As a parent, you have probably argued one way or the other in the Allowance Debate. If I may, I’d like to offer a slightly different perspective.
Allowance is a great time to teach financial responsibility & budgeting. Teaching your children the value of a dollar will go along way to encouraging financial independence.
Method A – Chore List
Have a family discussion to create a list of tasks that must be completed in the home on a weekly basis. This should include tasks such as maintaining individual spaces (clean your room) but also maintain community spaces (mop the kitchen). You can either pay a flat rate at the end of the week, or assign a dollar value to each task.
Method B – The Extra Mile
If you choose to not pay your child for being an active participant in your home, there is still a way to earn money. Have a list of tasks that are not required everyday; raking leaves, household laundry, cleaning windows, organize the garage, weed flower beds, help a neighbour. Assign a dollar value to each task to be paid upon completion of task.
Teaching Basic Life Skills
So many kids today are lacking the appropriate skills to navigate this world on their own. We have created a generation of children who win a ribbon for showing up, not trying their best & working to achieve a goal. We have raised our children with technology, not people. It’s easier to send them off to be entertained by video games, then it is to get them to help make supper.
We, as adults tend to complain about the lack of skills our children have, but not many are willing to put in the work to correct this.
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Basic Life Skills
Basic Life Skills are required to navigate this world effectively. Without them, we have self-entitlement, a strong need for immediate gratification in our youth, but we also have some very burnt-out, frustrated parents as well.
Basic Life Skills teach very important lessons; pride in a job well done, co-operation & teamwork, respect for personal property.
These skills should be introduced at an early age, but can be taught at any stage.
- Personal Hygiene enhances their sense of independence, self-esteem.
- Cleaning encourages team work & self-starting tasks without reminders.
- Cooking teaches self-sufficiency & proper nutrition.
- Laundry again enhances the respect for possessions & instills a level of control.
- Care for Plants / Pets is where the self-entitlement decreases. They learn to care for something other than themselves. They learn empathy, compassion and are rewarded when they see the flower, or can eat the fruit.
It is not a parent’s job to do all these tasks for everyone in the home. It is the parent’s job to ensure everyone in the home knows how to complete these tasks to the best of their ability. Parent’s who do all of this & work full time, will be burnt out before their children are teenagers. Believe it or not, the teenage years are where you need to bring your A Game.
Final Word on the Allowance Debate
Regardless of how you choose to implement an allowance; either with a chore list or the extra mile, it is essential that children learn the Basic Life Skills, which includes financial responsibility.
The long-term goal is to raise healthy, strong, independent adults who are capable of navigating this world on their own.
I’d love to have a strategy session with you, to create simple, effective strategies you can begin to implement and see amazing results.
This session is FREE and you will gain valuable insight into helping your child create a life they are proud to live!!
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