It's A Recession, Can You Afford An A Student?
By Yesha Callahan on September 14, 2009
BlogHer Original Post
Unlike my sisters and my brother, I looked forward to bringing home my report card every marking period. A great report card to me, meant more money in my pockets. Every "A" I received was worth $5, every "B" was worth $3, and anything below that was worth a big goose egg! So to say that I strived every marking period to gain "A"s in every subject was an understatement. It wasn't even something that I had to work that hard towards either. Academics were something I never struggled with as a kid, but my siblings on the other hand, were complete opposites.
As much as my mother bribed them for good grades, they really didn't put much value into it. It wasn't that they weren't smart, but in my opinion, they were lazy and on top of that, money wasn't something that motivated them. Sure, they got jealous when they saw me walking away with extra spending money at the end of each marking period, but extra money to them meant extra work.
In my household, just as I don't pay my son to do chores around the house, I don't pay for good grades either. It's well known that there are some things that are expected of you. You don't get rewarded for things that you should already be doing. Chores and grades, are just two examples of that. I've taught my son that when you go above and beyond what's expected of you, that's when you can reap the benefits of being rewarded, which he has no issues with.
When he does bring home sub-par grades, I make sure to discuss with him the expectations that I have of him, and to also let him discuss the expectations he holds for himself. I explained to him that no one should strive for mediocrity, and it's never rewarded.
If money is rewarded for grades, when does it end?
I remember in college, a classmate of mine bragged about how her parents paid her bringing for home a great GPA at the end of each semester. What they didn't know is that she was infamous for cheating. So they were actually paying her for someone else's hard work. I'm sure what she was doing started earlier on in her education.
I think when you reward children for things they should already be doing, you're establishing bad precedents, which aren't so easily broken. Reward a child for going that extra mile, for example, winning a Science Fair contest, but getting good grades should be a given.