Role of Allowances in Reaffirming Responsibility





Role of Allowances in Reaffirming Responsibility

The issue of awarding allowances to children constantly emerges in the course of parenting. Most parents are faced with the pertinent question: how much money should they give their children? Even more important are associated questions such as the frequency of allocating allowances and its association to chores. Obtaining the opinions of the parents as well as the children is imperative in understanding the topic of allowance and consequently, its administration.

For most parents, the ideas of giving children an allowance when most of them did not even understand the value of money or savings. On the surface, the notion of allocating allowances to juveniles made little sense because they were children. They barely have any sense of financial value or responsibilities. However, in the current education system, several evaluations such as the money test have been implemented to ascertain the financial competence of children at the kindergarten level. At that level, children are able to comprehend the benefits and consequences of money clearly (Marshall 56). From the first interview, it is clear that the subject who is a young child who knows that issuing allowances helps children to bring in more wealth. He stated, “…it teaches them to earn money, but it doesn’t teaches them how to spend which is more important”.

There is a strong debate that a stipend is the best approach towards educating a child to manage financial responsibility. There is a similarly persuasive case that exposing children to money matters may be detrimental to their abilities in future. In either occasion, before children can be given an allowance, they should be able to make basic money calculations. The solution to a successful allowance system involves planning for it before the first amount is even allocated. The children should clearly understand the types of expenditures the allowances are for and that they are should learn to save a significant percentage. Young children between the ages of 6 to 10 cannot be held responsible for finances such as lunch money within their allowance allocations. However, the same sentiment is not shared for older children who are expected to have a greater sense of financial knowledge.

Exchanging Allowances for Chores

In most ordinary American households, children normally learn to get their allowances after completing a chore around the home for instance, washing the dishes, cleaning a room, or doing the laundry. However, in privileged households, children get allowances on a regular basis without any chores. The difference in economic status between households has a major influence on the type of allowances that children can receive (Fan 32). Some child experts propose that parents should not associate the allowance money to chores in the house. Children should be able to contribute towards the activities around the house based on their relationship as members of the family (Marshall 18). They should not be motivated by superficial monetary incentives. It is the responsibility of the parent to ensure that they foster this type of spirit is integrated into the children. However, older children typically over 9 years old are deserving of an allowance regardless of the fact that they engage in little or no household chores. At that age, the allowance is considered a “soft investment” on the children. Most parents argue that awarding their children allowances places the parents in a situation where their kids are often demanding advances or raises.

The attitude held by parents is an important deciding factor in determining the allowance issue. Therefore, parents should understand that the allowance concept is supposed to be an instruction tool. Rather than opposing the idea of giving allowances, parents need to arm themselves with various capabilities to handle money issues with their children. Learning the right negotiation skills is an important process that equips the parent to deal successfully with their children. Most parents opt to avoid the topic when their children demand a raise. An even better approach would be to choose an appropriate time and engage in productive negotiations. These discussions will address the frequency of allocating raises as well as the emerging expenditures and the amount to be saved. Both children in the interviews represented the average American child who is fully aware of their financial rights (Marshall 12). The culture in which they grow up encourages them to demand an allowance and expect it to be provided.

The most troublesome choice concerning allowances is the amount – a choice made after considering the individual values, household proceeds, and rationality. It is the responsibility of the parent to their children to determine the allowance amount by using different methods: comparing allowances with other families. Most normal children will quote a large sum. Most parents automatically award their children the same figure that they were given when they were young. In such situations, the parents would be very comfortable with this arrangement. One of the methods of persuading children to learn prudent money discipline is to include savings as a compulsory aspect to getting their allowances. Younger children cannot acquire this sense of discipline and may have to be guided using locked savings boxes. From the first and second interview, it is clear that most children in the United States thought they deserved an allowance. The idea that allowances are attached to certain chores was not a popular idea among the children. For instance, in the second interview, the child stated that children “…will ask for the reward (allowance) every time while they were acting with good behavior”. This indicated that children did not take too well to being rewarded with money for doing chores (Fan 17). Furthermore, for privileged families, it is impossible to make children work around the house.


            From the above analysis, the following conclusions can be made. One, children in the 21st century is far more mature when compared to younger children in earlier periods. Therefore, children in this era have a better understanding of finances, personal responsibilities, and relationships with their parents. Allowing children to handle money has become a necessary factor for most parents. The younger they can access money, the easier they can acquire money-handling skills. Two, children are in support of being allowed to have allowances even though they might be unable to handle it. Three, parents should learn to male a separation between appreciating the help of their children and providing them with allowances. Regularly, parents learn the bad habit of combining good deeds in children with money. This has the effect of corrupting children who eventually learn how to manipulate people. Allowance is fundamentally a parenting choice. Deciding when a child is ready is a difficult task. For one, children have different rates of cognitive development and placing such a complex task on a child may have the reverse effect of worsening their financial abilities.


Works Cited

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Marshall, Dominique. The Social Origins of the Welfare State: Quebec Families, Compulsory Education, and Family Allowances, 1940-1955. Waterloo, Ont: Wilfred Laurier University Press, 2008. Web.

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Fan, Daphne. Money Champ: Teaching Kids about Money Management. Singapore: Kids Hub, 2010. Print.

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