I’m curious about something. Do y’all pay your kids for good grades? I wasn’t ever paid or rewarded for getting good grades. It was expected of me, and I barely got a pat on the back. I was supposed to do my homework and get As. I don’t remember getting in trouble for bad grades, but then again, I don’t remember getting bad grades. I was a true follower to the nth degree, not wanting to disappoint my parents or teachers. It didn’t even dawn on me to screw up.
When our son started sixth grade, turning in homework was an issue. Unlike elementary school, no one told him to turn it in. I know. I agree with y’all. After doing the assignment, wouldn’t you want to turn it in for credit? I’m not sure if it’s a boy thing, a middle school thing, or a my-kid thing, but he eventually got a grip and turned in his assignments. Fortunately, he wasn’t failing for not handing over the worksheets, because his test grades were great. Unfortunately, that fact made motivation a challenge.
The Girl is a different story. If she gets a slightly bad grade on anything, she cries. I’d say she’s like me in that regard, but I didn’t care that much. I wanted to make everyone happy, but I got over it with a little less coercing. She’s figuring it out, and at a much faster clip than her brother.
I’m fundamentally anti paying for grades. As we’ve always told our kids, you have a job; it’s to go to school and get good grades. The paycheck is happy parents and teachers. If you ask The Boy, he’ll say that’s technically two jobs, but whatever. He’d also say he’s preparing for an early retirement.
Finding an effective currency seems to be one of the keys to good (read: easier) parenting. Some kids respond to calm, normal conversations. Some need tangible consequences. One of our many jobs as parents is to discern the best one for our kids, right?
Back to the issue of not turning in assignments. He’s mostly better about it, but The Boy still “forgets” to turn things in from time to time. When school started this year, I was determined to make eighth grade as stress-free as possible for him. Okay, for me. For every assignment not completed, he would pay me 5 dollars. Easy fix, or so it seemed to me. His first reaction? “Mama, I’ll go broke.” How about doing your homework, kiddo?
He offered to pay me $20 one evening, because he had four assignments due the following day and didn’t feel like doing them. Nice try. Smart? Yes, but he clearly missed the point. I can’t be bought.
Or can I? I’m offering to pay him, if his grades are good. I had to extend the same to her, in the spirit of being fair, but she will earn her money. Giving them a payment plan, for report cards only, is an insurance policy for Dad and Mama, and by insure, I really mean ensure. It will ensure a better report card. I hope.
I’m still not entirely sure about rewarding for good grades. The jury is out. I know it won’t last forever, and we’ve told our kids as much. Having them pay me for zeroes on homework. I’m inching closer to a new pair of boots. I wouldn’t say I don’t want them to do their homework, but…