Should You Bribe Your Kids...

Avatar for cmkristy
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-05-2005
Should You Bribe Your Kids...
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

“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?-

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

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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: 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: 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.