I remember having conversations with some friends when my daughter was young about the importance of allowance. At the time, I was 100% opposed to the idea of paying my child to do what I believed was her responsibility as a family member. I mean, who pays their child for cleaning her room and putting away her laundry or feeding the dogs?
Answer: Smart Parents!!
Here is what I have since realized (and since corrected). Paying your child to do work teaches them two very important principles that will carry them through life.
1. The concept of money.
My daughter had NO concept of money UNTIL she began earning her own. Within 30 days we went from shopping off the full-price racks to heading straight to the clearance racks. Our conversations went from “I want this” to “Is this really $40 cute? That is two week’s worth of chores!” In essence, giving her an allowance moved her from the “living off a credit cards” (i.e. the parents) mentality to a “pay as you go” mentality.
2. The value and importance of hard work.
Learning that you only get paid when you work has taught her the importance of 1) getting a job and 2) sacrificing “fun time” for earning money. Both of these are critical to her securing long-term employment and success. Prior to allowance, it was always a battle to get her to do her chores on the weekend, as she desired to opt for fun time with friends over playtime. This battle has virtually disappeared with her now telling friends I can’t do anything until my chores are done.
Our job as parents is to prepare our kids to be successful adults. Being a successful adult ABSOLUTELY requires a strong understanding of money management. Start your child young so they can learn when the stakes aren’t so high. Failing to do so will undoubtedly translate into you bailing them out at one point or another.
It’s never too late to start and the freedom and joy that comes as a result will do wonders for your relationship with your children.