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Should you bribe for exam results?

(27 Posts)
GeraldineGransnet (GNHQ) Tue 14-Jun-11 18:34:28

(This is another Ask a gran question sent in by readers of the Radio Times.)

My daughter’s friend is being offered £100 per GCSE A-grade, and now my daughter says we should be offering her similar financial incentives. I refused to be blackmailed but my daughter can be very stubborn and she’s now saying she’s not going to work hard for her GCSEs. What should I do?

goldengirl Tue 14-Jun-11 22:07:13

Don't give in! Encourage her to work for her exams for what it will offer for her future. If she doesn't work then, sad though it is, she will learn the hard way. Is there something in which she is particularly interested she can work towards? Has she - or can she - get some work experience that would encourage her? Positive encouragement is far more productive. I'm afraid I don't believe in bribery.

harrigran Tue 14-Jun-11 23:14:49

Bribe a child and they will never respect you, they have to succeed for themselves.

absentgrana Wed 15-Jun-11 10:19:17

What's the going rate for A levels, first degree, Masters degree, PhD? I want it – and the backlog of interest. Oh for goodness sake – GCSEs are not exactly major in the great scheme of things but if they have any benefit, it will all be hers, not yours.

janthea Wed 15-Jun-11 10:25:45

Never give in to bribery. They will always have you over a barrel. If they do well, you can reward them as a treat, but not bribery. Tell her, if she fails that's her problem. All you can do is hope she's sensible.

Joan Wed 15-Jun-11 11:35:31

No. Never.

Elegran Wed 15-Jun-11 12:20:08

Ask her if she really wants to jeopardise her chance of getting a decent job for £100. Sounds like cutting off her nose to spite her face to me.

Cressida Thu 16-Jun-11 10:30:52

Blackmail can only work if the victim stands to suffer if they don't pay up. In this case it's the blackmailer who will suffer as a poor exam result will really only affect her. It's her future she's messing about with & she's the one who might end up needing to retake an exam at a later date.

How can a parent have pride in their child's results if they know they had to pay the child to work hard?

pompa Thu 16-Jun-11 11:13:52

Playing devil's advocate here. Is this not like incentive bonuses that are a fact of adult working life ?. Many of us would get a reward if we hit set targets.

absentgrana Thu 16-Jun-11 12:02:57

pompa bonuses in the workplace are intended to reward work that benefits the company even if city bankers and chief executives of some companies appear to get them automatically no matter how damaging they've been. Getting fair to good GCSE grades doesn't benefit anyone other than the candidate. Ergo, not an incentive bonus but a piece of extortion. A small reward – not £100 per subject – after the event would be in order.

Heather Thu 16-Jun-11 13:36:35

well I did it with my 2 - not as a bribe but, when they're confidence was wobbling, to say I was so proud of their efforts and I had the confidence that they would do it - so much so that I'd 'bet' them £x for each subject ... cost me a fortune ... twice!!!!

(But then I'd have probably done something to celebrate and this way they got to chose their own celebration with their friends and their own money ... a great feeling for any teen!)

amma Thu 16-Jun-11 14:03:03

On no account give in to this!

Mind you, I remember being offered a bicycle if I passed my 11+! I did, the bike was a secondhand nasty pale blue job, bought from a neighbour. Bribes have a way of biting you in the backside.

Mossybanks Thu 16-Jun-11 14:06:45

I agree No Never.

lynne Thu 16-Jun-11 14:12:20

Disagree entirely...has to be developed from an early age...achieving and being successful brings its own sense of self satisfaction then you reward the success which they have achieved because they wanted to prove to themselves they could do it!
Bribes are a temporary measure.. Support is far more important than a financila bribe

AmberGold Thu 16-Jun-11 14:14:17

There's often a fine line between bribery and incentives. There's no way she should blackmail you into handing over cash, but once she's agreed she will work hard (and only when she has), she could be encouraged to up her grades by offering certain incentives. smile

Sue61 Thu 16-Jun-11 15:11:13

Bribery never works and devalues learning.

mrshat Thu 16-Jun-11 17:38:13

No never. Do not give in. She needs to accept responsibility for the outcome of her exams. The 'action and consequences' chat ........

monkeebeat Thu 16-Jun-11 17:39:53

Bribery is a NO NO.

Awful though it might be she might needs to learn her own lesson that it is HER OWN efforts (or lack of) that bring true results.
Take heart that if she comes out with low grades they can be retaken.

jackyann Thu 16-Jun-11 18:45:09

I have just taken part in an oral history project. As I talked about my education, I realised how privileged I felt to have had an extended family who valued and delighted in my education. We did the same for our children - worth more than £££££

This question reminds me of those who know the price of everything & the value of nothing.

Lynette Thu 16-Jun-11 19:17:08

No but offer a gift for working hard and get it before the exams start. So, ' this is for doing your best' sort of thing. Worked for me and mine . If your child does well and is moving on to higher education then that will in itself bring material stuff - you need to buy lots of things for uni. So the child will appreciate what you are doing for her/him then.

Also don't harp on if the results are not brilliant : be positive and work out strategy for future. Water under the move on.

J13 Thu 16-Jun-11 19:56:05

The question is "Whose life will be helped by the results?" The early they realise their life is their own the better. Taking an interest in both their school day and their aspirations is way more important. Don't buy their success, let them own it themselves.

lynne Fri 17-Jun-11 11:55:43

agree so much

lynne Fri 17-Jun-11 11:56:09

so true

gurugranny Sat 18-Jun-11 08:32:17

Say 'We'd like to do that but we just couldn't afford it. You would bankrupt us!' implying that she is going to do well anyway. If she bangs on say 'I'm sure we will be having some sort of celebration when you get your results' implying a nice surprise and reward what ever her grades are. Follow through with whatever you think is appropriate when the time comes.

absentgrana Mon 04-Jul-11 15:11:18

Don't do bribery – or, in this case, extortion – but I think reward is good. My daughter – well past teenage years – has just passed some demanding exams, having had to study with a busy life of full-time job and a family of four children. I sent a congratulations card and a little bit of cash for a treat or towards text books for the next level or both. Nothing outrageous, but a "well done" and I'm sure it will make both of us feel good.