Paying your child to get off Facebook is one of the worst ideas I've ever heard

There are plenty of moms and dads who beg their teens to get off of Facebook, but there aren't many teens that will do so willingly ... at least, without a price. Massachussets dad Paul Baier recently learned this when he agreed to the following deal: if his 14-year-old daughter, Rachel, gave up the social media site for five months, he would reward her with $200.

Ahh, bribery. Works every time!


The two even signed a contract (which Baier posted to his blog and is seen above), that states that Rachel will get $50 if she keeps her end of the bargain until mid-April. If she makes it to June 26, she'll make another $150. Meanwhile, Rachel has given her dad her password, which he has changed to prevent her from re-activating her profile.

But if you're thinking this is all in the name of protecting the teen from the dangers of the cyber world, guess again. Though that probably is a bonus, Baier actually told Yahoo that this was Rachel's idea. "She mostly wanted and needed the money as she has been frustrated by not finding babysitting jobs," he said. "She is an honors student but she says Facebook can be distracting."

Okay, am I the only one who thinks this is incredibly stupid? If I had ever had the nerve to ask my parents to pay me to stop messing around online and focus on my studies, they would've laughed in my face. I mean, isn't that what kids are supposed to be doing? For free, I might add? If they're not doing so, it's because parents aren't doing their jobs and making them do so. 

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Rachel says she can't find a job and finds Facebook distracting. So instead of just telling her to go out and look harder or simply demanding that she get off the Internet, this dad just hands her an easy way out. It's a terrible example to set for your kids: Don't work harder to meet your goals, just take this $200 as motivation. What is she going to do in the real world? Ask her boss to give her a raise every time she shows up on time? Please. Life does not work that way and the sooner Rachel learns that, the better.

But the worst part of this story is that it's completely clear that this teenager has all of the control, not the parent. Case in point? Rachel originally asked for $70, but then came back and sneakily negotiated the deal up to $200 ... and her dad actually agreed. Sigh. Sorry to break it to you Paul, but it looks like your (obviously clever) 14-year-old just took you for a ride.

Image via Practical Sustainability

Topics: how to parent  on parenting  parents and children  teen issues  social media