Some children receive allowances for good grades and for completing household chores. Although that is the norm in many families, is that really the best way to go? Here’s what I think.
I was at my son’s soccer practice a few days ago and I began to chat with another mother who was sitting next to me. She was there watching her two boys practice and we ended up having quite a joyful conversation. After about a half hour of small talk she made a statement about how much her two children receive each week for allowance. When I told her that I purposely do not give my children an allowance, she was very surprised.
My husband and I decided a long time ago that our children would not receive an allowance from us for doing chores or for keeping their grades up. Giving out allowances for good grades is not something that I am a real proponent of and my kids know not to expect it. The way I see it, it is their job to go to school and get good grades so that they can learn and become a productive member of society. And they don’t receive any type of compensation for doing so.
My husband and I don’t require our kids to use their money to provide for their basic needs. Like most parents, we recognize that it is our responsibility to provide for our children. So when our children need something, we have a discussion about it and we purchase it, or not, depending on the need level.
My son will sometimes ask for some extra money to buy snacks or to use for entertainment and shopping when he is going on an outing with a friend - and we usually accommodate that. He is pretty good with choosing healthy snacks and he’s old enough to have some extra spending money when he is out with friends. We trust him so we usually give him the money that he asks for. However, this is not an allowance that he gets in return for chores but rather it is a gift from us to him simply because he is our beloved child.
This doesn’t mean that our children do not have to earn anything. There are some things that my husband and I have decided that the kids have to earn, especially my son because at 12 years old, he is old enough to be able to do so. For instance, my son knows that he has to figure out a way to purchase his own electronics so he is very creative about ways to earn money. He helps neighbors with yard work and his Grandparents are always smuggling in money to him. So he is saving up his own money to purchase the Xbox that he has been wanting for some time now.
There are some parents who are big advocates of giving their children allowances for chores and good grades – and that is okay if it works for your family. However, we have decided to stay away from paying our kids to do what is naturally expected of them.