Monday, March 09, 2009

bribing the kids

blake asked me this morning what i was going to give him if he got all A's on his report card. i think i laughed and then said something like "i dunno. a HUG. what the heck do you mean?" and then he informed me that his friends at school get $50 bucks if they get straight a's.
FIFTY BUCKS!
i definitely laughed at that. and then i told him that i was not going to pay him to get good grades. i informed my little wanter face that he should get good grades all on his own. that it is his JOB to work hard and get the best grades he can. and that i'm not going to reward that with money.

i did tell him that if he brought home all a's, we'd go out to dinner, to wherever he wanted and maybe we'd get ice cream. i'm a big spender.

i believe in rewarding your kid for certain things. but paying them for stuff they should do? i mean, shouldn't they try to get a's in school? that's like me giving him money for going to bed at night. thanks for going to sleep blake, here's 5 bucks.

do you pay your kids for good grades? if not, what DO you bribe them to do?

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

In the work world you only get extra money for getting "All A's (hitting 100%+ in quota)" if you are in sales.

You could show him how doing what he is supposed to gets him a paycheck which he has to use for bills and food just like a grown up. So give him the $50 buck and make him take the family to dinner somewhere that it will cost $40 to $60. Then he gets the $50 but a good real world lesson.

Karen Sugarpants said...

I'm with you Jenn - no way.

NGS said...

This was a huge deal when I was in school. I was just grateful my dad didn't smack me for an A- and other people were getting $10 for each A on their report card!! I'm glad to know that the tradition is still going strong.

David said...

Some public school systems are also starting to pay students for good grades, good attendence, good test scores, etc. The NY Times recently had an article on the debate about such incentive programs.

Krystle said...

Though I don't have kids, I completely agree. I never got money for getting A's in school (which was rare, ha!) and I don't intend to give it to my kids either.

What happened to the simplicity factor of just trying to do good in school for your own good?! Everything revolves around money nowadays.

Christ.

Scientific Lutheran said...

I didn't get an allowance, in any form, but within reason, whatever I wanted I got. If it was really expensive, or really unneccessary, mom would make me help CLEAN the house, including getting on your hands and knees and scrubbing the kitchen and bathroom floors.

But even at that, it was expected that we would help clean the house and make/clean up dinner. That was just part of living in a house.

Alison said...

If it works for you and your child, I say go for it. My dad gave me $20 per A until he figured out that I was going to get A's whether he bribed me or not. A little incentive is fine (out to dinner, to a game, etc.) but the most important thing is that your child is earning the grades because he/she wants to and not because you're paying them. And trust me, I have students in my class who could give two shits about the $10 or whatever---they aren't going to do their homework and that's that.

Karen said...

My parents absolutely gave us rewards for doing well in school. I thought that was normal. At work when you do well, you get a bonus, why not a child and grades?

I'm Still Me said...

My mom gave me the same answer when I was in Blake's shoes (although back then I think it was about $10 my friend was getting). I agree. If you're ever interested, I know someone who did a program on NPR on the subject of bribery parenting.

Twenty Four At Heart said...

We've never paid our kids for their grades and it's a good thing ... we'd be broke. They all are good students. HOWEVER ... my neighbor pays her kids $25 PER A!! Yes, I know - I live in Orange County and it's all about money here. I've heard of up to $50 per A. We take the kids out for dinner or buy them an ice cream at the end of the school year to celebrate school being done and their "hard work."

Damn, I wish somebody would pay me for doing the laundry!

jennster said...

karen- i want to work where you're working cause i sure as shit don't get a bonus for doing well, for saving the company THOUSANDS of dollars, or ANYTHING.
i think positive rewards are one thing, but 50 fucking dollars for A's? at a time when kids do not understand the conecpt of money as it is? ha

Chris O said...

I got paid for my grades when I was a kid. It was a great incentive for me. And I pay my kids. Of course my son is not an over acheiver so he doesn't break the parent bank but my youngest gets all A's all the time. She gets a lot less per A than her brother since she is in middle school. My kids have used their grade money to buy video game systems, ipods, expensive label clothes, etc. The things it would take forever to save for, as I won't buy them these things. They get something for an "A" or less for a "B".

I do have expectations so it's not all about the money. They get nothing for a "C". Anything less than a "C", they pay me.

