Reply To: Rewards/Incentives for Grades

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#51659
parentcoachjoyce
Participant

I agree with Penny/ADHDMomma that grades aren’t everything. Middle school is a huge transition and there will be a lot of things to deal with including as you pointed out juggling 7 classes (and learning how to deal with 7 teachers and their differing styles, rules and expectations, keeping track of homework and assignments for each, etc.), not to mention the other potentially anxiety producing stuff like finding his classes, figuring out how to work his locker, dealing with gym class, navigating the lunch room, friend/social drama, etc. etc. I think until he starts and you see what challenges he has, it’s too soon to set any goals and rewards other than going to school every day and trying his best. (But in my experience as a school counselor I have found that in most instances, if a student goes to school every day and turns in all (or most) of his assignments, the grades tend to take care of themselves.)

You say that grades are not a big motivator for him, but eventually, once he learns the ‘lay of the land’ there could end up being things related to grades that are motivating for him, like trying to get on the honor roll (a lot of schools have fun things for kids who make honor roll) or winning “student of the month”, etc. that he might find interesting and worth pursuing. But that will take time to figure out. In any case, whatever goals you set (and associated rewards) need to be meaningful to him so it’s best to get his input.

One thing you did not mention is whether he has a 504 plan and/or an IEP. The most important thing you can do to ease his transition to middle school and give him the best chance of success grade-wise as well as social/emotionally is to make sure that he has the accommodations he needs (and that all his teachers are aware of what those are.) It’s best to not rely on the school to let teachers know.

Hope this helps!

Joyce Mabe
Parenting Coach, school counselor, author, mom of adult son with ADHD
website: http://www.parentcoachjoyce.com