Why We “Pay” our Kids

Why We “Pay” our Kids


I don’t know about you, but before I had kids I was the perfect parent. I had so many great ideas. I had all the “right” answers about raising children.

Then I gave birth to my own child. 

Having your own child is such a serious wake up call.

My husband and I said early on we would never pay our children to make good grades. As long as our kids were capable, we thought that good grades should just be expected. “What was wrong with these people that paid their kids to get an “A”? Good gracious….

What I did not realize before I had a child of my own is that it’s a lot of work for them to spend eight hours per day in school. Then they are expected to come home from school and do several more hours of homework. I have completely changed my opinion on this subject.

We recently decided that we needed to motivate my daughter to thrive and not just get by in school.  

She now has the opportunity every single week to earn $5.00 for every grade of 100 she makes on her weekly spelling test. We chose spelling tests for her as her opportunity to earn money because it is not something that naturally comes easy to her. She has to really study and work hard to make a grade of 100 on a spelling test.

She now uses the money that she earns each week to buy any extra items she desires, such as nail polish, a new book at our local bookstore, or a helmet for her bicycle. She knows if she asks us to buy something for her, our first question is going to be: “How much of your money have your saved to pay for that item?”

The potential to earn $5.00 per week serves as her allowance. Studying for school is her job. This also supports our belief in the inherent value of a good education. For our family, this has proved to work very well.

My daughter no longer complains about studying for her weekly spelling tests because she knows there’s an incentive to earn money. As adults, don’t we want to get paid for our hard work too? We believe this strategy is not only teaching her the value of a dollar, but we also believe it is enhancing her education, which will eventually allow her to go to college, get a job, and get off our payroll!

I believe our main job as parents is to raise our kids to eventually be adults that are contributing members of society.

If every child was motivated to work hard so they could receive the best possible education, not expect their parents to give them everything they want without working for it, we could change the future of the next generation of adults.