Anonymous said...

I have to side with Karen. We (thankfully) are still awarded pretty nice bonuses in the workplace. I was also paid for good grades. Granted, I was a good student to begin with, but we earned money for a good GPA. Part of the money had to go into savings, so in a way it also taught me plenty about the concept of money.

Mayberry said...

My parents used to give me one Smurf for each A. That was awesome.

My kids' crunchy school doesn't give letter grades -- so I'm off the hook for now. But I don't think I'd reward with $$.

Gini said...

We take our kids out to dinner - restaurant of their choice when report cards come home. As far as bribing - my daughter swims competetively and I sure do admit to bribing her with cash (sometimes a lot of cash) when she swims races against someone I think she should beat.....SHAME ON ME!

Meg said...

I never got anything for good grades -- it was expected of me. I had friends that got huge amounts of money and I never understood it.

I know there are situations in which kids need that extra push to make better grades, but there should be some better reward than money. Self-satisfaction, anyone?

I like the going to dinner idea. That way Blake can see that you're proud of him, but he won't be expecting a paycheck. I think he'll be better equipped to handle the "real world" with you as a parent!

Apryl's Antics said...

I have started paying my children for grades and I don't consider it bribery. I make sure to reinforce the concept that a good job gets rewarded. If I do a good job, I get paid for it. Why not set the same standards for them? I believe it helps them understand that we all end up working for what we want.

BTW, it is totally working, my daughter's school work has improved significantly. She just needed to see a bigger result for her efforts. The A just wasn't enough.

Every kid is different, so I say whatever works.

texas math said...

In the work world, you get a raise, bonus, etc for going above and beyond what your job description entails.

So when I work hard to further the company's goals, I damn hell ass better get paid!

I don't think getting A's is cause to earn a reward, but if those A's were particularly tough to get, or if there was improvement from one report card to the next, I'd definitely reward him.

(Conversely, if I sit here and comment on blogs all day, I'd probably get fired. Can you fire your kid for getting F's?)

Dan said...

Don't think of it as bribing. Think of it as rewarding him for all his hard work. Is it your job to work hard at work? Do you get paid? See?

My parents used to give us $1 per A on our report cards. The money didn't go far, but it was nice to know my hard work deserved a reward.

Kevin Charnas said...

I think that you should BEAT HIS ASS if he DOESN'T get "A's".

I'd be all, "Blake. Get A's or get your ass beat. And if you're REALLY fucking lucky, you get to eat before bed tonight."

corrin said...

We were never promised anything and we never expected anything for doing what kids are SUPPOSED to do (get good grades, finish our chores). That means we didn't get an allowance, either.

Our parents did surprise us with things for a job well done (spending money, dinner out, taking us and friends to the movies).

I have a ton of little cousins, and they all expect things that used to be big treats for us as kids, and I think it's the parents fault for either offering those things up or giving in when the kids ask. Those kids are going to be in for a rude awakening when they get to the real world and no one gives a rats ass about their entitlement issues.

jennster said...

first of all, i'm loving the diversity of these comments. y'all feel strongly about paying for grades (or not).

i guess i don't associate the kids doing their schoolwork with having a grown up job. i mean, if you want to put it that way, then the money they "earn" for their grades, should pay for things they want (sort of like first anon said). like food. and clothes. and part of the bills. i think it's unrealistic to associate going to elementary school with being in the real world. and i definitely think there is a difference between what we reward our kids to do, and what we expect of them (sort of like what 2nd anon said about getting paid for grades, but part of it had to go into savings).

i mean, if we pay them for the things they SHOULD be doing anyway, are we just totally creating a world of entitled kids? like corrin said, they're going to feel like they are owed things every step of the way. i guess it's a fine line and no 2 people raise their children exactly the same way, but paying them just to pay them.. i'm not into that at all. i didn't get paid for getting good grades when i grew up. i didn't realize it was even an option. and i always tried hard to get straight a's. i think that kids need to learn that NOT all work is rewarded. i don't get rewarded for everything i do right and well. and while so many of you have talked about raises and bonuses, there are many people out there who bust their asses daily at there jobs and do NOT get bonuses.. and are lucky at times to even get a raise. i guess that goes along too with expecting things. you work hard and you expect to be rewarded for it. but i don't think the real world always works that way.

i will admit that i LOVE LOVE LOVE the idea of if you're going to pay them for good grades, then they should pay you for the bad ones. HA. that is awesome.

