Parenting Blog

Quick Thoughts: Giving Kids An Allowance

We did it. We finally did it.

And not because anyone asked either.

It felt like the right time to us. That’s why, effectively immediately, the Bear will be getting $3 per week, the Mouse $1. It is important to note that neither child must earn the money, not exactly anyway.  They can, however, earn the right to have their allowance withheld if certain basic weekly conditions are not met, for I rule with an iron fist and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.  😉

The Mrs. made each girl a snazzy, customized expected behavior chart and hung them in the kitchen, in plain sight of their cereal bowls and Trader Joe’s breakfast bar wrappers. These are not chores to us as much as they are items and activities that two growing, responsible children are expected to be doing each and every day.  We’re talking about simple tasks like putting away into the appropriate drawers their clean & folded laundry, doing homework straightaway upon coming home from school, and straightening up their beds; we’re not even asking the Bear and Mouse to make them properly – no hotel corners required!  This is how impossibly hip and modern we are.

Also on the lists are clearing plates after meals and snacks, rinsing said plates and cups, then putting them properly into the dishwasher.  Also, brushing their damn hair.  If the girls fail that assignment the cash won’t be the only thing they’ll be missing.  I’m going to chop off their locks too.  We’re instituting a zero tolerance policy for back-of-head rat nests.  Starting now.  Because ya gotta take a stand somewhere in life.

It is important to me that allowance not be directly connected to chores.  Kids should put toys away when they are done playing.  Financial stimulus needn’t be, um, needed for this kind of thing to be accomplished.  So my girls will get their duckets every week to do with what they will, be that saved for turning into Euros ahead of our Spring Break vacation overseas or for buying a milkshake here in the States.

All they have to do is not regress as human beings.  That’s not too much to ask, right?

How do you handle allowances?  Sharing is caring.  Let me hear what works and what doesn’t in your home.

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