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Incentivizing schoolwork

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Dick Whitman, Nov 2, 2014.

  1. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Calling on the collective parenting knowledge here.

    My parents were adamantly against "bribing" me for good grades. I, however, feel like it works. I just got my son to work on reading, to cite a small example, in order to eat an orange.

    Any down side?
  2. Vombatus

    Vombatus Well-Known Member

    Much safer than getting him to eat a teacher.
  3. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    When did this become a Poin Files thread?
  4. Key

    Key Well-Known Member

    I have to make kid eat an orange before she's allowed to read.
  5. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    The stepped-up requirements for college do a pretty good job.

    In the free-thinking 1970s, I grew up in a university town, my parents were both grads, something like 25% of the student body had university faculty for parents, the HS was world-renowned.

    I absolutely smokin'-aced all the placement tests (we took batteries of them in 6th and 10th grade), 99th percentile, and some counselors told me, "You could get into Hometown U. right this minute with something like a 3.0 GPA."

    So I graduated from Hometown High with "something like" a 3.0 GPA (cough cough). I 4.0'ed a few classes when I felt like it, but most of the rest of the time I just partied. And yes, I breezed into Hometown U without a sweat.

    It's now 40 years later and my nephew is also going to Hometown High, still a very well-rated HS, and he has also aced all the standardized tests. However, he has been told (and mom and dad and even Uncle Star have checked it out) that for him to 'breeze into' Hometown U, even with ace results on the college boards, he is now going to need a 3.6 or better.

    And that's to GET IN. To get any kind of scholie, or to other, better schools, he'll have to be a lot better. College costs roughly 10 times what it cost in my day, so a scholie would really help.

    Midway through his sophomore year, he's still pulling a 4.0.
  6. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    Sure. The down side, long term, is you're so concerned he might not do something that'll better himself that you won't let him fail to do it. He needs to. We all do.
  7. RecoveringJournalist

    RecoveringJournalist Well-Known Member

    Freakonomics says it works, even when the incentives are gone when the kids are in college.

    When kids are young, it doesn't take much. My wife came up with one where they get a quarter if they bring home a good test or a good note from their teacher and we take a quarter away if they get a bad one or find out that they didn't do their homework. I didn't think it would work, but it works like a charm. My kids act devastated if we take a quarter back from them, and it doesn't happen often.

    I did it with my oldest over the summer. For every book he read, he got a pack of football cards. He read 20 books over the summer. I'm not doing the incentive anymore and he still reads everything he can get his hands on.
  8. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    Oranges are not a good incentive. Kids are conditioned to know that they
    get oranges win or lose after a soccer game.

    Offer him a subscription to Playboy instead.
  9. RecoveringJournalist

    RecoveringJournalist Well-Known Member

    You have to be careful when they start talking to friends. You'll find out that one kids got a new Skylander and he'll tell you where to shove your orange.
  10. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    Or turn it into a hash pipe
  11. Buck

    Buck Well-Known Member

    Keep in mind that this choice you make as a parent will have potentially severe downstream consequences throughout your child's life.
    And those consequences will only grow in magnitude with each passing year.
  12. RecoveringJournalist

    RecoveringJournalist Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure I understand what is being said here.

    The Freakonomics study was pretty interesting. I know there is a podcast out on it.

    They said that offering a child something as small as a 25 cent trinket dramatically increased the chances of the work/chore getting done.

    We use football cards or football stickers as incentives for chores/schoolwork etc. Occasionally we'll use small amounts of money, but it's 25 cents here, 25 cents there.

    If they get a good report card, we'll let them pick a place to go to eat, like Chuck E. Cheese or something like that.

    It works great. Sometimes they do ask for rewards when they're just doing something and we just let them know that not every action gets a reward.
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