Source: Carissa Rogers' image
Allowances are often seen as a good way of teaching kids about money. We debate whether children should get pocket money, and under which conditions.
Should children get pocket money?
Many parents give pocket money to their children. These allowances are handed over either on a regular basis or as a reward for certain tasks or accomplishments. For many pocket money has an educational purpose: children can learn the value of work, as well as how to save and manage a small budget. Thanks to pocket money parents also incentivize their children's chores. However pocket money was not always a common practice. It became popular in the 1940s 1950s. Today many parents don't believe that giving pocket money to their children is that beneficial and that each family should have its own appropriate reward system for children. Psychologists and experts are divided on whether pocket money is good for children.
Pros and cons of pocket money
Some of the main advantages of giving money to children:
- Children realize that they have to save and wait until they can buy the things they want. Managing a tight budget is a good training for their future lives.
- Since children have a limited budget they learn how to prioritize, chosing the toys and items they want to purchase most.
- Pocket money as reward can teach children the value of work and appreciate more the things they have purchased with the money they have earned. They can learn about delayed gratifications which is a valuable skill in life.
- When pocket money is associated to chores or tasks, children are more motivated to carry them out. They may perceive these small jobs as an opportunity to be rewarded and not as a burden.
- Pocket money may help children become more independent.
However there are also some disadvantages:
- If children receive money on a regular basis, like for example if they get weekly allowances, they may get used to it and believe that it is an acquired right. Kids can be disappointed or frustrated when they don't receive pocket money.
- Pocket money may send a wrong signal to kids. When pocket money is handed over on a reward bases children may think that they deserve payment for anything good they do. If children get allowances for helping with housework, completing their homework, getting good grades or simply behaving well, they may not understand that these are their duties. Children need to understant that they should do many things without cash rewards.
- Introducing many material rewards can be detrimental for children's development and generosity. It is important that they learn to appreciate other type of gratifications (moral, ethical or psychological). Children should learn how to find pleasure on doing good things and helping others.
- If allowances are not properly defined, in terms of quantity, timing or tasks to which they are associated, tensions may emerge between children and parents.
- Culture of consumption: If cash rewards are too big children may waste the money or end up buying too many unnecessary things.
Do you think giving pocket money to children is a good idea? Did you receive pocket money when you were a kid? Do you give cash rewards to your children? How often? Under what circumstances?
If you change your mind, you can change your vote simply by clicking on another option.
Should children get pocket money? Is it good for their education and development?
New to netivist?
Join with confidence, netivist is completely advertisement free. You will not receive any promotional materials from third parties.