Now, I know that this is one of those. A controversial one. There are people who are in the YES! Allowances are the best, yo! They are great for kids! camp. There are people who are in the NO! Allowances are bad news. Kids shouldn’t be paid for doing things they should already do.
I will admit, until this past year, I was just sort of “meh” about allowances. But, I made the decision to do it. And my reasoning is three-fold.
Reason #1: It’s a good way to teach my children about money. I don’t want them growing up to think that money is simply handed to them…like their mother did. I want them to understand that money has value. I want them to understand the concept of saving for something they really want. I want them to learn that once it’s spent, it’s gone.
Reason #2: It’s a good way for them to learn to be somewhat self-sufficient. I don’t want them growing up being those adults who don’t know how to fold a pair of socks or who would get up from a table and leave a dirty plate for someone else to take care of….like their mother did. And while, yes, I do agree that being a part of a family means doing these things anyway, without being PAID to do them, the little extra push, at least in our family, helps the kids OWN these tasks.
Reason #3: It’s a good way for me to have a little extra lazi(ish)ness in my life. (like you never…)
We have a system that works for us. Emily gets $4 each week, and Josh gets $3. They are expected to do certain things around the house….clear their plates, put their dirty laundry in the hamper, take their belongings to their bedrooms, feed Indy and let him out to pee. If they choose to help out around the house with extra tasks…helping Isabella put her shoes on, or running upstairs to grab me a water bottle, or bringing the hampers downstairs, making their beds, they have the chance to earn a few extra dollars each week. BUT, just as quickly as they can earn the extra money, they can also lose these bonus bucks. If Emily is rude (which she has a tendency to do) and if Josh whines (which he has a tendency to do), they can lose it.
And, of course, there are people who will tell me I’m doing it wrong. They will tell me that I shouldn’t attach strings. They will tell me that I am bribing my children. They will say that punishing for bad behavior is the wrong way to go. But right now, it’s working.
Right now, it makes, well, cents.
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