Kids outgrow everything – from rolling backpacks to last year’s school supplies. What works when they’re younger is sure to fail, if given enough time. That dollar allowance for every year equal to their age is cool – up until about the age of ten. Then, that $10 doesn’t seem to be enough for them. Kids outgrow allowance. Here’s what you can do to help kids learn money management from the allowance tool.
Try giving a fifteen year old $15 a week and see if your child is motivated to do anything but complain give up. That’s one of the problems with kid’s allowance. When that happens, the use of allowance as a control method and way to get children to learn money management may has outlived its usefulness.
Learn to Earn
When children are very young, they not might understand ways that they can earn money. Allowance is a great money teaching tool because we all ‘learn to earn’ sooner or later.
Doing chores for allowance is one way that children can learn to earn, however, the connection between chores and money will have to be reinforced constantly. The chores and money have to be done on schedule and every week to reinforce the structure that you want housework done before giving allowance.
Attitude is Everything
Sometimes it’s easier to teach children about money by paying them for something they didn’t do. Like giving a child a financial reward for good behavior. Not crying on the bus or behaving for the sitter… children will learn to develop self control over their behavior… but your child could be teaching you to pay out bribes.
The problem with helping children learn to earn is that “bribe” money is an ill gotten gain. It may backfire when the child will annoy you until you fork over the dough. Or, it could create an expectation of receiving money for doing something you expect your child to do without paying them for it.
In the real world, adults know that having the right attitude makes a big difference with friends, at work and with family. Hopefully your child’s attitude is not a “for sale” item. It feels good to have a good attitude and management emotions and attitudes.
What is the Basis for Allowance?
Giving allowance is a problem for some parents in the area of household chores.
On one hand, doing extra chores for money are a good “learn to earn” concept.
On the other hand, some parents won’t pay for chores. They simply give children money and leave the rest up to the child. But not every family can afford to give children allowance.
Either way, parents often flip flop on the basis for giving (or not giving) allowance.
Children want to be paid to do chores, according to a survey of 5th graders at PS 51.
Chores are a great way to give a child “job experience.” However, as a member of the household, we all have to contribute to the upkeep of the home. Taking out the garbage is not something that I expect to pay anyone who lives at home to do!
Not to mention, doing chores for free prepares you to become an independent adult. Someday your child’s roomie or spouse will thank you for it!
Allowance can be fun, it can be a tool to motivate behavior or to teach money management, It might not be an option in your budget. It’s never too early to involve kids in the discussion about money – what it is, where it comes from and how to use it. They’d like to hear from you about allowance, and so would I. Let’s discuss the pros and cons of allowance and share our experience and tips.
As a parent, what have you learned from giving your kids allowance?