Ministry of Education, Guyana

Should Kids Get Rewarded for Getting Good Grades in School?

Grades are a point of contention for many parents and their kids. Most parents want their children to do the best they can and get high marks, while some kids might not care about grades. If you want to encourage your child to get the best grades she can, it might be tempting to pay her for them. Weighing the pros and cons of this method can help you decide if it's right for your family.

The biggest benefit of paying your kids to get good grades is that it motivates them to do their homework and study for tests. In many cases, kids are intelligent enough to do well, but lack the drive to get things done. A paycheck when report cards come or when tests are handed back can be a powerful way to encourage your child to do his best.

The drawbacks of paying kids to get good grades are far higher in number than the benefits. Getting a paycheck might work well in the beginning, but your child may come to expect money for good grades, which means you'll only be able to get her to work hard if you hand over the dollars every time. For kids who have trouble getting organized and grasping new concepts, paying them for the end result won't have much effect on their overall grades, notes personal finance journalist Beth Kobliner in the Huffington Post. This is because they aren't being taught the skills they need to get good grades, such as time management and study techniques. Kids who come from wealthy families and regularly receive money of their own might not care enough about a little bit extra to do the work required to get good grades.

How Much?
How much you pay your child for his good grades is up to you. Many experts recommend a decreasing amount, with the highest dollar amount for the best grades. Other methods include paying a set amount for acceptable grades when report cards come or offering a designated number for straight "A's." Some parents offer monetary rewards for raising grades in certain subjects or for passing tests worth a lot of points. Talk to your child about what he feels is fair and what might increase his motivation to work harder.

There are plenty of ways to encourage and reward your child for good grades without pulling out your checkbook. Rewarding a good grade on a test or essay with praise and a high-five is effective for motivating your child to do well the next time around. Going out for a celebratory meal or other activity is effective as well. Help your child feel competent by helping her study and do homework or getting her extra assistance from a tutor. Knowing she can do it is often enough of a motivational factor to help her get good grades.


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