so let’s talk about *hypothetical* homework bribery.

Not that I ever would, but *ahem* I have a friend who’s hypothetically considering it. 

Say your kid recently switched schools and her new curriculum was suddenly extremely homework intensive. And let’s assume your kid would rather go play lego’s than work on homework. Because homework after a long day of schoolwork is dumb.

But let’s just say there was a way your kid could get out of 90% of that homework, just by passing a test that’s given every Monday morning. Wouldn’t that be glorious? No homework during the week, and more time to play! (also, so much more relaxing for everyone)

But in order to ace the test, your kid would have to study just a bit over the weekend so she would be prepared. Like, a solid hour or two, tops.

And your kid? She’s so smart and easily motivated by incentives.

So what if…

You enticed her to study by offering her a book of her choosing in exchange for a test well passed.

Yes, bribery.

I mean, you would be bribing her with something educational. So it’s totally ok, right? And it would only cost you about $5 a week, but would take away so! much! stress!, which is worth it’s weight in gold and the end of an exhausting day.

And since your kid currently does not get an allowance, it would be a nice way for her to get something she wants, without you just going out and buying her something “just because”.

So is this a totally bogus idea?  Is bribing a kid to study totally taboo and a huge parental no-no?

Please, discuss.

I’m asking for a friend, who’s dealing with a stressful (purely hypothetical) situation.

 

Comments

comments

Comments

  1. The only way I see it backfiring is when she realizes your friend was right about studying over the weekend being easier, then how or when does your friend cut off the book bribe?

    I would do bonus time with a particular thing during the week she likes after she aces the test on Monday. If she doesn’t pass the test she doesn’t get the thing, whatever it is during the week. Maybe an iPad game or something?
    moosh in indy. recently posted..giggling curtains and my toddler is not my biggest fan.

    [Reply]

  2. I’m with Casey on this one. What about your friend just asking her child to try this weekend study method for three weeks to see how it goes and see if the child feels rewarded by acing those Monday tests – maybe that will foster the love of learning all on it’s own?
    I’m not quite sure – I’m still trying to figure it out with my own children. :)
    Karen Sugarpants recently posted..And Now For Something That Actually Matters (to me, anyway)

    [Reply]

  3. I’d be okay with it, if it was like say she passed it for a month straight and then she got the reward. I don’t really see a negative in rewarding good performance because that is what we get when we are working and school is work for kids. Plus, learning to study is a very good thing to know how to do, says this teacher.
    The Many Thoughts of a Reader recently posted..Triptych

    [Reply]

  4. Your readers are smart. What they said. Signed- queen of bribing her kids….

    [Reply]

  5. i feel like well-placed, well-intentioned bribery is an invaluable parenting tool. and although i’m not there yet, could see it being super useful for homework.

    that being said, in this case it *almost* sounds like there would be 2 rewards being given: the book AND the lack of homework/extra free time during the week. since your friend’s kid sounds like an awesome, intelligent student, i’m wondering if reasoning with them and reminding them about all that wonderful homework-free time might be a way to start. if that didn’t work the book bribery could be the next step…

    or your friend could use the free time (or lack thereof) itself as the bribery/punishment. like ‘this week we’ll have plenty of time to do x if you pass the test because of all that homework you WON’T have’ or alternatively ‘it’s too bad we won’t be able to do x this week because we’ll need to use that time for homework.’

    (take all this with a grain of salt, since i don’t have kids doing homework yet and therefore have no experience to pull from)

    [Reply]

  6. There is a difference between bribery and rewarding. What you are doing is rewarding positive behavior. Bribery is when you tell your kid, “Here is a piece of candy, not shut your yip!” I have no problem with rewarding good behavior and creating incentives (especially with books!). Well done you!
    Kat recently posted..Turning Six

    [Reply]

  7. Oops. That was supposed to be “now shut your yip”.
    Anyway, as others have mentioned. The reward should be given after the work was put in. No studying, no reward.
    Kat recently posted..Turning Six

    [Reply]

    Emily Reply:

    you shut your yip…. :)

    [Reply]

  8. Former teacher here: nothing wrong with using incentives. You know your kid best. Will she feel like a horrible failure for not passing? My 2nd grader would. “I’m too dumb to pass AND I don’t get a new book? Woe is me!”. Sorry you’re stuck in a homework trap.

    [Reply]

    Emily Reply:

    You make a really good point. I don’t think so, but I’m not sure. I’m hoping it will motivate her, and she will succeed. But yes, it totally could backfire on me.

    [Reply]

  9. Thumbs up for your idea! Wish my kid would’ve had that option when he was in elementary school. Would’ve made more time for quality family time on weeknights instead of spending our time after dinner doing 3rd grade math for 2 hours.

    [Reply]

    Emily Reply:

    this is where I’m at right now, and I’m trying to figure out a way to avoid it. It’s so not fun!

    [Reply]

    plagiarism checker Reply:

    @Amy,

    completely agree with you!!!

