By JasonThorn - 17/12/2016 13:21
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OP here. I am glad that a lot of people understood that it had been meant as a gift with no strings attached, only to have then attached later as a reward for performance. My dad never specified, "This is what you get for doing well." It was, "I had a great day and I want to share it with everyone." The truth is, if he had said he was disappointed in me but felt I should keep the $50 and hoped I would do all I can to improve, I would have respected him and listened to him. It's not about the money. It could have been $5 and I would have reacted the same way. I now understand that gifts are conditional and I have to continually earn every favorable reaction from him, on the off chance he intends to give one.
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Love is not necessarily demonstrated by giving you money. Motivating you to do your best, even when you don't appreciate it, can be more loving than you might imagine.
I don't think that love is equated with the money specifically here. I think the meaning is that the money was a GIFT and gifts ARE equated with love. If the money was actually meant as a reward, it should have been withheld from the beginning until conditions were both explained and met. This sounds to me like probably a lack of effort on the part of both people. OP, potentially, for grades, unless Cs really were their best work; and the father, for inconsistent parenting choices/lack of planning.
The money wasn't presented as a reward for doing well in school. Dad said he wanted to share the good fortune he had at work with the family and did not imply that there were conditions with that money. There should have been an initial discussion so children are aware that there is financial compensation for performing well. Frankly, my parents never bought into that and I think it's a poor motivation for doing well in school but sometimes that is all that works. There could be a litany of reasons why the OP received C grades that we're not aware of. The FML is in Dad attaching conditions to a gift after it has been given.
I think I would have felt more sorry for you if it wasn't for the "So, love is conditional?". Money and love are two separate things
While I agree that money does not equate with love, OP's father initially presented the money as a gift with no conditions. If you think about Christmas/Hanukkah/Etc. gifts, those do equate with love, because they are GIFTS. OP's dad gave a gift because he loved his family, and then took it away after putting conditions on it after the fact. So I can see that being viewed as his love being conditional, even if he didn't mean it that way.
Love isn't, but rewards definitely are. Though he could've asked for the report cards beforehand.
That would be fine if the money wasn't initially given because he 'wanted to share it' before he even thought to ask for report cards. It seems unreasonably harsh to take back what was presented as a gift because you didn't meet arbitrary conditions that you weren't aware of. Plus for all we know OP isn't academically inclined and those are the grades he got after trying his best.
Why should you be rewarded for bad grades? I think it is unconditional love because he is showing you that you can not get by on bad grades. Maybe try harder next time and get some extra help.
I think the way OP's father handled this, instead of showing OP that they can't get by on bad grades, it mostly shows a lack of forethought on the father's part. As a teacher, if I tell my class "everyone gets a pizza party" and then give them pizza but stand by the pizzas with my grade book and turn students away when they get to the front of the line for not having good grades, that doesn't teach a lesson about working harder. It just teaches the students that they can't trust me at my word. This is basically what OP's father did.