Where's The Incentive?

Kids respond well to incentives. We all do actually. I go to work every day because they incentivize it with money. I don’t drive 100 mph because they’d take my money away. A basic principle of economics is that our behavior is shaped by incentives and disincentives. 

As parents, we need to fully leverage this principle to our advantage. Some parents pay their kids an allowance to do chores, or mow the lawn. But is that truly what you desire them to do? They’ll become adults who take out trash and mow anyway. Don’t waste your money on that stuff. Instead invest your money getting them to do something extraordinary! 

For me, I deeply want my kids to read certain books that I pick out for them. Books like The Case for Christ, or Fearless, the story of Adam Brown. I pay my kids to read great books and discuss them with me, and I pay them for good grades on their report card, and learning a musical instrument.

Whether it’s exercising, reading, or practicing an instrument, incentivize them financially to do things that will make them better men and women. Incentivize them to greatness, not to eat broccoli.