bribery - FamilyEducation
02/01/2008 at 23:42 PM

I always said, "people who say you shouldn't bribe your kids, doesn't have any!!" And I still agree with that. I have just made a deal with my 12 yr old. I agreed to buy him a used pocket rocket if he gets all A's and B's on his next report card! There are some conditions to this agreement. If in fact he does get this pocket rocket, HE will be responsible for the maintenance, the fuel, and for any and all safety equipment needed for him to be allowed to ride it legally. We have drawn up the "contract". I have entered into this agreement because he hates school and feels that it is not needed. Last report card was C's, D's (lots of these) and F's. I even threaten to have him held back. This didn't bother him. Here's to hoping that this bribe will work!!! If this bribe doesn't work any ideas?!

I call it "finding the motivator."  I frame it as "consequences of choices."  But it's really hard to tell the difference between bribing a kid and the tap-dancing phrases that I use.  My boy (16) is going to Blue Man Group with my daughter and her husband tomorrow.  So tonight, he fulfilled his responsibilities of preparing dinner and cleaning up the kitchen.  There wasn't a fight, there wasn't a fuss.  I just indicated that I would be happy to go to the concert instead of him, should he fail to do his work.  My daughter (10) wanted something we saw at the store.  I told her I'd be glad to let her spend the money she earns from recording the work she does around the house every day, on almost anything she wants.  This is a little tricky, she has quite a bit saved, but she can only spend the money she earns from household duties.  And she only gets paid if she keeps an accurate, timely, record.  She pulled out a notebook, and the schedule of jobs/wages.   It might actually work this time.  I don't pay for grades, but there is an item on the job/wage schedule for academic effort, 20 minutes gets you 2 points, and a point is worth 1 to 15 cents. 

  What I do about school is focus on effort, not on grades.  I don't care what grade a kid gets, which turns out to be good because some of my kids are just more talented academically than the others.  The questions I ask when grades are discussed are these 3.

1.  Did you turn things in complete and on time?

2.  Did you put in a good effort?

3.  What did you learn?