I don’t believe in paying children to learn. Life is a learning and evolutionary process. You have to learn just to keep up and I think paying children for grades just sets up a false pretense that if you learn something, you will prosper.
When the reality of life is, you need to accomplish something to prosper. Learning geometry is an accomplishment, make no mistake. But, then the key question is: what do you plan to DO with it. If you become a structural engineer, then yes, you get paid for that knowledge. However, if you are a chef, perhaps that was just the stepping stone to some pretty complicated and practical chemistry. Either way, as an adult, you don’t get paid for things that you don’t actually DO.
And, isn’t our job as parents to train our children to be honorable, smart, and functional members of society? How can we set our kids up for success if we keep giving them false expectations of the way the world really works?
I think ‘atta boys/(girls)’ and congratulations are a great way to demonstrate the hard work kids put in towards learning and growing their lives and abilities. When our kids started walking, we didn’t put money in the piggy bank, clapped and grabbed a video recorder, and prayed because we knew there was so much they could get into!
This is even more of a topic for me right now as I register my older two, for kindergarten. The tone I set now will be the tone they carry with them through their school years. They are preparing to the take the great big leap into school. And I am scared. I really want them to succeed and want them do well in school. I don’t subscribe to the theory that some kids are naturals at school, because the flip side is that some kids are not. Not everyone will grow up and get a PhD, but I think everyone CAN achieve the basics and do a good job at it too. So, I’m going to give praise at accomplishments and coach through the struggles. I just hope that shows my boys how much the are loved. I also hope it helps prepare them for the world, because watch out world…they will soon be let loose, on YOU!