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Challenge: Back to School

Should We Pay Our Kids to Get Higher Grades in School?

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How Much Money is Enough or Too Much?


Should we be paying our children to do better in school, or perhaps pay them a monthly allowance? Instead, how about feeding, caring for, and nurturing our kids, while they learn important lessons about responsibility, caring for others, helping out around the house, and learning to do things for themselves.

No amount of money can ever replace the feelings of pride, and satisfaction, one receives from doing a good job, while enjoying a sense of accomplishment.

Whatever our kids set their mind to, whether school work, household chores, cooking, yard work, mending their own clothes, fixing items they've broken, or simply keeping their rooms clean; what price could you possibly place on any one of these important lessons?

Could any amount of money change how a task is completed, or what is learned from it? Could responsibilities be turned into a job or bartering tool, and become the opposite of what you were trying to teach your kids in the first place?

Should we offer money or allowance in an attempt to bribe our kids just to motivate them to study or do their school work in general, or to help out around the house? And what if they expected to be paid without doing their fair share?

What Social Services Promotes for Foster Care

Social services began initiating rules for 5 year old children to be paid a monthly allowance of $5.00, graduating up to the older teens, who were to receive $20.00 a month, without requiring them to do any chores, or even do well in school. Many of these children did not care about learning at school or doing any school work at all. Although compliant behaviors were stressed, these children knew they could do anything, and still receive a monthly allowance.

This was problematic for many caring foster homes, and unfortunately encouraged a "welfare mentality" by producing children who did not care about school, family participation, or worthwhile accomplishments. Social workers would instruct these children (of their rights) that nothing would be required from them to receive an allowance, even if their placement home did not pay their own children for grades or chores.

What My 13 Year Old Son Thinks

I was blessed with an extraordinarily smart child who was raised with more than 70 foster siblings, over a period of 10 years. I adopted him (my first of 3 foster children) and this is what he says about earning his own money.

"Though most kids want an allowance, I've never received one, and it's not that different. Sure I don't always get to spend money when I want to, but that teaches me to spend what I get wisely, and sometimes that's better, because it teaches you to use self control."


Social Welfare in Latin America by John Dixon,Robert P. Scheurell

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