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Making the Grade

Should kids be paid for good grades?

The school year is winding down, and that means...report card time.

My kids tell me that many of their classmates talk about being paid according to the grades they get; often with a formula that includes bonuses for A’s.

Should kids be paid for good grades?

Those for it say that paying a child for good grades is much like the “Pay for Performance” model used in the workplace and it teaches kids that their rewards are commensurate with their efforts.

Those against it say that kids should only be encouraged to try their very best and that they should not be taught to expect a reward for simply doing what’s expected of them.

My father used to pay me for my report  card--yes, using a formula. When I wanted to get an after school job, my parents would tell me, "Going to school is your job."

I don’t think the money provided me extra motivation, but I felt very rewarded when report card time rolled around.  I’m not certain why, but I don’t do the same with my kids.  If I thought it would provide additional motivation for my son, I might try it! We sometimes augment the pat on the back we give them with a monetary reward, but the amount is decided on a whim, the kids can’t count on it, and there is certainly no formula involved. 

I don’t expect a consensus or right answer--but I’d love to hear what other parents think and do with regard to paying kids for their report card.

Robin June 01, 2011 at 10:17 PM
My parents attempted this when I was a kid, but kept forgetting to pay us. We don't pay our kids, but try to do something with them to 'reward' them for all the time they put in (not tied to grades directly). Let them pick out a concert or special place to go. With all the studying they do, I'd rather spend the time with them. We also try to remind them that after working so hard, they can treat themselves to something they like (walk in the park, hanging out with friends, etc) and hope they'll keep that in mind for later in life when they're finishing up a big project at work.
Myoung Kang June 02, 2011 at 03:46 AM
I agree with doing it... I am a big believer in pay for performance. :-)

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