Canada
10 Jan 07
Thanks for your thoughts, icequeen! That's where I am with it, as well... we have to praise their efforts and offer encouragement and support because school's not easy, no matter how you frame it, and they should be proud of what they achieve. It's the cash part that I wrestle with, too.
1 person likes this
@vivasuzi (4126)
• United States
10 Jan 07
I don't like it either. My parents didn't do it but I had friends whose parents did. For one thing, if they got an A in two classes they'd get 20 bucks, regardless of the fact that they failed 2! Second, it made other kids (ie me) jealous b/c we had really good grades and got nothing. I think the best thing to do is the Chucky Cheese thing (if they still do it) where you take your kids to chucky with their report cards - and they get x amount of tokens for free for each A, B, etc. I loved that as a kid and would hope they still do it now :)
2 people like this
• Canada
10 Jan 07
Oh wow... that's neat! We don't have Chucky Cheese up here but I wonder if there are any chains that would do something similar. I think it's a good approach to have the reward be something outside of the home. I'll have to ask around about that :)
1 person likes this
@chertsy (3817)
• United States
10 May 07
I didn't get anything for getting good grades. My parents didn't reward this with things. They told us that good grades would get you a good education and later a good job. That's what I tell my kids. I don't reward good behavior or good grades. Those are things that you should want and not expect getting something in return. Now at my daughter's old school for one year they gave out hockey tickets for the students that showed outstanding behavior. They would have a reward ceremony where the kids are brought in front of the school and given a ribbon for the honor rolls, perfect attendance, outstanding student, etc. I keep everything my kids make and bring home from school. I want them to be able to look back and say wow, I did that or I got that. My daughter hasn't brought home any bad grades yet, but when she comes home with a lower score than she made the previous 6 wks, I will tell her I'm proud of her. But it's proven that she can do better. I help her with her homework and help her go over her study questions. By the way she enjoyed going to the hockey game with her dad, me and our youngest stayed home. I didn't want to drag a infant to a loud game late at night.
• Canada
10 May 07
My daughters' schools have had programs like what you describe, chertsy. In one school, they were called the "Yellow Brick" awards. Students got a certificate at a ceremony for the same types of things you mentioned -- and teachers were encouraged to be creative and give awards for everything so that all students could have the joy of winning (it could be a subject prize or even a certificate for being "most helpful"). A duplicate of every certificate was posted in one of the hallways, thereby creating a "Yellow Brick Road"... the kids loved it. Congrats to your daughter on getting to go the hockey game! I think that was a nice thing for her to be able to share with her dad :)
1 person likes this
@chertsy (3817)
• United States
13 May 07
Yea, they really enjoyed it a lot. They brought home a few things. Bobble heads that was handed out per ticket, she got a t-shirt that get's shot out of those cannon like things. She and my husband couldn't stop talking about it. Her new school, I honestly don't know what they do. It's nothing major that's for sure. Instead of ribbons, she brings home pieces of paper with the reward on it. No special rewards for being a good citizen or anything. Not even a t-shirt. I do like the yellow brick road idea. Wish that they did that here. That would be really cool to look at.
• Philippines
16 Apr 07
we couldn't blame the parents.as a cliche:parents wants the best for their children.if they see that their child got low grades or failed,it is a big depression on their part and to the child.that's why some parents,in order to overcome this depression and embarassment,they tend to do these rhings.
2 people like this
• Canada
16 Apr 07
You do have a valid point, angumabay... I'm sure there are definitely parents who take it to be a personal failure if their children don't achieve the grades they believe they should. I'll bet that there are cases where parents may pay for good grades, hoping that they will see the grades that they, themselves, want on the report cards!
1 person likes this
• Philippines
19 Apr 07
yup,i do believe in you.it's nice to see that we have the same point of view with regards to this problem
2 people like this
@Inklings (1257)
• United States
14 Jan 07
We did pay our kids for good report cards. We gave them $5 for each A, $3 for each B, nothing for Cs and they had to PAY US $3 for each D and $5 for each F. None of our kids ever got anything lower than a C! Our girls had an easy time with school and always made honor roll -- our son didn't enjoy school nearly as much, but the money helped to motivate him!
• Canada
14 Jan 07
Inklings that's really neat! I've never heard of a family YET (at least not within our school community) who makes the kids PAY for their D's and F's! That's a more unique structure than anything that's been described to me before and it certainly holds the kids accountable.
2 people like this
• United States
14 Jan 07
wow, what a great idea!
3 people like this
• United States
22 Apr 07
Oddly enough, my parents always paid me for my grades but it was never really an incentive to get good grades, I just got them. I don't offer it to my kids because, like you I think that they should realize that their learning and doing their best gives them the opportunity to make something of themselves. The good grades and better opportunities from them should be incentive enough to realize that they need to keep up the grades themselves. But I have to say, I don't really find it "wrong" when people do pay for report cards. Everyone has their own way of dealing with their kids and if it works for them, good for them.
• Canada
23 Apr 07
I agree completely! You have to do what works best for each child. Some take it as a personal challenge to do the best they can and others take it as a personal challenge to do the least they can ;) They're all different and it takes a lot of patience, understanding and flexibility to work with each kid on their own terms.
