Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Allowance, Earned Or An Entitlement

I remember when I was growing up, I wasn't just 'given' money for nothing, I had to earn my allowance. And before anyone wonders if it was child labor... it was. No, not really, it was simply doing my chores before I got my allowance.

By chores I don't just mean cleaning my room either. Your bedroom is 'your room' so you shouldn't get paid for that.

No, by chores I mean; cutting the grass, taking out the trash regularly, washing the dishes, etc...

The problem I see today is that kids want the money but don't want to do the work. Then they begin to think the world operates the same way. They go on believing that if they just ask for something, it will land in their lap without any effort on their part, short of asking for it.

Again, I'm not talking about breaking your child's back with work that should have been done by adults either.

I wouldn't ask an 8 year-old to move all the living room furniture outside and then have them proceed to lay down new carpet while you, the parent, sips ice tea in the front porch swing.

Instead, it would be easy enough just to ask your child to help you plant some flowers, cut the grass 'with' you or some other cleaning job that needs to be done. Sure you could have done it alone and it would have been just fine but what's the harm in asking your child for help.

Now some would say you shouldn't bribe your child to help with those type things but my thought is that if you're going to give them the money anyway... why not spend quality time with 'em as well.

It has to begin somewhere and often times people try to go from nothing to overloading their kid with a new parenting idea. I'm not saying to ask them to do twenty chores before giving them their allowance. No, start off just asking for help with odd things around the house without even mentioning the word chore.

Just remember, at the end of the day it isn't about the money. It isn't even about the job that needed to be done.

It's about parents spending time, not money, with their kid(s).

(Oh and in case your child protests that 'this is wrong' – I recommend cutting spending until they learn it isn't free.)

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