Categorized | Family Budget Tips

Should Your Children Have To Earn Their Allowance?

For quite some time a philosophical debate has been raging. Many parents wonder whether or not it makes sense for a child to have to “earn” their allowance. In other words, should the kids have to do something around the house to actually earn the allowance that they receive — or should it freely be given with no strings attached.

To the extent you’re married, or have a partner who is helping you raise children, it’s important that you have a conversation about this topic so that there can be clarity and consistency. We as parents love our kids. We want the best for them, and sometimes we feel guilty. Why would we feel guilty? Many of us have to work long hours and we often don’t really feel as if though we get to spend enough quality time with our children. As a way of compensating for this, we sometimes indulge our children by getting them nice gifts of providing them with money.

As it relates to allowances, sometimes we just feel it’s better to give them the money without them having to do anything to earn it. This actually makes us feel better about ourselves because we want our kids to know we love them even though we spend long hours away from them at work. However, is this really in the best interests of the child? That’s the challenging conundrum that a lot of parents face.

When you think about the reality that your child will encounter upon leaving the protective shelter of your home, will they be given money for doing nothing? Probably not, unless they become a celebrity — of course, that’s said in jest. But the very serious question that parents have to ask themselves is whether or not they’re ultimately training their children to expect something for nothing by not attaching an allowance to any work output.

Most experts suggest there’s a middle ground. You can certainly give your child an allowance that’s not based on specific tasks being completed, but rather, for helping out around the house when asked and for being generally helpful when help is needed. That’s a reasonable approach worth considering.

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