Our oldest child has recently asked for an allowance. Honestly, when he first approached me with this, I was dumb founded. This is mostly because when I refer to him as being the oldest, he is a grand total of 6 years old. I mean, what 6 year old is walking around thinking that they should receive an allowance?
We have always expected certain behaviors and actions from our kiddos, but I truly had not even pondered an actual allowance. So, I brought this new found information to my husband, and we had the great discussion. Because you know, we are #winning at this adult thing! 😉
A little background into my childhood. I did not earn an allowance. PERIOD. My parents were adamant that chores, good grades, and positive behaviors were expected and not earned. My husband however, did earn an allowance, and was also rewarded monetarily for good grades.
Let me say, personally I don’t feel that one of these parenting styles was better than the other. Let me also say, that is the adult me stating this. As a child I was jealous of the kids who got to earn an allowance, or rewarded for good grades. But now, I definitely see the value in both styles.
So this brings me to today. Together, my husband and I decided that we would do a mix of both parenting styles. I absolutely think there are certain chores, actions, and behaviors that should be expected and not earned. BUT, I also believe there are certain chores, actions, and behaviors that should be rewarded.
We also decided that a fair allowance would be a dollar amount equal to the child’s age. So, for our oldest, he will be receiving $6 each week if all responsibilities are met. We also had a conversation with him about giving, saving, and spending.
It is very important to me that our children are raised to be givers. This has been modeled by us throughout our children’s lives. We explained that we would be taking a portion of his allowance to give. (We chose 10% as the amount to give. This can be given to a charity or non profit that your child feels passionate about, your local school, or your local church.)
It is also important to me that our children know how to save money. I am definitely the saver in my marriage, and well I’m right. 😉 Therefore our children will know how to save!
My husband is the spender, and since I am a wonderful and love to appease him, any amount that is left of the allowance can be spent. Seriously though, it should be spent. Sometimes the spenders have to teach us savers how to have fun. And they are GREAT at it!!!
Enter the Melissa and Doug Responsibility Chart.
This chart is amazing! It not only offers some typical chores, but it also offers behaviors that should be encouraged. Such as Share, Apologize to Someone, and Say Please and Thank You. It also has two blank magnets for you to be able to create your own responsibilities. And, there are wonderful encouraging magnets to be placed once the responsibility is accomplished.
So, I got the chart and got to work. I sat down with our oldest kiddo, and together we decided what responsibilities would work best. Some of the responsibilities we chose were, Clear the Table, Take Care of Pets, Put Toys Away, and Get Dressed.
I can say we are only a few days into this process, but it has been terrific! Our oldest loves the feeling of accomplishment, and takes such pride in getting to place his Way to Go, and Great Job magnets. And, I love watching him take responsibility!
If you are currently struggling with whether or not to do the whole allowance thing, I truly hope this helps. What I love most about this chart, is that even if you decide not to do an allowance, it teaches responsibility. And really, aren’t we all just trying to raise some responsible, accountable, compassionate, and amazing kiddos?!?