Grandparents Paying for Good Grades

Updated on September 18, 2012
L.T. asks from Houston, TX
7 answers

Out of the blue today, my inlaws sent an email to me and all my husband's siblings that have children and said this school year they would pay $10 for every A that their grandchildren earn. Philosophically, I have a big problem with this as I believe their school performance should not be rewarded monetarily. As a family, we have always celebrated improvement and a good school year and the effort they put forth to do a good job by going out to eat at place of their choice or going somewhere fun that we don't go to often (amusement park, etc.) The thing is, my kids make good grades already so I don't think this will be a huge motivator--not sure what the intention is really by my inlaws--maybe my neices and nephews need it? My husband thinks it is fine. I personally think $10 is way too much also--for example, my 6th grader has 7 periods. She's currently making all A's in every class (per progress report) so that means at the end of the six-weeks she will get $70 from her grandparents. We have six 6-week periods per school year--that is a lot of money by the end of the year! Yes this is very generous of them but when it goes against principal I'm not sure what to do, especially when my husband does not feel as strongly as I do (he's really ambivalent actually). Any body else face this before? Advice?

Edited to add (based on replies so far): My inlaws want the kids to spend the money they give them. They always have. I think it's b/c they both had little money when they were growing up and want our kids to have things now. But they have more "things" than they know what to do with! Maybe saving for something big but not putting it in a college fund that is years away. Thanks so far for the input!

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So What Happened?

Thanks for everyone's input. My husband ended up talking to his parents and told them our position. They still want to do it and I think they are just getting to the point in their lives where they want to see their money going to the kids/grandkids for things they can enjoy now vs. after they are gone. They were in agreement that we would handle it however we saw fit (i.e. save half, save all, etc.) so I am glad for that. Thanks again.

More Answers



answers from Atlanta on

This is ridiculous. I know they mean well. But no. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

My sister did this with all four of her kids and even though they got good grades they learned nothing. Except of course that everything they do should have a monotary reward attached to it. IMO it ruined their chacter. They don't think of anything or anyone for the most part accept for what they can get either free or for very little.

Schooling/learning should be approached with an attitude of learning and educating one's self for the betterment of self and others.

If they want to help let them start an account for them for college without telling the children right now.

And what happens if next year they can't afford to pay for grades or the year after that?

I'd tell them no, absolutely not and I just might ask them where their ethics are.

That is my basic take on it. And good for you for not doing this, so many do. Have you ever read the book, Punished By Rewards.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I think grandparents have been slipping candy or coins to their grandkids since report cards were invented.

Put it in her college fund for her.
Have her thank her grandparents for the money for her future.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

No. It doesn't take into account kids with learning issues, ridiculous teachers, more difficult work loads, etc. It encourages kids to cheat in order to get more money. And kids should learn to do the right thing whether they get paid for it. Are they also going to pay them to do volunteer work? Kind of takes away from the word "volunteer", right? It also really embarrasses other kids who do not have wealthy relatives.

Put your foot down and do not permit it. It's a problem that your husband isn't on board.

Ask the guidance counselors what they think, and then tell the grandparents that the school advises against it and please not to violate their policy and put the kids in that ridiculous position.

Can't they just give the kids money or take them on special excursions because they love them?

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

this same type of question was asked a few weeks ago.

The thing to remind the grandparents is that report cards here come out every 6 weeks. In elementary school, there are 2 dozen grades sent out at a time.. That is a lot of money, just for grades..

Here was my answer.
"Well my mom decided to pay the grand kids for good grades.. They did not ask.. She paid them 50 cents for every "A" and 25 cents for every "B"

She practically went broke with our daughter. So after a few years of paying all of the grand children's grades.. Our daughter told me, "I do not think A.. should be paying me for my grades" I"I feel sorry for her." Hee, hee..

And so we told my mom, thank you, but grandchild was fine without the money reward, plus my mom is great about giving pieces of clothing, books, etc.. to the grandchildren..

Not the Nephew and niece still get their money.. They are now in High School.. Gosh knows what amount of money mom has paid out. But my mom does not tend to give them gifts, because their mother (my sister) usually says," no, the kids would never wear that, or they don't need junk. Save your money." Yes, these are the exact words she uses.. charming..

So before anyone starts this , make sure you realize how many grades your children will be receiving.. Here it is every 6 weeks.. Multiply that by the number of subjects.. It can really add up.. And in reality not every child needs this type of incentive, is it an incentive."



answers from Boston on

Accept gracefully. Let your kids know what they earned and have them write a thank you note each time but save the money and use it for something special (and maybe enriching). Our schools and town rec program are always sending home notices for little 8 week programs (learn to ski! learn to golf! come build robots!) that just aren't in our budget. This kind of unexpected $ is perfect for things like those.

If it makes you feel better, my ILs just gave my two 9th graders $500 each for "graduating" middle school. Um, all they did to "graduate" was show up enough to move ahead to the next grade. Hardly an accomplishment, but we're setting the money aside and waiting for the right opportunity for them to use it.



answers from El Paso on

First off, I can't imagine they are thinking 6 grading periods. I would bet they're thinking 4 tops, even maybe just semester grades. Check with them on that. If they ARE talking about all 6 grading periods, then definitely stuff that $$ into a college savings account.



answers from Kansas City on

We actually give our kids a large sum of money at the end of the year if they get on the honor roll. Its a great motivator for some kids who aren't quite as motivated as your kids may be. I don't see anything wrong with it at all. In fact, my mom, and my FIL have given my kids cash for it also. We just have them put the money in the bank, and at the end of the year, they can buy something awesome with it. My son bought an IPAD with his money last year. And when he uses it, he remembers how he got it. I'm not sure what advice to give, except to listen to your husband!!!

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