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Do you bribe your children to do well in school?

Posted by on Sep. 17, 2013 at 8:52 AM
  • 38 Replies

Mom Confession: I Bribe My Kid to Get Good Grades

by Julie Ryan Evans

homeworkTo bribe or not to bribe kids to do well in school -- that's the question. Actually, it's not a question in my house, because it's just what we do, but it's definitely the subject of plenty of debate among parents and experts.

Over at Today Moms, educational psychologist Michele Borba says research proves bribing doesn't work in the long term. "It has short-term gain, but long-term pain," she says. Great.

She says that children who learn to motivate themselves do the best.

It will backfire on the love of the subject, the internal motivation and creativity. That love of learning goes out, and instead what the child loves is cash and not the subject of the learning.

In theory, I get this, but when there are grades at stake, and there is no love being shown for the subjects at hand, I think getting results is most important. In an ideal world, my son would love to learn for learning's sake, and I truly thought he would. He was an early reader, fascinated by everything, and like a sponge when he was young. And then he wasn't. Now he wants to play with his friends, go outside, do anything but sit there and study after he's been at school all day doing the same.

Homework is the biggest parenting battle I've faced since potty training. He procrastinates, whines, sits on his head, and complains -- anything but sitting down to do his homework. I get sick of nagging and dread every afternoon ... or did.

Then we put up a star chart. He gets a star for each day he sits down and does his work without complaint (huffs and eye rolls are included). After 30 stars, he gets a reward. Guess how many homework battles we've had since putting up that chart? ZERO. So while it may not be the perfect way to get him to love learning, at least he's learning. At this point in the game, that's good enough for me, and I hope that love comes back at some point.

Borba's alternative to bribes is praise. And that's great, but you have to get to a point where there's actually something to praise. Sometimes that takes a bribe.

Do you bribe your children to do well in school?

by on Sep. 17, 2013 at 8:52 AM
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Replies (1-10):
by on Sep. 17, 2013 at 8:55 AM
2 moms liked this

I don't bribe my kids.  It's just expected of 'em to do their best.

by Anonymous 1 on Sep. 17, 2013 at 8:55 AM
No, expected to do well.
by Silver Member on Sep. 17, 2013 at 8:55 AM
1 mom liked this

NO we taught our boys school is your job. It will also be your ticket to the adult world. You will get out of it what you put into it. That will reflect greatly  on your career choices later in life. When my sons got to middle school we did contracts for school. Home work was never an issue. They knew if it wasn't done then they were done with sports for that season.

by on Sep. 17, 2013 at 10:15 AM

 No but they are punished if they are not doing well because of bad choices.  If they were to get a C because they did their best but it was hard I am not angry.  If the teacher says they understood the work and did well on the test but received a C because they didnt participate or do homework they are punished.

by Silver Member on Sep. 17, 2013 at 10:17 AM
We don't have to, our kids love school and they do well naturally. They are luckily very bright.
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by on Sep. 17, 2013 at 1:10 PM

Mine are only in preschool, but I don't plan to use bribes when they are older.

by Anonymous 2 on Sep. 17, 2013 at 1:50 PM
Yes. Our bribe is. If you don't do well, we won't keep you enrolled at your private school. That's our bribe. Because our kids are straight A students. It comes easy and they would have to just blatantly not try to get a bad grade. And private school is a privilege. It can and will be taken away if that happens.
by on Sep. 17, 2013 at 1:54 PM

No, luckily I havent ever needed to. But we do reward them with a little money or gift for a straight A report card!

by Silver Member on Sep. 19, 2013 at 9:46 AM

 I don't agree. I've seen research that shows money for good grades works. A bribe is something you give someone so that they will do something you want them to do. I don't bribe my kids, but I do give them money as a reward when they have a good report card. They work hard and look forward to the reward. We've told them that school is their job. Would anyone work who didn't get a paycheck?

by on Sep. 19, 2013 at 9:48 AM
No but I do take things away for D's and F's.
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