Should You Reward Your Child for Good Grades?

Grades can be one of the most common reasons for argument when it comes to academics between parents and their children. As parents, they want their child to excel becomes a problem for many parents when their children don’t put the effort into studying they wish them to, even more so with challenging subjects like Math, Science and its different branches. What can even become frustrating and upsetting is the fact that these subjects are among the core ones that can raise or lower a student’s grades.

Advantages of rewarding your child

Of course, the ideal benefit and result of rewarding your kid for getting good grades are to motivate them to do better the next time or continue on with their streak of good grades. This also means that in doing so, it would assure that your child will put in more effort to complete their homework on time and to study diligently for their exams. Many students have innate skills and are smart enough to excel in their classes but they have trouble with motivation, both in studying and completing their tasks. The reward may be a form of motivation for them so whenever they test well in their exams or get good grades, they will continue on to do their best in school.

Disadvantages of rewarding your child

We have mentioned reward becoming a form of bribery instead of motivation. The ideal outcome of rewarding your child is very promising but when done incorrectly, it may only be effective in the beginning. When rewarding becomes bribery, your child may expect a reward for every time they get good grades. And in thinking so, they will only do their best when there’s already a reward waiting for them. When they are not interested in the reward, they will also not be interested in studying or getting the good grade that they need to reach to get the reward.

Because of this, you may not see any improvement in their overall learning at all, especially for children who have difficulty understanding new concepts. Since they only work hard when they want the reward, they will not be able to learn the skills they need to get good grades and utilize the learning they have for the long run that includes applying the knowledge they have learned and retaining information. As such, this may also not particularly work for richer families or those children who regularly get what they want.

How to properly reward children

It is entirely up to you with regards to the kind of gift or the amount of money you’re going to reward your child. Experts suggest decreasing amount though and having the highest value for the best scores. If you do decide to reward your child, you have to have an agreement with them and reward them depending on the acceptable grades agreed upon.

Aside from this, you can also speak with your child and come to an agreement. In fact, this may be the best approach for parents who are thinking of rewarding their children. Discuss it with them first and agree on a reward if the child gets good grades in all of their subjects or in certain subjects only. Additionally, you can also settle for a reward that would be fair and would motivate them to do better in the long run.

Options for rewards

The very first reward that may come to mind would be money. However, there are other ways to motivate your child in working towards good grades other than money. Rewarding isn’t all about the physical things that you can give your child. If say, for example, they get good marks in their essay or they received high scores in their test, parents can offer their praises so that they will become more inspired to do well and even better next time. Additionally, you can also go out for a meal at their favorite restaurant or even cook their favorite meal. You can also indulge them in activities they may enjoy and make them feel accomplished. Instead of giving the usual rewards or toys or cash, you can reward them with experiences such as fun family activities that can give them a good perspective of life and build a stronger bond with the family. These activities will also bring in meaningful memories to them compared to their new toys or cash.

Aside from this, you can also celebrate your child’s accomplishments by commending them for finishing the school year rather than just looking and focusing on their grades. This will make the child more inspired since their parents are acknowledging their hard work for the school year. More so, your child will also feel more inspired and motivated when their parents provide them with more help to achieve good grades such as hiring a private home tutor for them. Not only will a home tutor help in reaching the student’s desired grades but they can also help in other things such as becoming more confident in their skills and motivating themselves to reach their academic goals.

Use a more personalized approach

Parents should know their child better than anyone and it’s important to consider the child and what they need in order to perform better in school. There is no specific way to see this since it varies from child to child and really depends on their own strengths. With this, if parents are more focused on the grades, a child’s strength may become buried in the rubble and might not be developed to their benefit.

Rewarding using a more personalized approach will help parents see what their child needs and how you can reward them. As an example, if parents can see that their child has trouble with procrastination and always do their schoolwork at the last moment, they can reward their child when they complete their tasks ahead of time instead of rewarding them for the grade they achieve for the task. This is a better approach since it will help address the issues that may arise later on while also helping the child with the process of learning rather than just focusing on getting good grades. Focusing more on the efforts exerted rather than the result can make a child more persistent and confident in accomplishing their tasks and aiming to get better in time.

And so, with this, they can learn and perform better. It’s also an important thing to consider what do parents actually want their children to accomplish in school and use the reason to motivate them to perform better. Parents can decide if they just want their child to have good grades or if they want them to have the values to work towards getting those good grades. Do you want them to have good scores on a test or do you want them to practice proper and effective studying techniques? Do you want them to get good grades or do you want them to understand the importance of learning? If so, speak to them about this and help them achieve the goal as well as reward them to do better.

Rewards can also be a means to deal with bad behavior and encourage your child towards a new and more amiable one. Always look for the best strategy to reward your child to produce better results in what issues they are having and not deteriorate the situation instead.

Reinforcing good grades using rewards

Parents need to know the factors that affect their child’s grades. It could be that your child has trouble completing their homework on time or they are having a difficult time understanding the learning material they are given. When you have determined the source of the problem, then you can decide the reward to give and how frequently you can give rewards.

Rewarding vs bribery

We have mentioned how thin the line between rewarding and bribery can be. And if you are like most parents, you are also probably concerned that rewarding your child is the same as bribing them. As we mentioned, this can be true in some cases, especially if rewarding is not done properly.

With that being said, bribery is not the same as rewarding. Bribery is something that is given before the wanted result. If you give your child a new toy or you promise them a day out in order to get them to study for their upcoming exam, then that leans more to bribery. Whereas with rewards, they are given to celebrate one’s accomplishment and achievement. Reinforcing good behavior through rewards can be a solution to more pressing issues the child is facing rather than just a one-time gift.


Rewards can be helpful if done right. There are numerous and varied ways to reward your child depending on what the child needs. However, the most common goal is to see your child getting good grades and motivating them to perform better in school. This can be seen given that rewarding is done correctly. However, with whatever approach you may want to go for, always keep in mind that there should be a goal and that rewarding may not be a long-term solution.



Carelle is a teacher who has been through the ups and downs of the teacher and learner life. She wishes for every learner to gain educational satisfaction that will help embody the people they want to be in the future.

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