A child's education is the most important key to their future success. If you can do something to motivate them to put maximum effort into their studies do it. In 2007 16% of students 16 - 24 were high school dropouts. This is a burden on society as many of them choose a life of crime or become a drag on the system collecting welfare. That incentive to make some money, whether early on or later in high school, could make that difference in them deciding to stay in school. If you don't want to directly give them cash then reward your child by taking them out to eat or buy them a movie or video games.