It’s getting to be that time of year for report cards to come out. Do you ever use money or rewards for good grades? Is it an effective way to encourage a good report card. On the flip side do you punish when grades are not where they should be?
When I was young, my mother would reward me with quarters and dollar bills depending what grade I received on my report card. It was a wonderful reward but really didn’t encourage me to do better in school. A fear of punishment was a greater motivator.
It seems parents try to use any kind of motivator to get their kids to do well in school. Even the public school system in some states use a cash reward or gift reward to encourage the students to improve their grades.
Many say we are harming our children by teaching them to do things just for money. To give them money is just wrong and sends the wrong message.
Using money as an incentive can be appropriate if you give small amounts under the right circumstances. For example, rewarding your kids after the fact for behaving well at the supermarket instead of promising them money ahead of time if they don’t throw a tantrum. This is not the proper use of the money reward function. Those kids just need a good spanking to encourage proper behavior. The reward comes only from work, not behavior.
Rewarding our kids with money is teaching them the work structure they soon will grow up to be in. That working at your job, producing a service or product for a boss is what you are compensated for. Work for compensation is what we all do everyday. The payment for grades, if done right, will instill in them the equation of Work=Money.
The proper execution of rewards for grades are important. Only top grades are rewarded. Money, if substantial, must be saved for later needs. If the reward money is small then they can spend it on their needs.
The message we are trying to send is that work produces reward. No work or poor work results in zip or punishment. The reward is not a bribe, it’s an incentive.
What do you do if junior just refuses to work. We all have one in the house that’s like this. Hopefully it’s not for long while you adjust behavior with punishment. You have to find a way to promote good actions with a positive reward.
This reward for good grades has been a tool for encouraging hard work for many years. Only when it’s used in an extreme way does it get a bad reputation. In moderation it works.