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Q: What’s your opinion on rewarding kids with money for getting good grades in school?
Dave: Honestly, I don’t have a strong opinion about it one way or the other. We didn’t pay our kids for good grades, but I can’t really think of a strong argument not to pay them for success in school. You could say you shouldn’t pay them because it’s something they’re expected to do anyway, and that’s somewhat valid. But you could also make the same point where chores around the house are concerned, too.
We paid our kids to do some chores, but really the point is not about the economic value. It’s the fact that you want your kids to associate work with money. I still meet people my age and older who haven’t made that connection. Work creates money, and that’s an important thing to teach your kids. Once they’ve created some money by working, then you want to use those moments to teach them to save, spend and give wisely.
You can do this around the subject of grades if you want. There’s probably a valid case to be made that getting an A takes a lot more work than getting a C. You’re certainly not obligated to pay them for work or grades, but if you don’t do some of this – and teach them the proper ways to handle the money they earn — you’ll miss out on a lot a fantastic teachable moments.