'She went ballistic': Dad slammed for pitting kids against each other to 'motivate' them to study

Online users agreed he took it too far.
Online users agreed he took it too far. Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto

It's hard to stay motivated sometimes, and 2020 has been a particularly difficult year to razzle dazzle kids.

One dad has found himself in a heated argument with his wife over his approach to keep their kids motivated about their schoolwork.  

The dad explained in a Reddit post  that although his seven-year-old and 11-year-old sons are generally good students, like many, they've found online learning difficult this year.

"[It's] been hard on them and their grades have started to slip," he explained.

The father continued saying that both his sons have been begging him to get them a Nintendo Switch for a while, so he decided to use as motivation for a big test they both had coming up.

The man's wife went 'ballistic' when she found out.

The man's wife went 'ballistic' when she found out. Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto

"I wanted them to do well on it," he admitted. "I told them that whoever gets the higher score on the test would get a Switch, but if EITHER of them got less than a B+, then NEITHER would get anything."

Unsurprisingly, both boys studied really hard and both received A's.

"I was very proud of them, and told them that since they'd done so well, I was going to give them both Switches," he wrote, before admitting he'd been planning on giving them Switches all along.


However, when he told his wife she was not happy with his method.

"She went ballistic and told me that what I'd done was cruel and heartless, and that our kids' grades didn't matter that much," the dad said, before asking the Reddit community if he did the wrong thing.

The online community agreed that the dad took it a bit far by essentially pitting his kids against each other, especially with the age difference meaning vastly different work loads.

"It would be one thing to reward good grades however, the fact that if one got less than a B+ then neither would get a reward is a bit unfair and could stir animosity and resentment against the two," one user pointed out.

Others said bribing them with prizes is encouraging them to learn for the wrong reasons.

"They have to value their education because they value learning and growing intellectually," the user said.

"If you want them to do well, help them develop better study strategies, consider tutoring or academic support to assist them with these skills," agreed another.

"Getting a good grade isn't the end goal, being a good student is."