Should Your Kids Get An Allowance?
For a child, it’s a big deal to get even a small amount of money. Ever seen a child with just one dollar bill? They really feel like they have something. In my growing up, I was given money on my birthday and at Christmas. I didn’t receive any type of allowance, although I must admit I certainly wanted to. We didn’t have much money, and I think if we were better off financially, I would have been given an allowance (although I believe it would have had to be earned, as I did a lot of housework as a child and teenager).
Let me say that it is, of course, entirely up to you whether or not you give your child an allowance. I think there are a few things you should consider, however, before jumping right into it. Keep reading for a little food for thought.
One thing (and possibly the biggest thing) to avoid is creating an idea in your child’s mind that he or she is entitled to money and material things without having to do anything for it. A free money, I deserve it mindset is definitely not something that will help your child in life. A lot of young adults don’t understand the concept of hard work and earning what they have. Instead, they expect more regardless of doing little to nothing. You don’t want your child to end up with an entitlement complex, feeling life should be given on a silver platter just for doing simple things like showing up on time each day at the workplace. It’s good for children to learn something about the value of work and of money.
Working For It
If you really want to get your child serious about an allowance, make ’em work for it. This isn’t a form of punishment. It’s a fact that work is actually theraputic. Having a strong work ethic is one of the absolute best traits any person can have, and it’s wonderful to start early in life.
One suggestion would be getting good grades in school. If the grades are low, no pay. If your child is eager about getting an allowance, and if getting good grades is a requirement, then the desire to become a better student sets in.
Doing additional work around the home is another way your child could earn some of that allowance. Now, I believe in a family each person should pull their own weight. Not everything is pay-worthy, but simply a routine responsibility. If your child’s household chores are things like making the bed, cleaning up after his/her own messes, etcetera, then I’d say that’s not something they should expect to be paid for. Maybe doing things like dust-cleaning or mowing the lawn (if the child is old enough and able to do it). Whatever it is you can come up with that isn’t a normal responsibility can be something your child can do to help earn allowance money.
Last but not least, when your child knows the money was earned and not just ‘given’, it makes the child feel that he or she did something good, worked hard, put effort into something that paid off. They can look at the things purchased with the money and know they worked for it. It’s a much greater feeling and helps build confidence necessary for accomplishing bigger things in life.
One thing I’ll add here, and it’s merely an opinion, but I think if children are actively involved in extracurricular activies with their school, that can take the place of other work and in such cases an allowance is a healthy thing.
You know your child best. If you think giving your child an allowance is a good thing, then I say go for it. It’s just important for it to not effect his or her understanding of what it means to get freebies and what it means to work for something.