dollar

Motivating your child to get good grades is a difficult task sometimes. Let’s face it, a child who struggles in school, doesn’t see getting a dollar for each “A” grade, as being an achievable prize. Of course, the goal has to be something the child can do, or they will give up before they start, so for a child who struggles, the dollar might be for a “C” or something. Maybe the goal needs to be broken down by weeks to help the struggling student, or even by assignment. When you have a student who struggles with school, you will pretty much do anything…including treats to get them to try harder to get good grades, because as we all know, a student who excels in school, can almost write their own ticket in life. College and jobs even come easier for them.

With all that being said, I suppose that I will sound like my parents, who like most parents of people my age, walked ten miles to school, uphill both ways, but when I was in school, we didn’t get rewarded for our grades. Maybe it just wasn’t done then, but for us, that was the way it was. So when I hear of paying a child for grades, I have mixed feelings about it. I’m not exactly opposed to paying for grades, because it is the child’s job, after all, and I expect to be paid for my work. Still, by the same token, I would have to wonder if it shouldn’t also be that a poor grade costs the child then. I mean, if I am a great driver, and I get a speeding ticket, I have to pay the penalty too, even if I haven’t had one in ten years. And shouldn’t a child just naturally want to learn things. No, not really. When I was in grade school, history was the most boring subject in existence, and yet today, I research events in history for my stories. I guess that if it is something you really love, you don’t need any motivation, but if it isn’t something you really love, no matter how big the amount of motivation you are offered, it will not make you love that subject.

Still, some people take things a little be too far, in my opinion. Such was the case in a story I read the other day. It went like this: “My elder brother has a son. He has just started school. My brother buys him toys, different devices, and new clothes to motivate him. When I was in my first year in school, he promised me that if I finished school with excellent grades, I would be able to have a tooth made of gold. I was really enthusiastic for many years.” Now, I don’t know about you, but a gold tooth would not really motivate me to get better grades. Still, to each his own. I suppose that to a young boy, a gold tooth might sound like the coolest thing ever…at least for a time. As you read in the story, even that great motivator didn’t do the trick forever.

Like most things, as kids get older, that dollar isn’t quite the motivator it used to be either. Kids, these days, know how little a dollar can buy, and when you think about it, it’s really hard for a kid to stay motivated for nine weeks…just to make a dollar. I guess that if parents are going to use a reward system motivator, they are going to have to keep up with the times, and upgrade that motivator periodically so it will be the study aid they are hoping for. Or maybe my parents had the right idea after all, which was pretty much, get good grades…or else!! And I think I’ll leave that right there.

Caryn, Caryl, and CherylMost kids, at some point in the summer vacation, get bored, or hot, or motivated, or something, and they begin to look for new things to do. As little kids, the choice that most often seems to come up is ways to make some money. Enter the Lemonade Stand. You don’t see as many of these as you might have during the years when I was growing up, but every so often, I still see them. My sisters and I were no exception to that rule. Of course, the big motivation to make money was usually so we could walk over to the Ben Franklin Store that Casper had at that time, to buy candy. I think very few kids have ideas that were much different than ours…I mean kids were going to sock that money away for college, right.
Alena and Allyn
It’s funny how motivated kids can be when it come to esrning money to spend on things for themselves, but when it comes to school work, or something like that…forget it. You will have to force them to do that. I guess we all have things that motivate us, and when you are a kid…well you are motivated by kid things. Planning for the future was just not what you had in mind, not that it would help if we did put lemonade money in the bank. I mean, at 5 cents a glass, we might have made a dollar or so, and boy, did you work hard for that dollar. I guess it was a good thing that we still had penny candy and penny gumball machines.
Lemonade Stand
I remember how much fun we had, selling lemonade to anyone who drove by on those hot summer days. We could sell to just about anyone who drove by, because things were different back then. We didn’t even need a parent hanging there with you, to keep you safe. These days you wouldn’t dare leave your kids there alone to sell lemonade. They would be gone when you came back. We lived in a different time. A safer time. We had the run of the block back then, and selling lemonade on the corner was just one of the many fun things we did, things we really enjoyed… like running a lemonade stand.

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