1 person likes this
• Indonesia
3 Apr 07
my mom never gave us money if we sucsess or get scholarship at school or college but we go to restaurant and celebrate it together. It teach us not study for money ^^ Maybe study for pride. lol
2 people like this
• Canada
3 Apr 07
I agree hassei_takano! My children are proud to bring home good grades and they are anxious to show us... not because they expect to receive something but simply because they have worked hard and are pleased with the result :)
1 person likes this
@nkkyluv (83)
• Nigeria
30 Mar 07
i personally feel paying for a kid's grades is the worst injustice a parent can do for that child. It is better u watch the child fail, then study had to pass or upgrade his/her grades. Whatever a child learns from childhood will definitely mar or make that child in future, paying to upgrade his/her grades will teach that child to be dishonest & fraudulent & i discourage it in the strongest terms. If a child likes school, all well's & good, but if not, let the parent teach the child the advantages and disadvantages of hating school & help the child to develop interest in his studies, so i dont think its right to pay for a child's grades whether it is motivating or not.
• Canada
30 Mar 07
It's interesting that you raise the advantages and disadvantages of hating school, nkkyluv... my daughter was telling me just the other day that there is a student in her English class that hates school beyond belief. He used to be in another English class and would never attend -- he skipped every class. However, he and my daughter's English teacher seem to get along and, one day, the boy just started "showing up" for their class instead of his own. The teacher made an agreement with the principal that they would allow him to study in the new class, instead, because at least he'd be getting a grade. The teacher had managed to get through to him that, even though he hates school, there's no point to get a failing grade because, at that rate, he'll NEVER graduate. The student does want a high school diploma so he sees the advantage of finding a workable solution, in spite of hating school... if he isn't motivated enough to get a passing grade on his own, he'll simply never graduate. He has adopted a "let's get this over with" approach -- but he's passing.
1 person likes this
@cowgirl2701 (2081)
• United States
10 Jan 07
Some sort of reward doesn't hurt. You are doing the same thing as paying them. Just in a different way. I think that giving them a reward and praise instills good work habits. Like a job the harder you work the more you get paid. Some schools have started rewarding kids for their grades and attendance. In these schools grades and attendance have improved. They reward them with gift cards or something like that. It seems to work.
2 people like this
• Canada
10 Jan 07
See, that's exactly what I'm thinking... and that is why we do the dinner. It's a reward that says "you did a great job and congratulations." I entirely agree with you there. They also do what you've mentioned at their school, too. Example -- if a child makes principal's honor roll (which is a 90% overall average), they are invited to a lunch with the principal and they are given a "gold card" for the following term. With the gold card, they can be let out of class to go to the library to work on homework or get a jump on research for a project, etc. I hit the wall when it comes to actual cash changing hands because, instead of being a reward, it then seems more like buying the grades that you hope to see on the report card. Thanks for your well thought-out response cowgirl... it's appreciated :)
2 people like this
@joyce959 (1563)
• Philippines
30 Mar 07
I dont give monetary reward if they do better in their school subjects. What I do is grant them a favor that they want, like going out to dinner, seing a movie with friends or buying some stuff for them. It is better that they study harder and get good grades because they want to learn and be appreciated for what they do in the school, than to get high grades just because they are aiming for the money that they will get.
@crazynurse (7510)
• United States
14 Jan 07
My husband and I do something very similar to what you do. When report cards come home, we celebrate by taking the two children out to dinner. They get to choose the restaurant. Needless to say, praise is the order of the evening! We too have been fortunate that all of our children have always made great grades and have been honor students. Like you, I suppose if my children were making poor grades, I might use money or some type of gift as an incentive to do better. The most important thing to me is to instill an internal drive to be the best you can be and a strong work ethic.
2 people like this
• United States
15 May 07
We don't reward with money for good grades, but we do go somewhere special - whoever earned the most "high grades" gets to pick where we go. For example, last time our oldest got to pick the bowling alley. The time before we had to flip a coin because there was a tie for who had the best grades. The kids are really trying to work smart and, half the time, they forget about the extra incentive at the end. We keep reminding them that, at the end of it all when it's time to work, they'll be earning a greater incentive through high paychecks if they consistently do well throughout their school years. That really drives them along!
• Canada
16 May 07
I've been thinking about periodically switching our "report card dinner" with an activity and I'm glad to know that works successfully in your family :) I think bowling or the movies would be a favorite with my girls!
• United States
10 May 07
thinkingoutloud. I know that this discussion is rather old on here, but I still wanted to respond to it as I thought that you have a great way of rewarding your children for a job well done. I don't consider it bribery per say to reward our children for grades that are good. Money might be going a little too far, but I guess that is up to the individual parents. I myself never got paid for any of my good grades that I would bring home, and I really didn't get rewarded in anyway, but I was the type of student that wanted the good grades, and I would cry if I didn't get them. :) I did have friends that were paid for their grades, and yes, I have to admit to a little bit of jealousy on my part because of it, but it never stopped me from doing good in school because my mom didn't. I really like the idea of taking them out to supper or maybe to a movie as a reward, that way the whole family can join in their success! I also have heard of parents making their children pay for bad grades, and I think that I will probably start this after my kids get a little bit older and farther into school. That way they have some sense of balance and checks for their behavior and grades. :)
• Canada
10 May 07
Hi uniquenorthern and thanks for chiming in on this discussion! I appreciate your support of what I've been doing with my girls... it's worked nicely for quite awhile now and I'm pleased :) Like you, I had friends that got paid for grades and I guess I was a little jealous too because some of them got what seemed like a LOT of money to me at the time. My parents could not have afforded that. However, my mom was a great motivator and got us off to a good start by teaching us good study habits, how to correctly put projects together and such... and that ended up being very valuable as well :)