"Can I have $20, mom? Shannon and me wanna see a movie."
So. (After you've corrected her grammar), do you reach into your pocket, or not?
When your children are teens, they are much more independent. They are striving for autonomy. They see themselves as 'good as adults', and want the freedoms, perks, and advantages of adulthood. Oddly, they're not so keen on the "responsibility, burden, and worry" part of adulthood...
So. Do you reach into your pocket? I don't. Not necessarily.
Rather than be the Parental Money Tree, I give my teens a modest monthly allowance, from which they are required to pay for certain of their expenses.
A monthly allowance will vary depending on your family income and where you live, but it should be sufficient for the basics. BASICs, and not much else. For my kids, it was in the range of $100 - 150. And when they were making $50/week or more? The allowance was stopped.
hey were expected to purchase their own shirts, socks, and underwear. I provided a set amount for jeans, shoes, and outerwear. If they wanted the high-end, designer shoes, they paid the difference. If they want something badly enough, they’ll work for it. If they’re not willing to work for it--they don’t want it badly enough! Why should I use my hard-earned money to provide something they don’t want that badly?
“Can I have $20 for a movie?”
Nowadays, I never get asked that question. Would I reach into my pocket? No, because I’d be too busy asking where the spending money had gotten to. The child would be expected to account for their need. Usually, they need the money because they chose to spend their allowance in other ways. That’s okay. Sometimes I mess up my monthly budget, too. And then what happens? I do without something. I am not asking of my teen something I don’t expect of myself. They either find something else to do, or find some way to raise the money.
We are a family team. When I refuse them the $20, I am not treating them as a child, I am treating them as an adult.
Because sometimes? Sometimes it kinda sucks, being an adult – and that’s not such a bad thing for your teen to know!