Should You Bribe Your Kids...

Avatar for cmkristy
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-05-2005
Should You Bribe Your Kids...
13
Tue, 09-17-2013 - 8:00am

... to get good grades?

magine you’re back in school and it’s report card day. Would your grades have been higher if you were promised $5 for every A or a video game or manicure/pedicure for earning top grades?

With the new school year upon us, some kids are digging deep to find the motivation from within, while others may be aiming for the shiny brass ring promised by Mom and Dad.

The long-running issue of rewarding children for good grades with money or material goods surfaced again recently. In a Wall Street Journal column, a mom concedes to bribing her four daughters with outings and objects of desire, though not cash, for all A’s or “relative improvement.”

“I admit: It would be best if all children (and adults) could be motivated by an innate drive for high achievement and a thirst for knowledge,” writes Demetria Gallegos, community editor for WSJ.com.

“But I also believe that it's easier to accomplish good grades after experiencing them,” she wrote. “Fake it until you make it. The excitement and adrenaline of success are addictive, and if you get to experience it, whatever the motivation, you're inclined to seek it again."

Should you bribe your kids to get good grades?- http://www.today.com/moms/should-you-bribe-your-kids-get-good-grades-8C11145698

What do you think?  Would you (or have you) ever bribe your kids to get better grades?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2009
Tue, 09-17-2013 - 9:43am

No, I never did. And my kids are both now university graduates.

Instead of focussing on the grades, forcus on the learning. Get involved in what the child is actually learning; become a resource for your child.  Show your child, by example, that learning can be fun for its own sake.

Don't fuss over "not so good" marks because learning is a process. It is about developing critical thinking skills. We learn from your mistakes.

When you do that, everything else falls into place.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-16-2013
Tue, 09-17-2013 - 11:58am

Absolutely not! Good grades should be expected. When you expect less from a child, you'll get less.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-1998
Tue, 09-17-2013 - 4:14pm

If your sole aim is to have your child get good grades and he isn't motivated any other way, well, bribe him and see where that leads.

But if your goal is to have your child engage in the learning process and actually learn something, then let the learning be its own reward. Adding a monetary or other reward on top of that only divorces the child from his learning.

The only thing I have ever bribed my kid for was to get a haircut, once, when he was in middle school. It wasn't a mistake, but I won't ever repeat it!

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-17-2012
Tue, 09-17-2013 - 6:55pm

Sure, bribe away, that's how the world works.  How many people would go to work each day without the "bribe" of a paycheck?  It's called incentive.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-1998
Thu, 09-19-2013 - 11:07am

I've heard a lot of people equate working with school, but they're not the same. You work with the specific aim of earning money, so money is and should be the reward. If you're lucky, your job will also be rewarding in other ways, but unless you're independently wealthy, you're not going to quit just because you don't like your job.

In school, however, the purpose is learning and that should be the reward. The grades are secondary--they're just a measure of how well you are learning. They're not the learning itself. If you want your kids to take some joy and responsibility in their education, don't pay them. If the grades are the most important thing, then go ahead.

I'm not judging people who pay their kids for good grades. Having just sent my oldest off to college, I do understand how vital it is to have good grades to compete in this world and maybe for some kids, paying them is the only way to achieve that and guarantee their future.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Thu, 09-19-2013 - 1:41pm

No I have never paid my kids for good grades--that's grandma's job.  lol  Seriously both my kids wanted to get good grades because they were very motivated and they also understood it was the key to their future.  We actually don't talk too much about grades.  If a child got a B instead of an A, I would never say "why didn't you get an A?"  My son, for ex, takes a lot of difficult classes.  He's a senior & has 3 AP classes this year--if the goal was just to get A's he could just take easier classes, but he does want to learn things.  If he ever got a really low grade on a test, I'd ask him if he knew why he didn't do well--did he not study or didn't he understand the material?

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-17-2012
Fri, 09-20-2013 - 1:07am

Trying to get kids to believe that learning is it's own reward is to have a fundamental lack of understanding of kids. ; )  People look for jobs, train for jobs, go to college and accumulate enormous debt and even take jobs they're not particularly fond of because of the "reward" of money.  Quite plainly, incentives work.  If your kids get As instead of Ds becuase you paid them $5 or promised to take them to Disneyland, sounds like a win-win.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2009
Sun, 09-22-2013 - 11:41am

"Trying to get kids to believe that learning is it's own reward is to have a fundamental lack of understanding of kids."

I always find these types of statements strange. Children are born with a drive to learn, a curiousity about the world arround them. If that curiousity and thirst to learn is nutured and supported, they will and do find learning fun. 

Parents who "bribe" their kids send the message that the "end justifies the means".  They are not encouraging self-responsibility or long-term learning.

Avatar for jamblessedthree
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-23-2001
Sun, 09-22-2013 - 2:18pm
My kids have never been motivated by a bribe, It started at the two year old stage when I tried to bribe them with candy and such for potty training.. Not a chance with grades, They motivate themselves there actually and I shoot them kuddos for their efforts.

 

 

Avatar for jamblessedthree
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-23-2001
Sun, 09-22-2013 - 2:28pm

Children are born with a drive to learn, a curiousity about the world arround them. If that curiousity and thirst to learn is nutured and supported, they will and do find learning fun.

Parents who "bribe" their kids send the message that the "end justifies the means". They are not encouraging self-responsibility or long-term learning.

I agree with this. 

 

 

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