Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Should Kids be Paid for Good Grades?
I grew up old school.......We weren’t given an allowance or money for good grades. The only incentive for doing well in school was the possible avoidance of the belt and living another day. I understand what my parents were attempting to do by not awarding us for every achievement. However, I also believe there are lessons for kids to learn by providing money for accomplishments such as good grades.
My nieces and nephews are smart kids and good athletes (Thank you sweet baby Jesus). They work hard and as their favorite uncle I want to reward them. Recently my niece attempted to renegotiate the terms of our reward agreement. She wanted to decrease the amount of money acquired for A’s and begin receiving payment for B’s. This was obviously rejected on the basis I don’t reward second place. It may seem harsh but if I allow my niece to be rewarded for B's before I know it, I'll be handing over cash for C’s. (Yes, she's that good of a negotiator!) So how does this correlate with the cheap life by giving kids your cash? Providing my niece with reward money does a few things; it gives her positive incentive to do well in school while allowing me to teach her proper money management. Too often kids spend all their money on goodies and toys the second they receive it. These same children turn into adults who prefer shopping malls over savings accounts. The children growing up under my supervision will learn the value of a dollar early on while still in the safety net of their parents. After my niece receives her money, I will encourage her to think of ways to increase her cash flow. Maybe she should could start her own local lawn care service by cutting grass and raking leaves. I will remind her that she has two brothers and cousins she could hire to do the work. This allows her to manage the boys while she gets paid the lions share. If she’s making moves like this as a child, imagine what she will be capable of as an adult. There’s no limit to a kids potential if you start the financial literacy conversation early. My niece is already on the right track for the simple fact she's already renegotiating the terms of the deal. Unfortunately for her when it comes to negotiations I’m a tad better at it.