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Do you bribe your children to do well in school?

Posted by on Sep. 18, 2013 at 5:19 PM
  • 14 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. 18, 2013 at 5:19 PM
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Replies (1-10):
jessie0221
by on Sep. 18, 2013 at 5:26 PM

I have before with my 7yo son.  He quit trying in school and was sinking super fast in spelling so i offered him $5 for every A on a test and $3 for every B.  Within the week he wwas acing every single test and by the end of the school year he had almost $50.  This year I have not offered the incentive but he is still performing amazingly well.  I have always stressed the importance of doing their best and I have never placed an emphasis on perfection.  He just needed a little kick in the rear to get his motivation back.

Pnukey
by Bronze Member on Sep. 18, 2013 at 7:51 PM
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No. Instead, there are consequences when (if it ever happens) they don't do well. So far, we haven't had to discover what those consequences are, but with mommy (me) as a teacher, I can come up with some doozies.

KylesMom409
by Linnette on Sep. 18, 2013 at 9:10 PM
No I don't. Luckily, so far, DS enjoys school and likes to do well on his work. He's only in 1st grade so I'm hoping he continues to feel that way about it.
Jinxed8
by Gold Member on Sep. 19, 2013 at 10:44 AM

No I don't ... I praise her very much for good report cards we call my MIL and my mother to let them know about her grades and they praise her too - that is major important for her.   At the end of the school year I buy her a present for all her hard work.  She has not had bad grades as of yet.

bzzybeemomof3
by on Sep. 19, 2013 at 11:01 AM

 Nope, never in a million years would I do that.

I want my kids to do well because they want to do well. Education is so important and they know this. My oldest dd struggles and is SN so bribing would not even come into play.

My 5 yr old is in JK (which in Ontario) is junior kindergarten (second year of kinder) and I wont bribe her either when it comes to school. She is the opposite of her sister though, she does not have to try to do well (lucky little shit) lol she just does well (so far) lol

 

Pukalani79
by Kris on Sep. 19, 2013 at 11:28 AM

 I dont typically bribe them, but I do occassionally.  For the most part, my kids do pretty well without it

LuvHugs429
by Gold Member on Sep. 19, 2013 at 1:09 PM

Nope, don't believe in it. They are always talking about how when they grow up they want a nice house and really nice cars and I always tell them if they want those things they have to do well in school, go to a good College and get a good job and save their money. It's worked so far but my kids are 11 and 8.5.


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12yrmama
by Bronze Member on Sep. 19, 2013 at 1:18 PM
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 Same thing here, I'm a teacher as well.

Mine's 13 so I've had to follow through a few times. He pays me a dollar for every assignment he forgets to write down. He loses TV and computer if he hides a bad grade. This year is the worst start EVER. So I'll let you know if these consequences work.


Quoting Pnukey:

No. Instead, there are consequences when (if it ever happens) they don't do well. So far, we haven't had to discover what those consequences are, but with mommy (me) as a teacher, I can come up with some doozies.


 

JennasMom2
by Bronze Member on Sep. 19, 2013 at 1:36 PM

No. I always encourage her to do her best, she gets rewarded for good grades. Bribing her goes against everything I've taught her. You earn success. There's a right path and a wrong path, she decides which one to be on. You either get rewarded or you face consequences. 

mrsary
by Silver Member on Sep. 19, 2013 at 1:37 PM
Not really.
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