My fear is that it would become like a job.

The allowance could be seen as payment for doing chores, and (as happens with jobs) someday the allowance may not be seen as enough for the work done, or the infant would do stuff only for something in return, and I don't want to encourage this behavior (I'd like him to help around the house because he wants to and because it's the right thing to do).

How can you separate giving your child money, and have him help around the house selflessly?

asked 16 Oct '09, 15:27

JJJ's gravatar image

accept rate: 12%


I swear I did not see this question before asking mine: http://moms4mom.com/questions/1221 (weird coincidence)

(16 Oct '09, 15:29) JJJ

It'd be hard for me NOT to upvote this question :) Thanks for linking to mine also. I'm sure there will be some positive cross-pollination.

(16 Oct '09, 15:43) Dinah

I think you make a really good point Juan, and I share your concern. When I was young I recall being given "pocket money". This was a small amount of money that I could save up or buy something small with. This was quite common during my childhood, and as I gather from my brother, it still applies inthe U.K.

Of course the concept of "allowances" is another issue. I think that people who have grown up receiving allowances tend to view things from another perspective. I don't believe that there is a right or wrong formula regarding allowances or payments made to children. I think each family is qualified to decide on how and when such topics are addressed and dealt with.

We communicate with our child, and she understands the notion of money. We pay her a small amount of money on a weekly basis, pocket money, which she keeps in her piggybank. She helps me around the apartment willingly and she enjoys it, so I would not consider paying her for chores. I would like to think that we have been able to bring her up with our values and have taught her to appreciate things and thus I consider this to be the most important aspect, because this is the foundation that will carry other values that will be learned or taught in the future.


answered 16 Oct '09, 20:12

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accept rate: 19%

In my experience allowance is great for teaching children about money and also for encouraging them to do things that they may not want to do but I also agree that some things need to be done because you are part of a family.

I don't think kids ever help out selflessly, as I don't think adults do. We clean because we perceive a benefit in it, whether that be that we want our homes presentable to others, we want to know where things are we do things for a reason, we want to help out our spouse. Kids have different priorities however and may not get the same value out of cleaning so additional encouragement may be needed.

For things like picking up toys and or cleaning their room I think there can be natural consequences for not helping out. For instance with our kids, if your toys are not picked up then they are confiscated for a period of time, or if your room is not clean then mom and dad will not be coming in. For younger kids praise is often enough to get them to help out.

I do think that other stuff that needs to get done around the house can be assigned a price. It they do it then they can get the price assigned to that choice. This can eliminate the fight. If they do it they get rewarded if they don't then nothing happens. I will say that this will only work really well if you don't just give your kids money. They need to be expected to use the money they have earned. I'd make sure that you don't give them the opportunity to ear more money then you can give out. This can teach them to appreciate the work that goes into earning money and they will most likely make better choices in terms of what they want to buy when it is their money they need to spend.


answered 19 Oct '09, 18:02

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Jenn Leggett
accept rate: 0%

edited 20 Oct '09, 02:13

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Tammy ♦♦

Hi Jenn, thank you for your insights and welcome to moms4mom.com. The thoughts in your post sounded like they came from personal experience and therefore I edited the text to reflect that. Please check out our back it up principle: http://moms4mom.com/back-it-up

(20 Oct '09, 02:15) Tammy ♦♦

I'm not sure children would make the connection between chores and allowance unless you implied it somehow. Growing up, it never occurred to me that unloading the dishwasher might be connected to my allowance, it was just something I had to do. However, my parents would often give us the opportunity to earn extra money by performing tasks that were outside of our normal chore duties.

Like Dinah, my parents used allowances primarily as a way to increase our financial literacy. When we were young, we had to set aside certain amounts for charity and savings. Around the time I turned 12, I was responsible for buying my clothing and toiletries out of my allowance. I learned to appreciate thrift stores very quickly :)


answered 16 Oct '09, 18:00

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Kiesa ♦
accept rate: 26%

I would agree, my experience is similar to Kiesa.

(16 Oct '09, 21:21) Tammy ♦♦

My mom had a similar system. I learned a lot from her :)

(23 Nov '09, 06:14) DarwinsMom

Obviously, I have some opinions on the matter :) (http://moms4mom.com/questions/1221/withholding-allowance) as well as some questions. I would get rid of my post but these are slightly different questions.

Our take on it is that allowance is the most convenient way to teach money handling skills. It also gets them not to expect hand-outs on every little thing. Big stuff can be handled on a case by case basis, but allowance covers the day to day stuff nicely. In general, we see chores and family contribution to be one thing and money acquisition and handling to be separate. My philosophy of motivation differs from yours. I don't really expect anything a kid does to be selfless and have no problem with them doing it out of a sense of duty. I've known people to have a problem with this view though.


answered 16 Oct '09, 15:40

Dinah's gravatar image

accept rate: 15%

I agree that allowances should not be tied to doing chores around the house. After all, just because they get a job later in life doesn't mean they can stop doing chores!

An allowance (hopefully) helps teach them about money, and saving it teaches them the benefit of delayed gratification.


answered 20 Oct '09, 00:35

Peter%20Tate's gravatar image

Peter Tate
accept rate: 0%

This is the explicit philosophy in our house as well (as you can see in the post I link to in my answer). It's great to hear that other people feel the same way.

(21 Oct '09, 18:12) Dinah
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Asked: 16 Oct '09, 15:27

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Last updated: 20 Oct '09, 02:13