Allowances and Responsibility

In a recent article entitled, “Teaching Your Children Responsibility,” the author stated the following:

“When you give a child an allowance that’s tied to doing chores or work, it becomes much more meaningful and begins teaching children about the rewards and frustrations of  having to earn a living.”

This reasoning is very common: REWARDS ARE THE RESULT OF WORK.

HOWEVER, THIS THINKING IS MISDIRECTED. Employment is contract-based. A wage is compensation for services. Therefore, tying an allowance to work is misdirected. The purpose for giving an allowance is to generate an understanding of finance, budgeting, and to experience scarcity and wealth.

Let the youngster know that the reason for the allowance is to provide some spending money coupled with the experience of handling money.

Regarding chores: They are a natural result of living—be it with a family or by oneself. Performing chores is an aspect of performing a service. It is this “giving”—this service—that is the key to growth and a successful, happy life.

Young people deserve to have these basic understandings explained to them—both the purpose of allowances and the purpose of chores.

1 Comment
  1. I was so pleased to find someone with a similar view to mine. I give my children some money each month to experience how to handle money. I expect them to help around the house as part of a healthy lifestyle without payment. It seem to be working so far. In contrast to this at the school where I am a teacher I am expected to give out vouchers to children who perform good “deeds”, these vouchers are pooled and one is drawn out for a prize. I find this incredibly distasteful.