I Pay for Grades

Jane wants a new computer. She doesn’t want any old computer, she very specifically wants a new MacBook. Her current MacBook is a three year old computer.

Cry me a river.

The reality is that the kids get a fair amount of “group work”, and they’re all on macs. Last night Jane and her classmate used screenshare for about an hour to work on a spreadsheet together. The computer is an important tool in her academic career.

Another reality is that the one she has isn’t really “broken” and I have a hard time spending a thousand dollars on a computer for a kid who has one already.

Here’s the deal we made. Jane’s school has an Honor Roll and a Dean’s List. A 90% weighted GPA will land you a spot on the Honor Roll, and a 93% weighted GPA will get you the Dean’s List. I told Jane that if she makes the Dean’s List I’ll buy the computer for her to use and that she can keep the computer for as long as she stays on the Dean’s List.

Here’s the way I see it. When I do my job well I get paid. When I don’t do a good job I don’t get paid much.

Some Moms have been horrified, “You pay for grades?”

Well. Yeah.

Facebook Comments

Comments 22

  1. we totally got paid for grades – you made the honour roll? great, here are tickets to the Police concert. cum laude? a pearl necklace, etc

    worked great

  2. Paying for grades? It depends on the child. Some kids respond well to bribes others, not so much. I see it this way, I clean house, cook, and run errands for free. My kiddos must produce good grades because they will end up on the street when they turn 21 if they don’t. ;) I feel that children need to know that you are not always rewarded for doing your best but you do it regardless. It gives them a sense of pride.

  3. I pay for grades and not the least bit ashamed to admit it. The way I look at it, doing well in school is their job… their ONLY job. We don’t pay for doing chores because frankly, I don’t get paid to do the dishes and their dad and I aren’t the only ones living and messing things up so keeping the house running is something everyone has to pitch in and help with but school is their job and if they do it well, I’m more than happy to pay for it.

  4. My husband’s father did the same thing. My husband is smart. Wasn’t particularly motivated in high school. His father told him that for every point above say an 85, he’d get $1 per point for every major subject. It worked.

    Both sets of grandparents and my mother rewarded for report cards, but not to that degree.

    Already my daughters teachers reward for good behavior and the like, and she’s three… so, rewarding good grades seems like a natural progression.

  5. I don’t pay for grades because I think that they are worthless. If there were a uniform standard I might feel comfortable doing so, but there isn’t and so I find it to be an exercise in futility.

  6. My parents did – much in the same way you are doing. I was rewarded with my good grade with such things as trips to various places both domestically and internationally, new cloths or shoes – it all evened itself out. If there was something I “wanted” then I earned it. Ultimately, in the end, what I earned, was a spot at a very nice college. It works itself out.

    Like someone previously said, I think it boils down to semantics. Are you paying for grades? Rewarding for grades? Or, perhaps are you encouraging and facilitating a behavior and actions that you want? Either way, you are getting the results you want. And, beside, Jane is the one that is really benefiting from this in the long run anyway. Good grades = good college = good job (or, something like that, right?)

  7. My parents paid for grades, although they needed to start a savings account for me because I always got A’s & was on the Honor Roll. I’ll pay for grades too. Kids need incentive sometimes. Isn’t it better for them to WORK for their spoils rather than just have it handed to them?

  8. I didn’t know you could buy a MAC anything for a thousand dollars. My husband looked at MAC Books and they were all over 2 thousand dollars. Where are you finding them for just a thousand? I’d like to look into getting one if they are that cheap. Hell I paid almost $1500 for a regular old Toshiba.

  9. …When I was a kid…not failing was my reward for doing well. If I failed to succeed at school, one day I would be 18 & on the street. My mother loved me…helped me excel when she could…but we are very much a “you made your bed…” kind of family. If I set myself up for failure, that’s what I’d be. My mom’s suggestion would have been the military. ;)

    I kind of see this as “enabling”. You convince yourself that it’s okay b/c she “needs” it or it’s “useful” and you go along with it. If she needed it that badly you just get it for her…if she doesn’t make the Dean’s list…and she doesn’t get a new computer, then she must not need it that badly, correct?

    There are some things you just do b/c in the end you’re only hurting yourself. If she doesn’t get good grades…she’ll have less opportunities.

  10. Oh…but we were also dirt poor…so we knew how important an education was & there was no way in Hell my mother could afford to bribe 4 kids to do something they were required by law to do. ;)

  11. We started paying for grades when my extremely bright son realized that C’s could be attained without studying or doing homework. I told the kids I would pay them $5 fo each A. Getting an A in this school district isn’t easy. It is a 93 and up. The first year, I only paid my son $15. Out of 4 grading periods he only got 3 A’s. All of those were in band. My youngest on the other hand earned $115. The other two were somewhere between $50-$100. The second year he doubled his earnings, and the youngest only received one B. The other two did equally as well. Paying my kids for grades may cause me to go broke, but when they are older I think they will thank me. Plus they are learning a good work ethic. I agree school is their job and if they do it well they should be compensated.

  12. Looks like I’ll be going against the tide of opinion on this one! I don’t believe in paying for grades or chores. Although, that statement comes with a fairly large disclaimer – I don’t have school age children, so I very well may eat my words at some later date. But, I was never paid for chores or grades. And I never had a problem staying on the honour roll. And the next thing is going to make me sound really, really old but I think that too many rewards puts the focus on the rewards and less on the joys of learning. Yes, I’m a geek. And I’ll probably have non-geek children. Because I might not have school age children but I do know that children of any age love to make an ass out of you.

    1. I have a school aged child who is still in a low enough grade that they don’t even DO As yet. I wondered about that, too…but I just kind of went back to how my mom did things. If I did well…I passed. If I didn’t do well…then it would only be MY fault that I didn’t succeed and eventually it would bite me in the ass. I got paid to babysit my siblings…but that was about the only “chore” I got paid to do. Otherwise, chores were things you did b/c you lived in a house with other people. ;)

    2. Here’s the thing… rewards aren’t necessarily “if you do this you GET this” at a young age… My daughter is in an early intervention program. Her teachers may reward (for doing a harder activity) by tickling or letting her hold something that is highly motivating for her or doing a sensory activity… which also happens to be something that she requires.

  13. No. No payment here for grades. It is of the ‘what is expected’ portion of our children. Both have their own computers and Ipads purchased in aid of their education, but not in a ‘gifting’ sort of fashion. I think that there is a huge difference between paying out for ‘passing grades’ and paying out for a big academic achievement. And if your child possesses the maturity to handle a token of that size, who is really being bribed? Now, if you were offering up 1200 cash, thats a whole different story.

  14. I don’t know if we’ll pay for grades or not. It depends on the kids. Getting paid has not been shown to work in studies done by the University of Chicago, but that’s also not the same socioeconomic situation. So my thoughts are that you have already put a whole bunch of knowledge and “stuff” into your kids that this is just an ourcropping of a larger teaching structure rather than you just out of nowhere deciding to pay for grades.

  15. Pingback: The Saddest Compliment in the World | Jessica Gottlieb

  16. Pingback: Dear Mommy Bloggers: Parenting Doesn’t End at Four | Jessica Gottlieb A Los Angeles Mom

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *