“My life changed the day I moved beyond just wishing for things and I started earning them. That is the day I learned that we don’t get what we wish for, we get what we work for.”
― Steve Maraboli
Should you give your child an allowance? Allowance was something my kids always look forward to. They both work hard and I feel that they deserve a little something extra for the chores that they complete. In some households, chores are expected and there is no incentive for finishing the task except for the right to play when they are done. In my home, I have been teaching both my 4-year-old and my 9-year-old the value of a dollar. On top of this lesson, I try to instill in them responsible work habits along with tips about saving money. I feel that if they learn how to be a good steward of their money early on, they will develop a lifelong pattern of accountability and will remain wise with their money.
The question about how much will float in your brain when and if you decide to give your children allowance. These days, even the tiniest treat costs over a dollar, so giving the old fifty cents a week just isn’t realistic in my book. I feel that the money I give depends upon the chore or chores being completed. For example, my 9-year-old has certain routine chores as well as being expected to help out around the house. She takes out the trash with no complaints and she is expected to help bring the groceries in. She earns two dollars a week, and most of the time, she saves until the end of the month so she can buy something special. My two year old doesn’t receive a weekly allowance, but when she does something extra special (which she does often because she likes to clean), I will put money in her piggy bank.
I have been so impressed with both of my girls at how hard they work and so I added on some new ways to earn money. My 4-year-old takes care of all of the recycles, so when we go to turn in our cans and bottles, she keeps five dollars of what we earn. The look of accomplishment on her face is priceless, and I always tell her what a great helper she is! My 9-year-old has now been coming to work with me for over a year now on a side housekeeping job I maintain. She began by doing a few simple tasks like taking out the trash and removing items in preparation for mopping. As the year has progressed, I have trained her as my partner, and she earns close to $30 in a month. She has such a sense of responsibility and already talks about where she wants to work in high school in addition to her aspirations for a career after college! I must be doing something right.
Whether allowance is something earned or given in your household, or you feel that chores are a general responsibility without it, I feel the most important thing is not the money. The key in every household should be appreciation. Our children are not slaves and should be praised for the work that they do along with completing tasks that you have asked for help with. Aside from this, motivation is key. If you have trouble getting your kids to follow through with a chore list, make it fun and come up with a check list or chore chart to organize the jobs. This gives the children a visual of what needs to get done. Aside from that, stickers do wonders, as does the reward system. If your kids are older, don’t worry, the reward system will motivate, just minus the stickers.
Maybe you don’t feel like giving an allowance is what is right for your household, but perhaps once in a while treating them to something nice at the end of the month for all of their hard work would be incentive enough for them to put in some elbow grease! I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on this as well as ideas you can share on chore charts, reward systems, or even your thoughts as to why your household possibly doesn’t give an allowance. Everyone’s voice matters here, and I am anticipating hearing from you!