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Motivate Your Child To Have Good Grades

Updated on August 17, 2013

Not All Children Are Self- Motivated To Work Hard and Get Good Grades

When I was young (elementary, Jr. High, High school) I was self motivated to work hard and get good grades. What it means is that I had to get ALL A's because if I didn't I gave myself a panic attack. A B-grade was simply not good enough.

It wasn't because my parents required it or because I would be grounded or anything like it. In fact, I wouldn't even show my parents my grade cards. My parents pretty much were non-existent in my education. There are some kids who are like that-- they are called over-achievers, but the over-achiever child probably makes up about 10% of the student population. It's something you are born with-a personality trait.

The other 90% although intelligent will usually require an external motivator to get them to care about getting good grades.

For example. My oldest daughter went from being a nearly straight- A, self motivated student in Elementary School to suddenly getting Bs and Cs.

What happened?

How did she go from doing so well to sometimes almost failing?

It turns out that Jr. High was suddenly more distracting then elementary. Now boys had become an interest and friends more of a priority. It wasn't that she wasn't doing the work she would simply not even bother to turn it in. Why? "I forgot" was the usual answer.




How Did I Get Her To Care, How Did I Motivate Her?

Did I mention my parents were practically non-existent in my education?

but there was one person to whom I will forever be grateful, not because I needed his support or motivation, but because he taught me a way to motivate MY OWN children one of whom I have found is the non-self-motivated kind. and because I realize now that he made a great sacrifice giving me the very little money he worked hard for.

One of my older brothers, of his own accord, for whatever reason, took it upon himself to reward me for my good grades.

What he did was this. He gave me $20 dollars for each A, $10 for Bs and $5 for Cs and nothing after that.

He didn't need to, since I would have worked just as hard to keep up my GPA regardless of his reward. I don't know if he knew this, but I took the money regardless and didn't tell him. Poor guy I left him pennyless.

Many years later as I faced my own challenge to motivate my daughter to do better as I knew she could I decided to give his method a try.

I have three children so I could not afford $20 dollars/A etc. per child so I worked it within my budget. My oldest JR. High girl got $5/ A, $3/B and $1/c nothing for anything below that or a fail. Pass/ Fail grades got $5 for the pass.

My elementary school girl got $3/A or 4, $2/B or 3 and $1 for C or 2.

It is important to note that none of my kids get an allowance. Their chores are part of their being in a family and are not paid. And do adjust payment according to budget and age appropriately.

Their job is to go to school and do well.

The report card is their work and the money they earn is their paycheck.

Did it work?

By the end of the school year my Junior High Girl ended her year as an honor-roll student 3.9 GPA.

My elementary girl was self motivated but struggled with behavioral issues so her rewards motivated her behavior as well as her grades and it was only fair to reward both for heir work.

Anyhow it DEFINITELY worked in both cases .



Is Paying For Grades Bribery? is it BAD? Will It Work For An Older Child?

So I have a friend who's son was also having grade problems. He was "Failing" she said. He was seventeen and on his last year of High-school and nothing she tried was working. I told her what I did for my girls and suggested she try it. She expressed concern about it being bribery? She wasn't sure it was the right thing to do. I shared with her my opinion that it is their job to go to school and they are simply getting paid for what they accomplish much like getting paid in the real world for what you produce. She decided to discuss it with her husband and came to a decision to try it.

A few months later I ran into her at a football game and asked her what happened? Did it work?

She said so far it was going well and later She informed me he graduated with As and Bs.

So my advice is try it...See if it works for you.



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