My stepson finished Grade 7 on the honour roll! HOLY CRAP!
He came home 2 nights ago and told us that a kid in his class saw the certificates being printed in the office and saw one with my stepson’s name on it. He was totally excited. We were speechless.
Not because we don’t think he’s capable. He’s a very smart kid. Sometimes too smart.
But despite the fact that he is in a gifted program at school, attainment of grades that reflect his intelligence has been a struggle for him. Some of the struggles are within his control, some are not. Nonetheless, his mid-year report card this past year was disappointing, to say the least.
So when he told us he had made the honour roll, we had a hard time believing this was possible, based on his previous report card and the general lack of homework-doing and studying we saw around our house for the past 4 months.
But he did it! His average just barely exceeded the 80% minimum required for Honour Roll status, but he did it.
And we are SO proud! Incredibly surprised, but in a fantastic way.
He is finally performing academically at the level we know he is capable of!
Does that sound familiar to you? I’m sure many parents feel their children are not performing up to their potential at school.
So now Huzbo wants to reward him. And this is where I struggle.
I do want him to know how proud of him we are. I told him a hundred times yesterday. I hugged him, I kissed him. I cried when I saw his certificate.
I want to give him some sort of token to remember his job well done.
So where do we draw the line? Huzbo wanted to take him to a movie of his choice tonight. Just the 2 of them. I felt that excluded Baby Girl and I. We are proud of him too!
Huzbo wanted to take him out for a fancy dinner. Or give him a present. Or give him cash. Or all of the above. Huzbo is pretty pumped about this, as Huzbo never made the honour roll.
I’ve read a number of blogs and comments to these blogs about each of these ideas. I’m not sold. I want him to feel that there IS a reward for working hard. But isn’t feeling proud of your accomplishment a reward? Isn’t getting the good grade the reward?
I also struggle with the concept of rewarding him for fulfilling our expectations of him. Our job is to take care of him, to feed him, to clothe him, to nurture him, support him, love him. HIS job is to go to school, study hard and do well. Don’t worry, it isn’t an exchange program – we would still do our job even if he isn’t doing his. He has chores in our home – making his bed, dusting, keeping his room tidy. We don’t throw a party or reward him for doing those chores. Why should we reward him for doing what we expect of him at school?
I suggested to Huzbo that we offer him a choice of one reward. Perhaps we could offer him the choice of a fancy dinner at a restaurant of his choice, a gift of his choice (within a pre-set budget), or cash payment for A’s and B’s. The latter is my favorite, as I like to offer more money for A’s than B’s. To me, this gives him the clear message that the reward for his BEST efforts is a bigger payoff. Just like in real life. If you do your best at your job, you generally are eligible for the highest rewards. I know he is capable of straight A’s, he’s that brilliant, so why not try to encourage him to excel to his best possible efforts?
Now I have to go count up his A’s and B’s to see if we can afford to offer this reward…
What do you do for your children when they do well at school? Would love to hear from you!
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