Should Report Card Grades be Rewarded?

As a parent, I constantly remind myself to reward good behavior and not give in to the whines and demands from my 3 children. Even though some days I want to just give them whatever they want to keep them happy and me from falling over the edge of sanity. This lead me to think about things such as doing chores and school work. Now the chores thing, that’s a whole other topic, but the report card issue is happening now.

See, my kids come home with these little cards from the school, sponsored by Applebee’s, for a free kids’ meal because they did well on their report card. I’m not sure how I feel about this. A paper award with their name on it for recognition? Yeah, that works. Free food? I don’t know? Now someone else is rewarding my children for doing well in school AND ‘forcing’ me to go out to eat, at Applebee’s, which I may or may not want to do. Do I feel children should be recognized/honored for awesome work? Yes. But how much is going too far? Giving them money? A trip to the toy store? Out to dinner? I think all of those ideas are way too much. It’s bad enough the school is sending us off to Applebee’s. And hey, what if the report card is really bad? Is a punishment of some sort in order?

So when they come home with outstanding report cards, they get, “GREAT JOB!” and a hug from me. They get encouragement throughout the entire year. If someone did not get all A’s but went up in a score from the prior marking period, I certainly acknowledge that. If scores go the other way, well, we work on how to do better and improve for the next marking period. There is no money given, toys bought, or dinners out. Okay, sometimes we all go out to eat to celebrate success – for everyone; the kids’ grades, my work success, my husband’s work success, etc…but these dinners out are not to specifically praise one child for good grades.

I’ve discussed this with other moms, I’ve even peeked around parenting forums just to see what other people are doing during report card time. Apparently I’m a hard ass because my thought process on this whole issue is NOT the ‘norm’…I’d love to hear what you think! Leave me a comment, share with me how you handle report card time.