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10 Reasons You Shouldn't Pay Your Child for Good Grades

Once You Start It's Hard to Stop

Giving your child a nickel or a dollar for all A’s on their report card in kindergarten is much different than forking over a $20 bill every time they do well on a test in high school. So, if you start rewarding your child for good grades from a young age and then suddenly stop when you feel they’re older enough to take on the responsibility themselves, they’re likely to do worse. Since there’s no longer a prize for their hard work it’s possible they’ll stop seeing the point in trying at all — and that’s not beneficial to anyone. 

It Encourages Them to Overwork

On the other hand, putting added pressure on your child to perform could cause them to work a little too hard. What started out as an easy way to get those grades up could turn into anxiety attacks and obsessive behavior. Also, if your kid is that grade-crazy and stays home every weekend, you won't have any time to yourself (and we all know how precious “me time” is).

Kids Who Aren't Getting Paid Will Feel Inferior

When your child goes around school flaunting the money or gifts they’ve received for their grades, other children — ones whose parents don’t see the point of paying or can’t pay — feel like they’re less than your child. You wouldn’t want your child to feel that way, would you? 

Rewards Demean the Excitement of a Task

It’s always refreshing to go into a kindergarten classroom and see bright-eyed students eager to read books and take tests. Paying your child for good grades is a great way to take the fun out of learning and school as a whole. Instead of approaching a test or worksheet as a fun learning experience, they’ll feel a pressure to do well — and sometimes they might not even try something for fear of failure. Learning should be something your children look forward to; not a chore that just needs to be done. 

They Will Feel Entitled to a Payout

Children who are paid for their good grades from a young age grow up expecting rewards for their good work. This expectation could spread to other parts of their lives as they get older. Your children could start to see simple chores like dishes or laundry as an opportunity to ask for pay. They could even see volunteer work as a pointless action because they aren’t getting anything monetarily out of it. 
The mentality of only doing a task if there’s something in it for them could change their whole personality — and no one wants their child to be self-centered.

You'll Become THAT Parent

And that’s something no one wants to be. For the army of opinionated moms you’ll be fish bait, and that’s just something you don’t want to deal with. People, especially other moms, are always eager to tell you their opinion how to raise your child. It's best to just avoid the drama and leave the grade hustle to your kids. 

Your Child Will Become THAT Kid

If you start giving money to your child when they’re young, it’s almost a guarantee they’ll show up to class blurting “well my mommy gave me $5 for my good grades”. When the initial awe wears off, the other kids are going to get annoyed of hearing about how much candy or video games your child bought with the money. Eventually, the other kids will resent your child because all they do is flaunt the money they’ve gotten or what they’ve spent it on. 

It Encourages Cheating and Lying

If your child wants that incentive enough they’ll do just about anything to get it, even if that means breaking other rules they’ve been told all their lives. Cheating may not seem like that big of a deal if it means they get 10 more dollars in their pocket. This is something that should be taken into consideration before you decide to pay for good grades, especially if you have older kids (teenagers aren’t going to feel as bad). 

It Could Backfire

Let’s say your child tries as hard as they can but just can’t seem to make those A’s and B’s. I know I would feel like a failure if I couldn’t do something not matter how hard I tried, and I think that goes for most students as well. It’s obviously not your goal to make your child feel less than, but that’s a very real unintended situation that could arise — so be careful before you make promises or deals they may not be able to keep. 
This situation could bring lasting emotional damage to your child and even cause them to give up on school work over time. Especially if you have this system with multiple children and one makes the grades while the other doesn't — nothing’s worse than watching your siblings get praised when you’ve failed. 

Education is Priceless

A lot of times our generation takes advantage of the fact that we live in country that provides free education to every child. We are so lucky to have the opportunity to study, learn, and grow into intelligent people, but all too often we take that for granted. You want your child to understand that education can’t be measure with dollar bills, that going to school is so much more than zeros in your bank account.