How to reward good grades

  • Saturday, November 24, 2012 5:15pm
  • Life

As report cards are almost due and I await my children’s grades, I’ve been thinking about how to praise or reward their efforts.

I had friends who got paid for their grades: a certain amount for an A, a B and so on.

As a child and then a teenager, I thought that was brilliant.

My parents? Forget it, they said. Your good grades are the reward. Learning and doing your best are more valuable than a couple of dollars, they told me over and over.

With my own children, I’m trying to do the same thing. Particularly with my child who has learning disabilities, I don’t want to emphasize the actual grades too much.

I want both of them to work hard because that is what they are supposed to do, not because they want to pad their piggy banks.

Much has changed about parenting, though, since I was a child. Babies sleep on their backs, we all strap our children into car seats and kids wear helmets when they ride bikes.

So maybe the thought process behind rewarding academic performance has evolved, too?

It turns out my parents were on the right track, according to Scholastic.com. Their experts have several tips for rewarding a good report card:

First, be spontaneous when rewarding good grades. Go out for a family dinner or special activity after report cards, so it’s a nice occasional surprise instead of a planned incentive or an automatic reward every time.

De-emphasize the actual grades; praise effort and concentration more. If your child does his best and earns a C or works really hard and improves his math grade from a C to a B, that is often more noteworthy than a child who easily gets all A’s every quarter.

Finally, teach your children that the harder they work and the more they learn, the stronger their brains will be. Their minds need exercise, just like their bodies.

For my children, I’m thinking a surprise night out for pizza or bowling this weekend might be in order to celebrate a job well done.

More in Life

The ‘Whimsical Woman’ shares what she learns on the trail

Jennifer Mabus came here from Nevada and Hawaii. She leads hikes and blogs about them.

Branch out: ‘Tasting Cider’ recipes call for hard apple cider

Top cider makers share how they like to make hush puppies, bread pudding and the pear-fect cocktail.

‘Tasting Cider’ a sweet resource for hard apple cider fans

Erin James, the editor-in-chief of Cidercraft magazine, wrote a book all about the fermented drink.

For Texas BBQ, look for the school bus at the reptile museum

This husband-and-wife team has been serving up brisket and more for a decade in Monroe.

You won’t be able to stop eating this colorful chicken salad

The slaw of bell pepper, cabbage and carrot holds up well overnight in the refrigerator.

Raising grandkids can feel like the second time around

The responsiblities of serving as a parent can compete with the joys of being a grandparent.

Commentary: Community Transit to keep up with regional growth

Snohomish County’s bus system prepares for more people — including more older residents.

Fur & Feathers with energetic Lincoln and big-attitude Chase

One dog is not a fan of cats or men. The other definitely prefers adults only.

Almost everyone has questions about Social Security

The most frequent guestion about retirement benefits: ‘When can I start receiving them?’

Most Read