Drug testing

Is Your Child Ready For an Allowance?

Children think money grows on trees. Maybe not literally, but they sure think there is a never-ending supply of it. They see you at the grocery store pushing a cart overflowing with the week's groceries; you hand the cashier a piece of plastic and suddenly it's all yours. People come to the door asking for money to support a charity and it magically appears from the bottom of your purse as if you were pulling a rabbit from a hat. Instead of "mama" or "dada", "checkbook" might have been your child's first word. It makes no sense to them then, that every time they ask for something they'd like from the store the answer is usually no. How do you teach the value of money to a child?

Is an allowance the answer?

Many parents think that giving an allowance is a good way to teach their children about money. There are two schools of thought on this issue. One theory is that the child completes a few agreed upon tasks and receives a small payment at the end of the week. Then, if he sees something he'd like in a store, he would be told to save his allowance in order to purchase it. Some people feel that this sets the child up for a "what will you give me if I do it" attitude and soon everything you ask him to do has a price attached to it. Others feel children should learn that in order for a family to reap the rewards, each member of the family should take part in the upkeep of the household. When there is a mess, clean it up. When there is laundry to be folded, lend a hand with the folding or putting it away. When there is yard work to be done, everyone can pitch in according to his or her ability and work together towards a common goal. Then, when the child does see something in a store and asks to have it, the answer is usually yes. I was a believer in the first example, until I put it to the test.

My experience

Our daughter Emily is four. Out of the blue she started to make her bed every day after she got up. It won't last long, I thought, but day after day she dutifully did it to the best of her ability. I seized the opportunity to teach her the value of money, because like most four-year-olds, she thought every toy she saw on TV was well within our means. I started giving her an allowance of 25 cents a week to see what would happen. The first month she would get very excited when Fridays came around and she would get her shiny quarter. As I handed her the money I would always say: "you did a good job this week honey, you were a big help to mommy around the house." I would describe certain instances where she had volunteered to help me and I told her how much I appreciated her thoughtfulness. At first she put her allowance into her piggy bank, sometimes emptying her cache and playing with it. But little by little the money started losing its value. I would find the quarters left on the kitchen counter where it would stay until I put it into her piggy bank for her. There were also weeks when I forgot to pay her but I always positively reinforced her good behavior. I discovered that money means nothing to her and my praise means everything.

The outcome

Perhaps my experiment with giving Emily an allowance didn't turn out quite the way I expected, but it did teach me a lesson about what meant more to my daughter. When we go to the store and she asks for a particular toy, we weigh it out. If we agree that it's affordable and it's been a while since she's had anything new, then I will buy it for her. The only exceptions are educational materials or books. These I will always purchase for her without question. I have found this to be the best solution for us.

About The Author

Heidi Hoff

Editor, Preschool Planet

Subscribe and get "100 Things to

Make From a Cardboard Box" FREE!

http://www.preschoolplanet.com

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/preschoolplanet/j oin

In The News:

A young American sailor’s journal detailing his harrowing experiences during the Revolutionary War has been donated to the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia.
Archaeologists in Egypt have discovered an extremely rare marble head depicting the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius.
The most-viewed eclipse in history had an unexpected witness: A Google Street View car drove right to the edge of totality, offering a surprising celestial treat for visitors scoping out the event in Maryland Heights, Missouri.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Construction workers in Iran may have unearthed the mummified remains of Reza Shah Pahlavi, the father of the country's last monarch, nearly four decades after the Islamic Revolution toppled the dynasty.
A Florida fisherman recently caught a 120-pound blue catfish in the state’s panhandle.
Sex-mad monkeys have been bonking off with other species, creating an entirely new hybrid population of apes - and scientists are absolutely fine with it.
A museum in Buffalo, N.Y., recently discovered that a rare elephant bird egg in its collection had been mislabeled as a model for decades.
A 7-month-old female giraffe at an Indiana zoo briefly escaped her enclosure on Monday.
The smell was overwhelming as Madagascar police and wildlife officials pulled up to a two-story home in Toliara.
A 10-foot alligator that took a stroll near a middle school in Florida stopped traffic in Deltona, according to a local news report.

How to Make a Time Capsule

Looking for an unusual and memorable gift? Why not preserve... Read More

After the Driving School

If you visit search engines you can find several resources... Read More

ADHD: A Dialogue With a Non-Believer, part two

Dear Sir, It was with some interest that I read... Read More

Free Stuff for Twins: Incentives for Parents of Multiple Births

A sure way to double the joys of parenthood is... Read More

Committed Parenting

When you think about it, probably the one thing that... Read More

Parenting Your Teenager: Back to School Blues

Q: Our son has been in honors classes all through... Read More

Parenting Your Teenager: Driving and Having a Car is a Privilege, Not a Right

Q. My teenage son is turning 16 early next year... Read More

A Dialogue with an ADHD Non-Believer

Dear Sir, It was with some interest that I read... Read More

Gifted Children - Getting the Balance Right

One of the challenges for parents with a gifted child... Read More

Help Your Children to Love Reading

It is so important to create an environment that promotes... Read More

Homework Doesn?t Have to Be a Battle of Wills

Homework. It doesn't have to be a daily battle of... Read More

Loving Your Step-Children

Loving your step-child can be both simple and hard. It... Read More

Disciplining the Wild Child

Do you have a wild child? Then this article may... Read More

The Long Journey Home

Once upon a time, I thought I had it all.... Read More

Is Your Teen Swamped with Homework and Tests?

I hear from many parents that their child is stressed... Read More

Teaching Children Good Manners

Last week in my newsletter, I mentioned that... Read More

Raising a Tobacco-Free Kid

We begin forming healthy habits at a young age. With... Read More

Understanding Why Your Child Has Been Recommended for Testing

You have just received a call from your child's teacher... Read More

Can Mineral Deficiencies Lead to Behavioral Problems in Children?

A while ago I received this story from David in... Read More

Let Kids Help

One fantastic way to get your children involved in what... Read More

Getting through the School Daze

It's back to school time again. Does the thought of... Read More

Develop Your Childs Genius - Developing Leadership Qualities

Often I have heard that leaders are born, not made.... Read More

How Two Quarelling Kids Helped Invent the Better Behavior Wheel

When David was nine and Laura was twelve, the battles... Read More

Celebrating Mom: How To Make Every Day Her Special Day!

Bearers of life, wipers of noses, givers of unconditional love... Read More

The ADD Child: Challenging Parents, Teachers and Friends

The ADD child exhibits a series of behaviors that are... Read More

led parking lot light fixtures led street lighting fixtures Pete's produce ..