“Kids are getting cars, Louboutins and spa retreats for good grades,” screamed the headline in a the New York Post on Oct. 24.
I couldn’t believe my eyes as I read the list of gifts rich parents rewarded their over-entitled little darlings with for getting good grades. A brand new Jeep, a massage, and a pair of $650 shoes. Really? How does a pair of shoes does raise a grade point average?
One parent said, “It’s not bribery, it’s reality,” explained Amanda Sanders, a fashion stylist who lives on the Upper East Side. Her 11-year-old Samantha, a sixth-grader at a public middle school, has her eyes set on a $400 Segway.
“It’ll be hers if she gets positive feedback about her classroom participation,”
To which I ask: What the heck is a Segway?
For all of us living under a rock, a Segway is a two-wheeled scooter that lets you get around without walking like Carmine. Well at least the kid is eco-conscious. But really? Just for participation? Seems a bit over-indulged, wouldn’t you say?
I guess I’m a bit old-fashioned — I sort of think doing a good job in school and getting the good grade is the reward. Maybe a pat on the back, job well done, that old-fashioned concept of working hard, getting good grades. This way when you become an adult and get a good job you can buy your own Segway and appreciate its value.
Some parents even thought that negotiating for rewards for good grades was a positive sign that their child will get ahead because they were sharpening the negotiating skills. What crappola is that?
Negotiate with your parents? The only wiggle room I had with my parents is if I was going to be grounded for a week or my entire life.
There was no negotiation. And as far as good grades were concerned, going to school was my job, and I was expected to do well at my job.
My parents worked hard and their reward was a paycheck at the end of the week. I worked hard and got the good grade. No one negotiated with them to get up and go to work and they certainly didn’t negotiate with me to go to school. You went, you worked hard, you learned, end of story. No negotiating. There were no fancy shoes at the end of my school year.
Not for Nuthin’, I’ll admit, I used the reward method with Bri when she was little and at the end of the school year there was a trip to Toys ’R’ Us. But the splurge was a toy or two, certainly not a pair a brand new car. We should return to those days of a pat on the back — not a full body massage.
Follow me on Twitter @JDelBuono.