In one sense, an allowance is a child’s share of the family income. It can be a good experience that parents can provide for their children. The amount should be what the family can afford. It should be given to the youngster to do with as she pleases. It should not be used as a tool to win the youngster’s good behavior.
An allowance is not a bribe. It should be thought of as a learning tool. It can give a youngster first-hand experience in learning how to spend money. It can teach her how to get the best value for what she buys. It can help her use her skills in arithmetic.
Many youngsters make mistakes and buy unwisely at first. Some rush out to spend all their money the moment they get it. They forget that once it is spent, there will be no more for several days. From such haste, youngsters can learn how to choose wisely and spend carefully.
Parents need to know when to begin to give an allowance. They also want to decide how much to give. when a youngster starts school, she may want an allowance. She may have friends who receive one. A good time for considering an allowance may be when a youngster make daily requests for ice cream or candy. This will help her to see the value of money.
At first a youngster may receive only half an allowance but get it twice a week. This would be a help to someone who finds a full week too long. A youngster will soon figure out that she can have two candy bars this week, or she can save her allowance for two weeks and buy a toy. She learns that she cannot have both the candy and the toy.
A wise parent will not control her child’s buying. If a child makes her own mistakes with her own money, she is more apt to learn from her mistakes. Also, a child should not be made to save a part of each week’s allowance. An allowance should not be taken away as punishment for bad behavior. An allowance should not be thought of as pay for doing household chores.
A youngster should be encouraged to be generous. An allowance should help her see that money isn’t everything. No amount of money can buy friendship. Things such as love or respect do not have a price tag.