Motivating kids to work hard in school has always been a challenge. Now that many families are doing remote learning, it is more important than ever to reward good behavior and help keep your kids on track with school. Even if you’re skeptical about paying your kids for good grades, it is important to celebrate their successes. Here are seven ways to reward your kids for good grades while staying on a budget.

Host a Sleepover

Sleepovers are some of our favorite childhood memories. From staying up late talking to getting to watch movies with friends, sleepovers can also be a great reward when your child does well in school. Hosting a sleepover doesn’t have to be stressful or expensive.

To host a fun sleepover for your child, let them invite a friend or two over and have them be part of the planning process. If your child wants to have a sleepover as a reward for their grades, you might even use their report card to determine how many friends they can invite. For example, the number of A’s they get can be the number of friends they invite.  Then, stock up on snacks for the kids to share. Don’t forget to plan for breakfast, too.

Choose a Family Night Activity

Another way to reward your kids for good grades is to grant your child new responsibilities, such as choosing a family night activity. Letting your child plan an evening can give you unique insight into what your child likes to do in their spare time and how they include others, as well.

For example, your child might decide to cook dinner at home as a family or play a board game together. They may also want everyone to go to the park or visit a local business for ice cream. Whether your child decides to stay in or plan an outing, planning a family night activity can empower your child.

Additionally, kids love having their parents’ full attention. Your child might also choose to have some one-on-one time. With everyone being cooped up inside for most of this year, your child might enjoy some quality time with one person instead of the whole family.

Make Their Favorite Treat or Meal

Everyone has a home-cooked meal they love. However, our favorite meals aren’t typically very healthy, especially as kids. Therefore, rewarding your kids with their favorite meal or baked treat can be a bonus for getting good grades.

Your kids are proud of the hard work they put in to earn their reward, so be sure to acknowledge their accolades. You can remind the family over dinner that they earned this meal because of their extra effort or simply remind them that you’re proud of their accomplishments.

You might even teach them how to cook their meal or dessert for extra quality time. This way, they’ll be sure to help in the future, too!

Extra Allowance for Something They Want

While you might disagree with giving cash as a way to reward your kids for good grades, they may be saving up for something they want. If your family has an allowance system to teach your kids how to save and budget, they may desire some help to reach their savings goals more quickly. If this is the case, you could add to their savings or reward them with a gift card or a ride to the store to help them buy their new item.

Make a Cumulative Reward System

To avoid breaking the bank, you might want to create a cumulative reward system for your kids rather than an accomplishment-based reward system. For example, instead of only rewarding them at the end of the semester, you could contribute toward their larger goals by giving them a small reward every time they earn an A on a test or quiz.

For example, you and your kids could work together to create a points system with stickers or magnets. Let’s say they have a goal of planning a whole day of activities for the family. So, each point, or A grade, could be a different activity that they get to choose. They may be able to fill the day with lunch plans, afternoon activities, and other small treats, such as a stop at the ice cream shop.

A sticker system helps your kids keep an eye on their goals. Additionally, it can help you plan for a specific day or budget for the upcoming day of activities.

Have a Special Movie Night

If your family doesn’t watch much TV or have a lot of screen time, a reward for your child might be planning a special movie night. They can decide if they want to invite a friend or cousin over, eat their favorite snacks, and of course, choose the movie that everyone watches.

If you have a backyard or garage to accommodate, you might be able to plan a backyard drive-in night. You can set up blankets or air mattresses to lay on and put a projector on the side of the house. If you live somewhere that gets cold at night, you can set up a projector in the garage and have a space heater instead of a bonfire to stay warm.

Award Money with a Twist

Some parents love giving their kids allowance money for “A” grades, and others adamantly refuse to pay their kids for grades. However, if your child is motivated by money, you might be able to change how they use their award and teach them a valuable lesson in the process.

Instead of paying your child for their grades, you can create a fund that your child gets to spend on someone else as they earn money. Your child will learn to be charitable and get involved in local organizations. For example, your child might earn $5 for each “A” they receive. Then, at the end of the semester, they can donate to their chosen charities. With this reward system, your child will have the opportunity to learn about charitable giving and understand what it means to work hard for a larger cause.

The Bottom Line

There are plenty of ways to reward your kids for good grades in school without spending a lot of money. It is essential to ask your kids what they want as a reward. Their answers might surprise you, especially if they simply want to visit their favorite park or spend more time with you. Additionally, remember there are plenty of opportunities to commend your kids for their accomplishments.

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