We believe that allowance is for teaching how to handle money, not payment for services rendered. Our view is that everyone should contribute, period. This is partly preemptive in the hopes that once they are old enough to earn their own money but still live at home, that they can't just opt out of being a part of the household just because they no longer receive an allowance. Even the preemptive part though is a reflection of our belief that family is a cohesive unit that we all give to and benefit from, not a paying job.
That said, would it be inconsistent to use the withholding of allowance as an appropriate punishment? Should they still get an allowance irrespective of behavior? Neither feels right. Maybe it could be appropriate to withhold funds as a matter of punishment for some things but not for chores.
I agree with your last thought: Withhold allowance for punishment for some things, but not for chores. If you withhold allowance because chores weren't completed, then you're reinforcing the idea the allowance is for services rendered.
For chores not being completed, I would take something else away. My parents had an effective means of getting me to do my chores: If I didn't do my chores, I didn't get to use the computer! (There was a homework exception to the rule.)
(p.s. Now I have ten computers in the house and nobody is taking any of them away ;-)
answered 16 Oct '09, 21:33
Chris W. Rea
I'll say no.
We have linked allowance to chores, and to grades, at various times with different kids. It's worked differently with all 3 of my kids, and I think I've come to the conclusion that allowance is good for teaching them about how to manage their own money, and make decisions about how to spend/save.
Chores are separate, as is behavior. Those are expected, and other privileges go away if they are not done, or rules followed.
We stopped allowance when my oldest turned 16. At that point it was up to him to earn money if he wanted things.
answered 16 Oct '09, 22:47
Given your belief ("allowance is for teaching how to handle money, not payment for services rendered") it does seem inconsistent to withhold it as a punishment. If the child loses his allowance for not contributing to the household (i.e. doing his chores?) then he will learn to see it as payment for chores, which is not your goal. I think it would make more sense to find other methods of discipline and keep allowance/money separate entirely.
answered 16 Oct '09, 15:37
If your goal is to separate allowance from reward and punishment then you should not withold it unless they are failing the objective you have set out for them - of managing their money correctly.
If they are behaving badly I would suggest removing privileges instead - no tv, no favorite toys, no movies, no special outtings, etc.
answered 16 Oct '09, 23:43