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What Are Good Grades Worth?

It’s just about time for the kids to go back to school. With the beginning of a new school year comes the pressure to get good grades. What are your kids incentives to do well in class? Money? Goods? Maybe the incentive should be that accomplishment is incentive enough. What do the experts say?

MSN Money recently reported on what experts say about the reward system for good grades.

CONSIDER THE KID–It’s crucial to peg the reward system to the individual child, says Art Markman, a psychology professor at the University of Texas at Austin. While it’s fine to reward results, such as good grades, Markman says recognizing good effort is more powerful: It reinforces the idea that persistence pays off.
TIME TO DO WHAT THEY WANT–New devices and time online are most kids’ favorite rewards. But Lynn Clark, author of “The Parent App: Understanding Families in a Digital Age.” “Technology is seen as a leisure activity that’s a reward.” She says it’s less about the technology than it is about the personal freedom. “The big reward is about enabling our kids to spend time as they’d most like to spend it.”
REWARD QUALITY, NOT SPEED–There is a downside to offering special treats for “after your homework is done” – it encourages rushing, warns Trae Bodge, senior editor of The Real Deal, a lifestyle and consumer news website. No matter how bad your kids wants screen time, let them know you’ll check their homework.
DON’T OVERDO IT–While students may be motivated by free time or trinkets, parents need to recognize that a sense of mastery may be the biggest reward, says Dr. Jerry Schecter, a child psychologist in Skokie, Illinois. Giving tangible rewards “robs from the intrinsic value of performing the task, doing it well and succeeding,” says Schecter, who advises against prizes and material perks in all cases.
via Back-to-school math for parents: What’s an A worth?: Thomson Reuters Business News – MSN Money.

As I remember it I did get a monetary reward for “A”‘s and “B”‘s. Needless to say I was usually broke.


Cost of Raising Kids Going Up

Every parent knows that raising a child ain’t cheap. The bad news is that the cost is going up, up and away to the point where, according to a Department of Agriculture report, an average middle class parent can expect to spend $241,080 per child up to age 18.

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