Saturday, September 7, 2013

Should you pay your child for good grades?

A few years back there was an article in USA Today about school systems providing monetary rewards for kids who do well in school (and on tests ...).

My personal experience growing up is that we were paid for good grades (like $5 for every A or something like that); however as I grew up I realized this system of reward could also be skewed (for example: I got a B in AP Bio while my sister got an A in the lowest level science class - she got $5 and I did not).

I haven't thought about this issue yet and what I'll do about it - after all, my son is only almost 2.  However, after reading a few blog posts lately on the topic I do have some thoughts and I'm curious to see what yours are as well.  At the end of the day, what I desire most is for my son to have a genuine passion for learning - I don't want to have to bribe him to get up and go to school and do well just for some monetary reward on the back end, I want him to get joy from the educational experience.

We make learning activities fun at our house - when we're practicing counting or our letters, often times snacks are involved (how many grapes do I have?).  I'm hoping to instill in my son at a young age, a joy for learning - a curiosity to be sated through books & education.  Will I reward him for a job well done in school?  More than likely.  Will I promise him on the front end of a school year that good grades will equal rewards?  Probably not.  I would prefer for him to make the association that hard work in turn equals rewards since this is how the real world works (good employees earn raises and promotions, they aren't promised them when they're hired).  I also think I will reward him in other ways aside from money - if he does really well in school perhaps we'll take a trip to some foreign country as a family where we can have fun and learn about other cultures.  If he does really well on a test, perhaps when he asks for something on one of our shopping trips out, I'll agree and say something to the effect of "you've done so well in school this week, I'm really proud of you - if you want that toy, I'll buy it for you".

I guess my conclusion on the whole matter is - I believe children should be rewarded for performance well done, I'm just not sure I agree with the whole approach of cash payments for good grades.  What are your thoughts on this matter?

Disclaimer: this post is purely my opinion and is not meant to offend any one in any way.  If you choose to comment on this post, please do so respectfully.


  1. I don't choose to reward my child monetarily for good grades, but I have told my son that for every TEST he has where he earns a 100%, then he will get a special treat. The treat can be anything from going out for an ice cream, to a toy. While I have this system in place, it is pretty rare for him to achieve it, and he knows that it is okay. We always talk about how what really matters is him trying his best, because perfection all the time is impossible.

  2. I would have to agree. I don't believe in payment for good grades. I want them to be able to get good grades with out a bribe. In the end they do get praised by way of mouth and a hug and kiss. Which is really what they want in the end, is love.

  3. I'm trying to work out a system for rewarding effort. I feel bad for kids who try there hardest but just have trouble learning something.

  4. I have four kids, I've never done it with them. It doesn't have a right feel for me. My mom did it with me though, and I liked the money. I don't think it inspired me to learn or strive towards good marks. I think the intrinsic reward of earning a good grade is powerful enough.

  5. I've never done that with my 5 kids. My son is 15 now and for the first time in a long time is getting all A's. He loves how it feels. No other reward is needed. Well, I tell him every day how proud I am of him though!