Do You Give Your Kids an Allowance?
There are two schools of thought on allowances. One has the philosophy that kids should get allowances so that they can learn to be responsible with money. The other believes that kids should contribute to the family without expecting payment for it.
I think I subscribe to the third, unnamed philosophy – I can’t afford to pay them even if I wanted to.
I do agree that it could help kids learn to be responsible with money, but so can going grocery shopping, watching a parent pay the bills, or long conversations over birthday money and how to spend it.
If helping kids learn to be responsible with money depends on them getting an allowance, my kids are screwed.
Some people say that it allows them to feel valuable. My response to that is maniacal laughter. If children need money to feel valuable, they also need serious counseling and you need to rethink your parenting abilities.
Children feel valuable because they are a valued and respected part of the family.
Here’s the thing. I don’t get an allowance. I do lots of chores around here but I don’t get an allowance. Neither does my husband. We do them because they need to be done, we do them because it is part of being a family, and we do them because we are responsible.
Money comes from a totally different source – a totally different kind of relationship that I have with my clients.
I could care less what a client’s bathroom looks like or whether or not their yard needs to be mowed. My only concern with a client is to do what they hired me to do and do it well. That is called employment.
I can get fired if I don’t do my job well. I can’t fire my kids for not doing a good job on the kitchen or blowing off cleaning the garage. Firing one’s children and hiring new ones is frowned upon in the state of Texas and I am fairly certain it isn’t very acceptable in the other states, either.
Employers (or clients) and parents are different and I think that when we lose track of that, it can be troublesome. I don’t spontaneously buy my clients a pair of shoes that I think they would like and I don’t send invoices to my kids.
Well, there was that time when I had to clean one of their bedrooms after I had asked consistently for a very long time. I invoiced them at my hourly rate and I can tell you that the bill would have given me a nice little vacation had I made them pay it.
I think that home and business should be kept separate. Sure, there are extra things the kids can do around the house to make a little money, but for the most part, as long as I am putting dinner on the table and they aren’t tipping me, the possibility of an allowance is not open for discussion around here.
What are your thoughts on allowances?