A quinceañera party isn't a reward, it's a gift. There's a distinct difference between the two. Rewards are earned and are dependent upon our actions whereas gifts are given freely regardless of our actions.

And that is what a quinceañera is.

It is a gift that you give to your daughter. As I was growing up, a family that lived in our neighborhood had a daughter my age. We were both children of Mexican parents, and so it was clear that the quinceañera was going to be a part of our teen lives.

Honestly, I don't remember much leading up to mine.

My parents weren't over pushy about it. We talked about it several times, but that was about it. And then we started planning it.

I had never helped plan my birthday before so it was a mixture of intrest and disinterest. Mostly the later.

My friend on the other hand saw her quinceañera a day as royalty with those around her as chess pieces. This was until her parents decided to use it as a lever to push her in the right direction. Her grades had started to slip in that school year and so she constandly swung between cloud nine and being down.

Honestly I was a kid that did poorly in school. Not because I wasn't smart enough but because I just didn't care that much. My grades were fine by me. My parents asked me to try harder, they didn't punishment for bad grades though, becuase they knew that it wasn't going to get them anywhere.

I will be honest in my last year and a half I turned it all back around.

My children who do well in school though like all do have bad grades on occasion.

Instead of punishing them I find ways to encourage them to do better. And that almost always works. I know just because this works for me doesn't mean it will work for you.

And I saw first hand how it could be impropperly used.

I ended up tutoring my friend and helped her pull her grades up so that she could have the party that she wanted. But it has been my opinion ever since then that a child's birthday should be celebrated by you and your child, it should be special. It is the one day a year that is about no one but them.

With the birthday celebration, you are celebrating the child as a person—who is growing up, and has learned/done a lot in the past year, and will learn/do so much more in the coming year.

The birthday allows you to show the child how proud you are that the child is your child, and make her feel special. Now, in my case the grades reflected choices that I made as a child, and I will be honest, in my case I did not put enough effort into learning the material or time spent on assignments.

But it can just as easily be external factors like problems with friends that are influencing the child's grades. Either way, this doesn't change who your child is as a person

Don't associate the party with grades, or else, you'll condition the two together, and might form some kind of dependency on tangible rewards to get good grades which can be a terrible thing. In the case of my friend she didn't keep it up after she got what she wanted. She ended up repeating a year and her parents were devistated. They weren't bad people, just unskilled parents that tried to use what they had learned in their childhood and it didn't work.

When she graduated high school she moved out of state and I didn't have much contact with her there after.

Quinceañera are to celebrate the child's birth and shouldn't be used as an opportunity to reward or punish. There is something to be said for unconditional love and that is what a birthday celebration should be not something the child has to earn. If the child is getting bad grades, it is as much the parent's failure to instill a good work ethic and a sense of routine as it is the child's laziness or lack of effort. It is a complicated issue.

Spoiling what should be a happy occasion will not help solve the problem.

It may make them worse.