ALLOWANCES - RIGHT OR WRONG?
Giving our children an allowance can be good but it can also be very damaging to a child if not executed properly. We do not want to
train our children to enjoy a welfare system. It can be used as great opportunities to learn several character traits and to learn to
contribute to their environment and community.
Giving allowances freely is telling the child, "Here is your allowance, you are not capable of earning it and I
must take care of you." The subtle message is that they are not capable or smart enough. Many parents think as the child reaches
the teenage years it is time to start giving them allowances, when in fact, carelessly doing so at that age is the worse time.
Giving them allowances does not teach them how to budget or handle money because it is not them that has worked, earned, or saved it.
Our children need to work! They need to be responsible for their share of running a household. How else will
they learn? As kids get older they want to go more and do less at home. If everything is given to a child, there is no
incentive to them to work for anything and in fact can and often does create a lazy child with problems that extend to their
adult life. Children should begin to learn to establish correct priorities and the difference between needs and wants as
early as possible. Many adults still have not learned. Some adults do not see or have trouble discerning their wants from their needs.
Many struggle with their priorities. These problems can and most likely will be passed to our children even if these are not problems
that we, as parents, struggle with.
We freely give them things and money out of our own personal and selfish enjoyment or because we have decided that we would provide better
or more for our children than was provided for us by our parents and there is nothing wrong with doing that. However, as early as possible
our children must learn the rewards, benefits, satisfaction of working and the character development that nothing else can provide except
work. Budgeting their own time and money are also key in child development. As early as possible allowances would help teach our children
to manage their money. You can buy or have them create three different containers. One each for Tithes/offerings to the Lord, Savings, and
Consider the following character traits that can be developed if a child earns an allowance.
Allowances can also be used to promote and reward good behavior. Allowances can be used to punish
or rather discipline bad behavior by deducting from their "earned" allowance. If you teen's attitude is they don't
want an allowance because they will do nothing around the home, then charge them! Charge them a portion for such things as food,
lodging, laundry, janitorial services, electricity, etc. Earned allowances or having them pay their portion by some means implies
to the child or teen that they are capable. They are valuable. Regardless of their immediate reactions when accountability is
introduced, they are still but children---developing adults.
- delaying self-gratification
- team work
Earned allowances will help our children achieve their goals while developing them into responsible adults. They need to
learn the consequences and feelings of blowing "their" money on junk needlessly instead of "our" money.
Money is by no means the point here. Developing responsible adults that we can be proud of is our goal as parents.
Isn't it time we let them grow up and learn to be responsible? Life is hard and they need to learn life lessons, accountability
and consequences for their own decisions. The home atmosphere is their training ground. We insult and damage our children by
giving them all they ever want or need. We rob them of life lessons that will help them survive in this world when they leave home.
We should stop doing what seems the easiest way and start doing what is best for the child.
© Caren Cornell, All Rights Reserved
Home School Treasures
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