Now that school is back in session for most of us I’m reminded of the age-old debate of whether to pay your kids to get good grades so I thought I’d repost this today…
Paying your kids for good grades is like paying them to grow and learn and you can’t put a price on that. The hard work that goes into getting good grades is a hard-earned life lesson. One that will go unpaid into the teen years and adulthood.
Kids learn accountability and responsibility from their grades; good or bad. In most cases, grades are a direct reflection of efforts and when kids work hard and do their homework they get good grades. When they slack off, fall behind and don’t do homework the result is bad grades.
I think paying kids for good grades teaches them a sense of entitlement and therefore, for everything they do right they will want a reward handed to them. Life just doesn’t work that way in the “real world”. They need to earn it. Those that do pay their kids for grades will say they earn the money, but I say they earn their grades.
When kids get good grades they get benefits that they have worked hard for like college scholarships, graduating with Honors and really proud parents! Those benefits are the ultimate payoff and ones that they were fully invested in. If they get bad grades there are built-in, out of parental control, consequences such as going to summer school, being held back (although they don’t do this in high school anymore – you just don’t graduate), and they may not be able to “walk” with their graduating class on graduation day. Those are real life consequences that have meaning. Way more meaning than a few bucks from mommy or daddy.
If you haven’t guessed already, I do not pay my children for good grades, or for doing household chores. They have one, alright two, true responsibilities in life right now and I expect they should be able to handle them without being paid.
With the expectation being good grades in my house, there are consequences for bad grades. Consequences are generally the most meaningful time-sucker of the moment i.e. cell phone, iTouch, computer games… Meaningful consequences work.
Life only gets more difficult and the responsibilities that rest on them only get heavier and more life altering after high school so letting kids experience real life accountability is good for them. It is especially beneficial if they can learn these lessons while still in the home and under parental guidance so that if/when they fall down, a parent can show them how to move forward.
I wrote it, but this article was first posted on Yahoo! as ‘Should You Pay (Bribe) Your Kids for Good Grades?‘