Should I reward my child for a good report card?
Real Mom Problem
“I'm super proud of my daughter's excellent grades, but I don't know if I should buy her something. Good grades are a requirement to me. I don't want her to think good grades mean new stuff, but I do want her to know how proud I am.”
- 1. Praise your kids for a job well done and for trying their best
- 2. Consider making your child's favorite meal, or dinner of his choosing, in honor of a great report card
- 3. Ask questions about what your kids are learning in school so they know you're interested and excited about it
Real Mom Solutions
We all want our kids to do well in school, but should they be rewarded for getting good grades? See what these moms have to say.
We Give Praise for Good Grades
Nope, good grades are expected and our kids know this clearly. We reward our children overall every day and when they really show a strong desire for something, we get it just because. But these are all things they know they will lose if the expectations aren't met. Our kids glow when we really praise them verbally, and tell them or maybe even say it's cause for a celebration and take them out to eat for a special treat, but that's because we can sit and discuss and gloat over them some more. Kids love and need that more than any gift, just my opinion.
We ask that she does her best. Good grades (which we classify as As, Bs, or Cs) earn her words of praise and congratulations. We teach her that lower grades just mean it is something we need to look at more closely to figure out how to help her improve them. Exceptional grades (straight As or an A+) don't get new objects or money, but may be rewarded with a special activity or being allowed to choose a special meal.
My children get words of praise for good grades, never gifts.
No, I don't believe in using bribery to get kids to do things. If they are capable of getting good grades, they will. We use encouragement and help them when they are struggling. When they do well, we tell them we are proud of them. Their reward is that pride and the knowledge that their future will be bright.
I don't give my daughter rewards for good grades. She gets words of praise from my husband and me.
I will always praise good grades but never give gifts or money. However, bad grades deserve a consequence.
We tell our kids how proud we are of them for getting good grades and we email the grades to family and post them on the fridge.
We Do Something Special to Celebrate
We reward for good grades in a celebratory way. We treat the end of the year with good grades as a mini graduation. We take our son out to dinner and maybe a movie of his choice.
There are several places around town that reward kids for good report cards. I use that as their special reward.
We took them to get ice cream and told them how proud we were. We expect good grades but will not reward them with gifts or money.
If my kids get a good report card, they get praised. If they get all As, they get a special day to do whatever they want. This year all three got straight As, and they agreed they want a spa/movie day.
No money or extra stuff for good grades. We have taken them out to dinner a couple of times but we don't do it all the time. We talk about how proud of them we are.
I see nothing wrong with a little reward, like getting an ice-cream sundae at DQ or something. It's okay to let your daughter know how proud you are of her.
If my daughter gets a good report card, she gets a girls' day with mommy. Starbucks, some shopping (usually for stuff she needs anyway like socks, panties, shoes), and if I have extra money, we get pedicures. I don't expect all As. I expect her to do her best and have good behavior.
If my kids bring home a good report card they get to choose an outing. This year my kids decided that they wanted to go to McDonald's to celebrate another great year of school on their last day. We don't eat out often so this was a treat for them.
We don't really give money or gifts for good grades, but every once in a while we'll take our daughter out to the arcade or for dinner.
We Give Rewards for Good Grades
I absolutely do reward for good grades. It's an extra incentive for my son to make sure that he does his best at all times, because he knows that come report card time he can look forward to something he enjoys. Don't we teach that hard work pays off in the end? It only makes sense in my mind to reward all the hard work that he does throughout the year.
At a job, if you keep up the good work, you'll get a bonus. My dad paid me for my grades. It started out as $1 for an A, 50 cents for a B, nothing for a C, and I had to pay him for Ds or Fs. If I got straight As, I got double. As I got older, the amount increased. I graduated in the top 10% of my class, four years perfect attendance, and had a 3.75 cumulative GPA.
In elementary school, I paid my son for Os (outstanding) in effort. "Satisfactory" is expected, and "needs improvement" in effort would mean consequences. In middle school, they don't give effort grades, so I did pay him for As. Bs are expected and less than a C means loss of privileges (if my son struggled, I would do things differently, but he's bright and more than capable of all As and Bs). I'll do the same with my daughter when she starts first grade next year. My father-in-law gives the kids $20 for their report cards. My daughter wanted Twinkle Toes sneakers last year and this year, so she used her money and I made up the extra when she got her good report card.
I bought my son a $10 gift for good grades and we took him to his favorite place, IHOP. I actually buy toys throughout the year when they're really cheap and stash for various holidays and whatnot, so I just pulled something out of my closet and gave it to him. Of course I do expect good behavior and grades, but if I'm willing to give consequences (like taking away TV and video games) for bad behavior or grades, I should fulfill the opposite and reward when he does well. Heck, I'm 27 and in college and my parents gave me four dollars, one for each A I got last semester! I laughed hysterically, but they still reward me.
Good grades are expected. Great grades are rewarded. That was my household growing up, and I thought it was a good system.
For good grades, I'll do more for my oldest like get her nails done and a new outfit. My second oldest likes books so I'll get her a new book. My twin girls who are nine years old like sports stuff. So, yeah, every nine weeks for As and Bs, I'll do it. They all had As for the whole year and no days missed so I let them have a pool party and have their friends over. If that's all it takes, I'll do it.
I'm in school finishing my B.S. I'm a straight A student and even when I get verbal praise from my professors on an A test or something, I always feel so much better about myself and it makes me want to strive harder and harder every time so the professor isn't disappointed in me. I'm going to do that with my son and maybe take him to his favorite place for dinner, give him a few bucks for an outstanding report card (requirement is that half of the money goes into savings or a charity and half he's allowed to keep).
We Reward on a Case-by-Case Basis
I was always expected to get good grades but I was also always rewarded for getting them. I used to get $20 for an A, $10 for a B, $5 for a C. Then if I got a D I got $5 deducted and if I got an F I got $20 deducted. I always got straight As but not because of the money even though that made me excited when my report card came in. I loved school and I always got straight As and thus I was rewarded with about $100 every report card. I am also going to be doing a grading system with my daughter and any future children I may have, but as of right now it won't be that much money since I can't afford that much myself, but that's beside the point. It makes a difference when kids are rewarded for good behavior instead of just being punished for the bad stuff. Makes them strive to be good, in my opinion.
We generally don't give rewards for good grades, but our son really struggled in school this year, grade-wise and maturity-wise. My husband said if he could pull it together, he'd get him an Xbox. I was very opposed to it. He brought up his grades and the behavior part of his report card was his best ever.
A single A doesn't get a gift, like on one test, one class. A report card full of As is something to celebrate about, though. Or if your kid is struggling in a class and stayed up late studying for nights and brought home an A when they're usually a B student, you're rewarding the extra mile put into it. But not every single A through the year requires a gift. I'd say just report cards themselves or very particular As!
For our middle child, getting As is easy so he gets word of praise and dinner. Our oldest has been struggling for a while and so when he brought his grades up from Ds and Fs to two Cs, I talked to my husband and we're going to try to buy him something nice. My daughter finished kindergarten with high grades and she got to go for ice cream with her grandparents. Getting your child something to let them know how proud you are isn't a big deal. For this coming year, I told my husband that I will have the "good grades" closet. I'm going to buy a bunch of small toys and other items, wrap them up, and store them. For each A they get $1.00; Bs are $.50; Cs are $.25. For Ds and Fs, you lose $.25. Then they can go "shopping" at home in the "good grades" closet.
I reward my kids for good grades and for doing things that I know they did not want to do. However, it is random and a means to encourage in areas that they struggle in so they do not give up.