I Paid My Son For Grades

2020 was a rough year. My kids, along with basically the whole world were ripped from their schools and thrown into distance learning. We learned how to distance learn and we still are distance learning as of currently. It hasn’t been easy, but we’re managing.


Learning to manage distance learning wasn’t just throwing my kids into it and calling it a day. It was working with my kids and their teachers to learn what I needed to learn to help them best succeed. The hardest part was making sure they did the work and stayed on schedule. That seemed to be our hardest task. When we finally felt like we got the hang of things, they implemented a new system and that took a bit of work, but we mastered that as well. As semester one came to a close, report cards came in the mail.

My son’s grades surprised me. They weren’t super great, but they weren’t bad either. He had all B’s and C’s. I was proud of him and I let him know it. I told him I was proud of how hard he worked, how diligent he stayed with his school work, grades, homework, all of it. Then I gave him $10. I wanted to pay him to show him we appreciate his hard work, show him hard work pays off, and to show him he can get rewarded for putting in the work. It wasn’t much, but we knew he needed to be rewarded.


As he begins to get older, he is doing more and more to earn money. He wants to buy his own first car. I support that and always will however I can. The reviews that came back from that were mixed, some good, some bad. I never saw it as being a bad thing, it never crossed my mind. So you know me, I decided to do some digging and I was surprised at what I found out.

Is paying for good grades really bad? A majority of what I found said that yes paying your kids for good grades is bad. It makes them feel entitled to a payout, decreases their motivation, teaches them learning isn’t valuable, and that the end grade is what’s most important. I’m sorry what? All the good stuff basically said it teaches them working hard ends in a reward. This is pure craziness. Now I’m questioning my parenting choices.


This sounds completely crazy to me. I don’t know what experiences others have had and I know all kids are different, but paying my kids for grades does the opposite. My kids know they aren’t going to get paid for their grades all the time. They know the expectations we have for them – do your best always with homework, tests, ect, and if your best is an F, then what can we do to fix that. How can I help you? How can your teacher help you? Rewarding my kids in any way has always done the opposite. They work harder and they become more motivated.

This seems completely like a double standard in that paying for chores is acceptable, but paying for grades is not. Does paying for chores make kids lazy and unmotivated just like paying for grades does? For some kids learning isn’t easy, especially distance learning where they aren’t getting to ask questions as often as they need to or get the one on one help they need.


This is another example of mom shaming in that other parents, society, ect. want you to doubt yourself and your parenting choices. I don’t. We don’t usually pay our kids for good grades, but these are special circumstances. Distance learning hasn’t been the easiest and I feel like my son needed to be rewarded for all the hard work he put in. He was shocked when I handed him money and told him I’m proud of what he has able to accomplish given the circumstances.

Don’t let anyone make you doubt yourself or your parenting choices. You and only you know what is best for your kids. You know if rewarding them makes them work harder or get more motivated. The only person that is able to decide what is best for your kids is you. Don’t listen to the people that want to tell you you are doing something wrong or that your kids will grow up to be a certain way. Everyone wants to put in their own opinion, but only YOU know what’s best. You are a good parent. Don’t doubt that.

Published by Ky

I'm a mom of 2 beautiful kiddos. I love to write and was inspired by a close friend to interview moms and share the good, the bad, and the ugly of motherhood. Email us to share your good, bad, sad, inspiring, or funny story. You may just be featured on our blog and Facebook page.

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