The idea of an allowance is entirely foreign to me. When I first heard about it, I was in my pre-teens. I couldn’t believe that my friends were getting paid for doing things they were supposed to do anyway. Like clean their bedrooms, take out the trash, walk the dog, brush their teeth, etc. I felt I was being ripped off and asked my parents for an allowance. Guess how that conversation went? My parents couldn’t believe I dared to ask for a weekly pay for doing my chores. That conversion ended quickly. I never received an allowance. But my parents were generous. They provided with everything my brother, and I needed and then some. When I needed some cash to go to the movies, they helped. When I needed gas money, they pitched in. When I needed school textbooks, they were there as well. And I will apply the same approach to my parenting. As long as my kids live under my roof, there will be no allowance.
Our goal is to raise kids with confidence, self-awareness and a sense of responsibility. They must know that they need to take care of their surroundings, belongings and help out other family members. They have their own rooms and sleep in their own beds. Keep the room clean, and make the bed every morning. Kids should not be getting paid for that. Washing dishes? Nope, not getting paid for that either. Why? Because did you eat off of them? Did you enjoy the meal? Great, I’m happy you did! Did I, the parent, the master of the house get paid to make your meal? I don’t think so. Helping to vacuum the house or rake the leaves. Am I getting paid for that? Nope, I don’t think so, neither should you.
The point I’m trying to make is that, if you live in a house as a team, as a family, everyone needs to know their responsibilities and help out, and not be getting compensated for work they’re supposed to do anyway.
We get our kids everything they need, including surprises and treats in between. The moment I am forced to shell out a weekly allowance, all that would stop. The kids would then have to pay their own way beyond the essentials. You know the nights out at the movies, the slushies, expensive brand name clothing, dollar store gimmicks, small toys and other crap kids like to blow my hard money on.
I know that it’s easier to motivate kids with money. But what will happen if when you run out? An allowance is a temporary solution. The easy way out, but if you want to instill lifelong values, spend the time to teaching kids about taking care of their surroundings, belongings, responsibilities, and the importance of helping each other out.