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Does Giving Your Kid an Allowance Make You a Bad Parent?

Do you pay your children to do chores? Do you provide allowances as part of a reward system?

There are people who will argue that handing your children an allowance makes you the best parent. But, other sources will say handing your children an allowance makes you the worst parent.

Sometimes it feels like you just can’t win when it comes to parenting advice.

allowance for kids

I don’t believe you will have gotten parenting absolutely wrong if you decide to give your children an allowance. However, there are definitely right and wrong ways to go about it.

Give Money Based On Clear Factors

We all want to be fair parents. But I find it hard to believe that a 6-year-old child needs the same amount of money as their older, teenage sibling. While giving equal amounts of money is a clear, non-arbitrary factor some parents rely on, it may not be the best one.

I prefer the age-based method for calculating allowances. My children receive $1 for each year of their age; for example, our 16-year-old is given $16 a week for his allowance. They don’t argue with this rule as they look forward to becoming older and receiving a larger allowance. It helps that I also have another system set up for when they do want to earn extra money.

Pay for Above and Beyond Work

In my home, we don’t pay our children to do their chores. I feel this would create a negative power balance and does not create positive limits for my children. Also, my wife and I didn’t want our children to have the impression that they had to be paid to participate in family responsibilities.

Instead, we have a job board posted in our kitchen. On the fridge, there are extra household jobs, like deep cleaning the refrigerator, posted with a fixed price next to the job. I can always tell when a new big video game is going to be released because the jobs start disappearing from the job board!

do you pay your children

You Are Not A Money Tree

Above all, once the allowance is given, do not give your children more money until the next allowance disbursement. I absolutely refuse to become a money tree for my children and promote spendthrift ways. So when the money’s gone, hold firm.

My second oldest learned this lesson early on. His siblings picked out treats while grocery shopping with their mother, while he didn’t have any money for his treats. My wife and I are on the same page with this. So she reminded him that he would have to wait until the next week to receive more money.

reward kids

She had to endure his crocodile tears and reproving looks from other parents, but my children all learned from their sibling’s misfortune. Unsurprisingly, that son has grown to be fairly good at saving the money he earns at his part-time job.

Giving your children allowances may be controversial among other parents, but if you implement these methods, you and your children should be fine.

Tyler Jacobson

Tyler Jacobson

Tyler Jacobson is a father, husband, and writer, with experience as a content writer and outreach coordinator for HelpYourTeenNow. Tyler has offered honest advice and humor to struggling parents and teens. Tyler has researched and written on education problems, disorders, the world of social media, addiction, and pressing issues with raising a teen today. Follow Tyler on:
Twitter | Linkedin | Google +

7 comments

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  • That is a good read. I do not give allowances because we buy what he needs. He earns what we buy with good behavior so that is like an allowance but without actually giving him one. I teach him the value of money but he does not handle it

  • I received an allowance as a kid and I loved it. It gave me a chance to buy things on my own and to learn how to make my money last. I certainly don’t think it is a bad thing unless they are getting an allowance for doing nothing or finishing their chores. Allowances teach children so much for it to be a bad thing.

  • Our children do not receive an allowance. But they are all still very small, and the topic has not came up yet. It is definitely something that my husband and I will have to revisit when they get older.

  • I used to love getting allowance as a child. Not to many parents practice this today, but I strongly believe it teaches our children the lesson of responsibility. I would never say it makes anyone a bad parent! Thanks for sharing this, I enjoyed reading it!

  • My kids are young, but an allowance is probably a good idea here soon. I need my kids to help out around the house, but I like that you mentioned paying for above & beyond the expectation.

  • Great perspective! I’m sure this is one of those controversial topics between parents. I think having a reward system in place for kids like giving an allowance is actually SO important and something all kids should experience. It helps teach about money, being responsible and having tasks that have to get done. It always was positive for my siblings and I and definitely had long lasting affects!

About Author

Tyler Jacobson

Tyler Jacobson

Tyler Jacobson is a father, husband, and writer, with experience as a content writer and outreach coordinator for HelpYourTeenNow. Tyler has offered honest advice and humor to struggling parents and teens. Tyler has researched and written on education problems, disorders, the world of social media, addiction, and pressing issues with raising a teen today. Follow Tyler on:
Twitter | Linkedin | Google +