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Paying Kids for Grades: Bribery or Good Investment?

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“Hey kids: I’ll give you $50 for that A!”

Have you ever paid your kids for getting good grades?

It’s a controversial practice to some who argue that it’s akin to bribing kids for studying hard and getting A’s—something they should be doing on their own anyway.

To many parents, however, it’s a way to get their kids to focus on academics, work diligently, albeit by keeping their eyes on the prize—the cold, hard cash for each good mark.

So, how much is an A worth? Or a straight-A report card? It depends on the parents and the child.

For one New Jersey father, it’s worth a lot: the dad pays $100 to each of his sons for a report card with all A’s. And if the boys maintain A’s all year, they get $1,000. Each.

Before you jump in your car and head to the nearest ATM, keep in mind that not all kids are motivated by the dangling cash carrot.

Though it’s hard to image this not working for most American teenagers.

What about children with learning disabilities? SchoolFamily.com blogger Livia McCoy argues that it's not a fair practice for these kids because the effort they often put in on homework and tests isn't necessarily reflected in the grades they get.

What do you think about all this? Take our poll and let us know if you’ve ever paid your children for good grades.

Tagged in: Grades


#1 SavvyParenting 2012-09-15 17:22
While the effort to reward, buy, or encourage best grades, is commendable.
Rather than reward good grades, why not reward the hard work. That way the value is placed on the effort instead of the result.
This instills a "work" ethic for the brilliant students as well as the strugglers. Yes, I know grades are not usually given for exertion - but hard work does give the student some progress. Parents who acknowledge the struggle and effort gets a pay off in their child's improved attidude.
Perhaps payment for a tutor or finding a child's learning style might be a better "carrot" for a struggling student.

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