Should children’s grades be rewarded?

Although it is a real joy for parents to have their children get good grades in class, it is not a good technique to establish a cause-effect relationship between notes and gifts. What is really important is to know how to promote the habit of responsibility in them.

The fact that children do their homework and get good grades is a joy for every parent. In fact, children’s successes are, in part, the achievements of those who daily care for them and offer them study and learning possibilities. How can we express that pride, that satisfaction? Is it good to reward children’s grades?

In this dilemma, one cannot ignore the fact that each person possesses more than one type of intelligence -emotional, spatial, linguistic, musical, etc-. So the good or bad grades would be framed as part of the wide range of potentialities that make up a person.

This means that a ‘bad grade’ in an area of study should not worry anyone, as long as the child’s other potentialities develop.

However, even the grade seems to define children as if the higher the grade, the better the person who gets it. What decision to make regarding children’s grades in a meritocratic society?

As can be seen, the question of rewarding children’s grades has deep ethical and political implications. It is about thinking about what kind of society is desired and what model of citizenship is projected in raising children.

Rewarding children’s grades: positions in favour

When a parent gives an award to a child who got good grades in school, what they try to say is that effort, perseverance, and hard work pay off. It’s obvious that anyone likes to be recognized for a job well done: from awards for artists to bonuses for executives.

In these cases, the award is a motivation, an incentive. There are even those who plan the gift together with the children, carefully choosing throughout the year what the child will really enjoy.

In this way, a positive exchange takes place and long-term thinking is stimulated. However, we should see what happens if the child makes an effort and still doesn’t make it.

Why shouldn’t children’s grades be rewarded?

Each case is particular; each child, each effort and each parent. Perhaps it is not a question of giving categorical answers, but of looking for alternatives. Accompanying the children’s learning process in a constant way is a more than valid option. The child or young person who knows that he or she has a support will gain confidence when it comes to sitting down with the books.

Occasionally, an argument against rewarding children’s grades is that, with the gift, they are deprived of a sense of responsibility. There are extreme cases of parents giving money to their children for each time they complete their homework. These actions, which at first glance seem loving and worried, actually seem to have a different background.

“Even the note seems to define children as if the higher they are, the better the person who gets them.

If a parent wants his child to learn and perform well at school, shouldn’t he be sitting next to him? How is it helped if he only receives money or toys for his efforts?

Here’s another important question when deciding whether to reward children’s grades: the human need to prove to oneself and one’s environment that one can is underestimated.

The goal of getting good grades

The habit of periodically rewarding children’s grades can also be a little confusing. On the one hand, the child will come to feel that the parents are a sort of defaulting debtors who have to obey their whims. So the sweet and tender student would end up being the main tyrant of the house.

Another reason against prizes is that they become an end in themselves. The child will not study to know and learn new things, but to receive his gift or surprise.

The effort loses its value, the child loses its autonomy. In this sense, prizes work like threats: things are not done well for pleasure, but so as not to be punished.

In conclusion, the responsibility for education lies with the parents. Sending a child to school does not mean ignoring his or her education. On the contrary, daily parents and children must sit down, review what has been taught in classes, talk about different points of view on a subject, and what arises each day.

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