Old-fashioned allowance had its place, but can it actually do more harm in today’s society than good? We look at why creating jobs at home for kids to earn money is better than the “pay up” mentality of just a few years ago. Here are five great consequences that can come from the experience of having kids, at any age, earn their keep. (For related reading, also take a look at 7 Things Kids Can Definitely Do Without.)
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Society, as a whole, generally frowns on the concept of a capable adult receiving weekly payment in return for doing absolutely nothing. This idea of unearned benefits is one that understandably has a place – especially in a short term arrangement – but is not the goal that most parents have for their children. Professional mentor “Marnie” of Marnie.com makes her opinion of this very clear to her own children. ”Allowance is simply welfare for children. Within a matter of weeks, the child feels entitled to receive money, at specific intervals, as payment for not working.”
What then, can parents do to nip the feeling of entitlement in the bud? As soon as they are old enough to pick up their own toys, for instance, it’s time to expect some additional and age-appropriate chore work from them. While kids that don’t work will still have their basic needs met, the video games and fancy extras will wait until they are willing to pitch in around the home.
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Working Towards a Goal
One of the obvious benefits of having kids earn their cash is that it helps to draw a direct correlation between work and rewards. Erica Sandberg, author of “Expecting Money: The Essential Financial Plan for New and Growing Families“ couldn’t agree more. ”As a mother to an eight year old daughter, I put her to work all the time. Right now Lillian is saving for the new American Girl doll, which is very expensive.”
Tasks that may be appropriate for a child in this age range include organizing toys, clothes or books, and folding and putting away laundry. By starting at an age when kids begin to ask for particular consumer items, you can help them to see that nothing in life is truly without a cost.
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