Widgets Magazine

Jul 11, 2013

Do You Pay for Good Grades?

Today I spent about 2 minutes looking through the newspaper and an article from the family section caught my eye. Richard and Linda Eyre wanted to know if people paid their kids when they got good grades. That got me thinking about this particular subject so I thought I would put in my two cents worth.

8th grade
My parents encouraged us to be extremely competitive. My dad was a teacher, so education was very important. My parents took good care of us, but they didn't have extra money for things like candy or movies or even a second pair of tennis shoes. But we were given 25 cents for each A on our report cards.

No, I wasn't raised during the Great Depression! I was the 4th child and by the time I got to jr. high I already had three older siblings who were also getting straight A grades and it was all my parents could afford. With seven classes each quarter, it should have be $1.75, but for a perfect report my parents threw in the extra quarter and gave us a flat two bucks.

It was a coveted prize at my house.

I remember during my 7th grade year I was so excited to get my $2.00 because I was planning to buy my very own laundry basket! (I know, I was a weird kid...)

Flash forward to my own kids.

We never paid our children for good grades. We set a standard of excellence and expected them to do their best and we have rare
ly been disappointed. The rewards have come from other places like scholarships for the older kids and more rapid payouts like Krispy Kreme donuts who give a donut per A up to six each quarter. They even give them to elementary-aged kids!

A few years back I also discovered that Zion's Bank here in Utah gives $1.00 for each A all through middle and high schools. Add this up...$7.00 per quarter, 4 quarters in a school year times 6 years adds up to $168 just for being a good student! I'm sure there are other places that pay out as well, so honestly I never really thought about paying the kids for what they should be doing anyway.

Until last year when Taco was in 1st grade.

Bossy encouraged him to bring me his excellent report card so I could make a big fuss. Well, as a grandma I thought I should probably give him something to show him that I was proud. So I presented him with a candy bar.

The Dog Walker is an excellent student!
Bad idea!!

Suddenly I had a revolt on my hands. My own children read me the riot act about how I never gave rewards for grades so why would I do it for the grandsons? To appease the masses, I simply bought a few more candy bars and passed them out. The problem with that was when the next quarter ended, they all expected the same treatment!

So now I just plan for it. I pick up a dozen candy bars (in case I eat a few!) and have them ready on grade day. It's not a big deal, but it makes them happy.

What about you, do you have an incentive program at your house?


Marci said...

Obviously Emma is only 8 weeks,do we don't have a system at our house... But growing up as child #7 in my family it was just expected that I get good grades. It didn't necessarily have to be straight a's, but most of the time that was what I got anyway. For getting good grades I think I did get to pick whatever dinner I wanted my mom to make one night. I feel like when there were more kids in school my dad may have grilled steaks for everyone instead of letting everyone pick a meal.

I think by high school I was pushing myself hard enough to get good grades so I could get scholarships and get accepted to byu. I don't think my parents had to push me hard at all!

Shana M said...

I only have one child but I never gave Marissa money or anything else for good marks in school. So long as she tried her best- which she did. The report cards here don't go by A's and B's. Most go by % so each subject is out of 100. Marissa did extremely well in everything but math- and even though she barely passed math, I know she tried her best. And her 94% overall reflects her good marks in all other subjects.

I think this goes along the lines of paying kids to do chores around the house-- which I never did either as I think kids are a part of the household and need to do their small part-depending on their age!

rhonda said...

We do pay for grades. But we also made the deal that we subtract if there is ever (there never has been) a failing grade. We also celebrate honor rolls and special dean's lists with favorite dinners or trips to the movies. It is easy for us to make this decision as we have a child consistently making straight A's. But I wonder what we will do if we have a child with a learning disability or something? I would hate to make them feel punished when a C is truly the best they can manage. Parenting is tricky!

Natalie Ockey said...

I have the same parents as you, and I got that 2 bucks only twice, and had to ask for it both times.

The goal is to teach your kids to love learning and natural rewards, not to teach them to do a drudging job to pick up a paycheck.

We don't give allowances around the house, either. You do a job here because you're asked and you live here and it's what families do.

You can still teach kids about money without making it a reward and the job (or in this case the grade) a "chore."


Mom of 12 said...

I agree with you, Randy. That's why I never gave my kids rewards. I think I just fell into a trap! And I do look at the capabilities of the child before I hand out the treat. Some I hold to higher standards than others just because I know that they did their best. But honestly, my kids are awesome. It's just another excuse to have a treat...

Anonymous said...

Our babydoll (she will be 36 in November got straight A's from the time she was in kindergarten, the school system rewarded her handsomely, we always had a dinner with family to cheer her on they spoiled her with many nice gifts, she was the only girl grandchild for nearly 23 years then a baby girl was born after her grandparents had passed from this life..She was rott spoiled by all her male cousins and aunts, she is the only one who went to the university and graduated with two majors and 3 minor degrees summa cum laude, her cousins have had it really hard as they skipped college and now are regretful, we never had to show her that without education she could not pursue what she needed to do in working in any job she wanted!!!!!!!!!!!!! We have always known that education higher education is the path to enlightment, good jobs and a secure and healthy future..I read with amazement your children how smart, creative and educated they are and they work and are sweet and respectful of their wonderful mother and father, it must be your LOVE of your faith, your discipline and your perserverance in the face of our world which in my opinion doesn't value a religious environment and a close parent and family! Kudos to you and your hubs, what a wonderful blog..ciao have a wonderful weekend!

LeAnn said...

I am so smiling on this one. We didn't give them anything for good grades. We did have them do the routine chores and then if they wanted extra money we would give them work to earn it. It worked pretty well. I like the idea of a little treat and if it is chocolate; all the better.
Blessings and hugs!

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

You know what? I don't think I gave them anything tangible for their grades that I recall. If I did, it must have been occasional or I feel like I'd remember it.

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

You know what? I don't think I gave them anything tangible for their grades that I recall. If I did, it must have been occasional or I feel like I'd remember it.

Welcome to the Garden of Egan said...

We tried doing it, but it seemed that it wasn't really that important to be rewarded.

The Eyres were my hubby's mission president....YEARS ago. I have always enjoyed reading their ideas on parenting and teaching.

It makes me laugh that all the kids revolted because the grandson was being rewarded. Kids are all the same I swear. Heaven forbid that you should just want to spoil the grandson! That's what gramma's do!


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