Rewards for Marks — A Good Idea?


I received a question about rewarding children for marks. Marjorie, Mom of Katie says: “The last time report cards were handed out in my daughter’s grade two class, she discovered that her friend gets rewarded with money and small gifts for every good mark she receives. My daughter is a good student, and I tell her so with lots of hugs and thumbs up when she does well, but it has never occurred to me to reward her with gifts or money. At first I thought perhaps this other parent was setting herself up for doling out years of more and more expensive gifts. But then I started to wonder, if you keep it simple maybe it isn’t such a bad idea. What do you think?”

Going to school and doing the best they can is a task of childhood. That’s your daughter’s job and doing her best should not require bribes of gifts and money. You’re doing the right thing by acknowledging her success and I hope you will continue even if she doesn’t always get top marks. As long as she’s working hard and doing her best, that’s what counts.

Often when kids receive rewards for marks they end up working for the reward, not for the self-satisfaction that comes from doing a good job. They need to get something every time they succeed and it can evolve into a “What’s in it for me?” mentality.

And the requests for reward can definitely accelerate as the child ages. What will it take to have her graduate high school? A car?

Stick with your style; it’s best for your daughter.

Two kids, two temperaments. Taking their unique temperaments into account.

Sarah is shy, Jared is bossy and Pat is easy-going. What do we need to know about different temperaments?

Every child is unique and different. My mini guide e-book, Vive la Différence: Raising Children with Different Temperaments addresses some of the temperaments we see in our kids.

I looked at my two children who are as different as night and day. Then I consider my siblings and we are a textbook example of different.

But, now I have three grandchildren, all the same age and the differences from their births has been striking.

The result is the e-parenting mini guide, Vive la Différence: Raising Children with Different Temperaments. The guide is available on my website.

How Can I Bring Kathy to My Community?

I offer keynotes and workshops,have written books and have ongoing newspaper columns, books, blogs and newsletters.

And, no matter what the actual topic, they all share a basic value that I call:

P.U.R.E. Parenting.

P — is a parenting plan

U — is unconditional love

R — is respect for your child as he is right now

E — is encouragement

Happy New Year to you all and I look forward to working with you for your professional development, workplace wellness or parenting education event.







Posted in Discipline, Family Concerns, News, School-Age, Teens | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

2 Responses to Rewards for Marks — A Good Idea?

  1. Vera Goodman says:

    Physical rewards should never be given for grades or good work. I had a boy I taught to read. When his mother came to pick him up and I said he had done well she said, “Oh, I’ll get you a hamburger for that!” I told her that he should not be rewarded for reading because reading is its own reward. At Christmas I got a little box of After Fives with a couple missing and a note, “Reading is its own reward, Dustin.”

    I don’t agree with pizza for number of books read or any physical rewards for performance. Children need to experience the joy of learning for learning itself or otherwise they often only do the activity as long as it is being rewarded.

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