AND.... here's what we're doing with blake, which kind of goes along the lines of what texas math and apryl briefly touched upon... blake keeps gettings N's in these 2 areas of the classroom. he got an N last sememster and he got them again this semester. obviously, his behavior is not improving. so we told him that if he did not improve his rating for the end of the year, he would have "this" as a punishment. of course, the flip side is that there is also a reward if he does change the behavior. the reward will not be money, but it will be something fun like a day at the amusement park, or something blake wants, etc. so he has incentive to change- he doesn't want the punishment and he wants the reward. (this reminds me of when i kept getting excessive talkings in school. my mom told me if i got even 1 on the next report card, i was NOT going to the new kids on the block concert. of course, the reward was GETTING to go, but yeah. that was motivation. i wanted my joey mcintyre.)

i think that if your child is really struggling or battling with something, sometimes they need motivation to improve. i agree with that. especially when you are seeing how hard they are working. i guess i just think there is a difference between rewarding your child for the hard work they are doing, and just rewarding them for the work they are expected to do.

Don't Lick The Ferrets! said...

Um, no. If he gets good grades, he gets to choose an activity and who gets to go. Dinner and a movie with mom. The museum with mom, partner and sister. A party at home...we celebrate, but I don't believe in PAYING a kid to get good grades.

Daddy Dan said...

Oops, I think you accidentally put your new post in the comments.

And don't be calling my analogies umrealistic, you punk!

jennster said...

dan-
shutup fucker.

that's what i'm going to tell blake next time he asks for money for a's. HA

jennster said...

dan- i meant that in the nicest way. you know i'm fucking around right?! damn sarcasm does NOT come through on this here fancy internet sometimes. lol

Erika Jurney said...

There's a difference between a bonus at work and paying kids for good grades. Adults have already matured, hopefully, and learned the lessons of childhood.

Paying kids for grades is just another example of treating kids like small adults. Just because adults get rewarded with money, does not mean the same is good for kids.

Andie said...

I did not get money when i got good grades. my reward was knowing that I would get somewhere later on. I agree with you 100% jen. I would think that by doing it, kids will expect it, and then if something happens where the parents can't afford it anymore or something, the kids will throw a hissy because they aren't getting the $$ anymore.

There is definitely a fine line. Maybe start out with $50 in an "account" for him. Tell him if he MAINTAINS all A's and Satisfactory Conduct, for the year, then you'll put $50 in his savings account. That way, you can teach the value of the dollar for the future? I don't know. Hard to say.

I just know that I know some people who have parents that have given them everything and they still expect to be bailed out by their parents and they are in their 30's!

Nutmeg said...

I was the recipient of monetary incentives. My parents paid us for grades on a tiered system...the highest amount was for an A. I also got paid to babysit my own siblings, as long as the house was clean when my parents got home. I don't think monetary incentives alone is going to mess up a child. My parents used these as opportunities to teach us great work ethics, the importance of practical spending and saving skills, and charitable donations for the less fortunate.

Jerri Ann said...

I've had this conversation many times as of late. I mean, it is a proven fact (and please don't make me go find the research) that when we continuously reward a child for doing things, we contribute to a addictive personality.

With that, I'm not rewarding my 4.5 year old for going to the potty. I mean, it's not like he is going but we do know that he has some problems and all the rewards in the world wouldn't get him there.

I'm not rewarding them for going to bed or anything else that is a natural expectation such as "going to bed" or "making good grades".....

Going out to eat and letting them choose the place, yea, good idea, $50 that's absolutely ridiculous in my opinion.

cat said...

I never have rewarded them with money for grades--hell no. Id be poor-they both have always done well. There was a few years where Ryan was a straight A student. But I do make it a special dessert night or something.

Spidey said...

I remember that for a little while my grandpa would give us like $1 for an A, but he soon realized that me and my cousins were too smart and he didn't have much money. My parents never gave me shit because it was expected of me, and I never needed that motivation.

I have no idea what I will do with Elena, but I imagine that I will not pay her to get As, because I will probably expect it. Then again, I'll bribe her with pretty much anything I can think of at this point so who knows. lol