While it is important to encourage children to succeed in school, some practices such as giving cash rewards for grades really send the wrong message. It is never easy to know the right thing to do if your child is struggling with academics. Sometimes we as parents are tempted to take the easy way out. Giving money for grades may seem like a quick answer to this problem. Most parents have been guilty of at least considering this idea at some point in their child’s school years.
A child needs to learn that good grades are the reward for their efforts. Good grades are much more than just a letter or number. They show the child just how far they have come and give them the gratification of knowing that they have accomplished this on their own. Their self esteem and confidence will grow along with their grades.
Giving a child money for grades sends the message that grades can be bought. When they get out of school and into real life no one will pay cash for most of their accomplishments. They will come to expect payment for everything they do and will be disappointed when this do not happen. They will not value work done just for the pleasure of doing a job well. They may even come to feel that they are a failure if they aren’t getting paid for all of their accomplishments.This would rob them of such an important part of their life. Most adults need to feel as if what they do in life has value other than the monetary reward.
Teachers measure their job value by knowing they help children learn, doctors have the important feeling that goes with healing others, fire fighters understand the joy of saving lives, vets and zookeepers know the feeling of protecting helpless animals, librarians get the satisfaction of helping others learn to read and parents know what it is to be a part of the process in what is arguably the most important job in the world. Just imagine if these individuals would only do these jobs if money was the only motivation. What a mess!
Children need encouragement in life and staying positive about grades is important. If a child does their best and a C is the best they get, parents should let them know this is o.k. Striving to be the best they can be is what is most important, not striving to be the best over everyone else. Having a straight A student is a wonderful feeling but it is nothing compared to having a happy well adjusted child who loves their life and themselves.