    [Reply]

  10. As a therapist, I’ve found that incentives work well for some kids. Maybe do tickets for each test with a good score. She can use them for game time, watching a show, staying up 15 minutes later than bedtime or save them up for a book or some other bigger privelege.
    Joules recently posted..One Word: Kindness

    [Reply]

    Emily Reply:

    yeah I’m totally getting it. I do have to figure out something, some type of reward…

    [Reply]

    Emily Reply:

    I like what you’re saying. I feel I need to shy away from the ticket situation, given that I have four kids, to avoid running a damn arcade. But yes, some form of reward for good schoolwork, whatever that looks like…

    [Reply]

    joules Reply:

    @Emily, Ha, yeah you’d have to install a skee-ball machine and stock up on trinkets.
    One of my friends uses a jar for each kid and has a bowl of ping pong balls. They get one for every whatever it is that she’s looking for them to do and it goes in their jar. Sounds like a good one.
    I’m interested to see what works for you and then pin the crap out of the post you write about it:)
    joules recently posted..Trifextra 53: Where the Wild Things Are

    [Reply]

  11. Preface: I’m super strict about school and my expectations about grades.

    That being said, if your friend’s daughter is in say 2nd grade, I think she’s old enough to make the choice to study or not herself. And without a reward at home, since it seems to me that she’s already rewarded at school (and actually at home too) with less homework for doing the prep work ahead of time. Giving her more time for fun free time at home.

    We do reward for school work – when report cards come. We never reward (except for verbal praise) when it comes to normal, run of the mill school work. If our girls keep it up the whole quarter and earn all A’s, they get to chose a restaurant of choice for a report card dinner.

    With school, it just gets harder. Especially at any type of accelerated school. And I think because of that, it’s important for kids to find self-motivation in their school work or they’re going to have a rough time later on.

    I also think as parents that we have to be careful about making things easier on our kids because it ultimately makes it easier on us. It might make it easier on us, but might hurt the kid in the long run.

    Not that I know *anything* about that, but that’s what I hear…
    Katie recently posted..That’s not fair.

    [Reply]

    Emily Reply:

    oh I agree. And I’m totally trying to make it easier on myself. Because she’s A+’ing the test on Friday, but it all could be avoided if she A+’ed the test on Monday. I’m just trying to figure out how to shift it, so that the work week is easier. I totally look up to you, since you’ve been down this road more than I have been…

    [Reply]

    Emily Reply:

    no I get what you’re saying, totally. Trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t. Especially because we’re coming from schools where there was little to no homework…

    [Reply]

  12. Ok so, no homework all week should be a reward in itself, but here’s the thing, like you said, it’s really a shift of when the homework is, right?

    Ace the test on Monday = weekend homework
    Ace the test on Friday = weeknight homework.

    So either way she is acing the test and doing homework.

    I don’t see anything wrong with building incentives for doing the homework on the weekends/Acing the test.

    It can be her choice, but you (i mean yourf friend) could tell her if she does her homework on the weekend, she can have X amount of screen time or tokens toward a book during the week. If she also Aces the Monday test, she gets Y more. That way she is earning special stuff during the week that she can’t have if she has homework during that time.

    Ya dig?
    Katie recently posted..Don’t Hate, Yo

    [Reply]

    Emily Reply:

    yeah I get it. It would just be so awesome to get the test out of the way on Monday. I’m super proud of her regardless, but 1 hour of studying for a test vs. at least 5 hours of homework is so very enticing. Yes, I’m being selfish, and trying to find the best way to push my influence. Admittedly….

    [Reply]

  13. Melissa Lynn Benham says:

    What if she had a sticker reward chart, where she could put a sticker everytime she studied? When she gets 3 or 4 stickers, she can trade it in for a book or a special toy or video game time.

    [Reply]

  14. Eh, we all work for rewards! I love what I do of a career, but if it didn’t come with a paycheck, I doubt I would run out and do it everyday. I figure it’s part of life to worn for a reward. If it bothers you, once you’ve gotten going, start making her work for 2 weeks for a book eventually.

    [Reply]

  15. I think we all work for rewards. While I love my career, I am motivated by the paycheck I receive and feel certain I wouldn’t rush out to do it without the paycheck at the end. If it bothers you, once you get started you could stretch it out to 2 weeks in between book purchases.

    [Reply]

  16. Okay, now what about this (hypothetically): let’s say you really talk up the whole “pass the Monday” quiz thing. Talk it up BIG TIME. And then let’s say, she heeds your words and actually passes the test.
    Then you could act all completely happy and say, “Look! Because you passed the test and have no homework we now have time to go to the bookstore and just look around!” Then you get there and while browsing perhaps you buy a book (not as a reward, just because books are awesome.)
    So there are no promises that this is going to happen every time, no commitments, just lots of positive excitement.
    Ami recently posted..It was the best of times, it was the most oppressive of times.

    [Reply]

    Emily Reply:

    this is why I’m friends with you. Totally brilliant. Doing this (as soon as she passes that dang test…)

    [Reply]

  17. Hi Emily,
    Long time fan, first time commenter. :)
    I’m a teacher and I see nothing wrong with “encouraging” your friend to get her daughter to pass the test. The teacher probably doesn’t like grading all of the homework anyway, and study skills are much more beneficial than homework (busy work parent work).
    I’m curious about the test, though. Are you willing to share more about that? I’m interested what the teacher does. Ask your friend. ;)

    [Reply]

    Emoly Reply:

    @Emoly, I spelled my name wrong. :( I’m Emily also!

    [Reply]

Speak Your Mind

*

CommentLuv badge