Hi all! Today’s vlog tackles the issue of cash for grades: thumbs up or thumbs down, mamas and papas?
Like any parent, I want to motivate my kids to do their best. Question is: what is the best way to do this and is giving out a cash reward helpful or damaging over the long term?
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On a global level, some countries have experimented with rewarding good grades with cash compensation. Meanwhile, in the parenting world, writers like Ron Leiber are exploring how talking about money with our kids can be so awkward for us! Yet even though we might not want our kids to know how much our car cost or what we earn, for many of us growing up, linking cash with success was the norm and an “A” meant a dollar or a toy or a special candy. When I was little, my mom took us to a special neighborhood book store and we got to pick out a book.
My kids are still too young for grades. They do get report cards, but I don’t even think they know that they get them! Their report cards spell out how they are doing and where there is room for improvement. I prefer my kids don’t know that there is any sort of formal evaluation process so I’ve never told them about their report cards…
So we’re too young still for formal grades, yet my current thinking is that even when they are old enough to get formal grades, I will try not to start paying for grades? Why? A few reasons…
Number one, I want my kids to learn how good it feels to just work really hard on something and do your best. I get so much satisfaction out of that myself and I want my kids to experience that too. Second, I want them to love learning because I know this will really add to their happiness. So if they’ve worked hard and had an amazing time learning something, but don’t end up with a top-notch grade (meaning no cash reward) what am really saying to them? That they failed? Did they really fail or did they have a great learning experience? For these reasons, I hesitate about paying for grades.
I’m also thinking that often you work really hard on something in life and don’t immediately do well or succeed and it takes time and perseverance to get there. Such has been my experience with CloudMom actually and I talk about that a bit more in the vlog.
For more on why I’m thinking NOT paying kids for good grades is the way to go, watch my vlog.
And please weigh in: do you pay for grades or not? What are your reasons and how has it worked out thus far?