• Saturday, April 20, 2024
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BusinessDay

Why you shouldn’t pay your kids an allowance

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I’m a firm believer in not paying my kids an allowance. And no, I’m not just a meanie. It’s important to me to make sure that my kids understand the relationship between work and money. I’ll explain my unconventional approach below.

Why I don’t pay my kids an allowance 

1. Picking up toys, clothes, books, and trash that belong to you is not an option in my house. It’s part of keeping clean and healthy. You wouldn’t pay your kids to take a shower, so don’t pay them to pick up after themselves.

2. The family serves as a sort of miniature model for the real world. We love and care for each other — without expecting something in return. This means my older son may have to take out the trash when dad works late, or the youngest may have to help with dinner if a client calls while I’m cooking. Making this concept an expected and normal part of life now will make it easier for my boys when they’re grown and have families of their own. We don’t keep tabs or a “you owe me” list, and we don’t feel cheated if all we get in return is a simple, “thank you.”

3. As part of the family, my kids are responsible for contributing to the well-being of the entire family. This may include doing dishes, folding laundry, or carrying in firewood in the winter. These are tasks that benefit the child and the family, and they are therefore not rewarded with money.

4. As a farm family, my kids are also responsible for many things that might surprise you. My youngest helps change oil and repair tractors and trucks, and my oldest has helped birth calves and carry bags of feed that weigh as much as he does. They also help maintain a four acre garden and assist with canning vegetables every year. These activities also benefit the family (and extended family) and are not rewarded with an allowance. While helping with these types of chores, they’re learning life skills that will help them as adults.