When Should a Child Receive an Allowance?

This week's Moms Talk question asks how much and when a child should start receiving a weekly allowance?

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Each week in Moms Talk, our Moms Council of experts and smart moms take your questions, provide insight and share solutions.

Moms, dads, grandparents and the diverse families who make up our community now have a valuable resource for questions about local , the best pediatricians, 24-hour pharmacies and the thousands of other issues that arise while rearing children.

Moms Talk is also the place to drop in for an informative discussion about the latest parenting hot topic. Do you believe that rearing your children in the Tiger Mother's way is the best way? Where can we get information on local flu shot clinics for children? How do we talk to our children about the Tucson shootings? How can we help our children's schools weather their budget cutbacks?

So grab a cup of coffee and settle in as we start the conversation today with a question from Amy Daley, Calendar Editor of Shrewsbury Patch and mother of three: "At what age is appropriate to begin providing a child with a weekly allowance? How much allowance is a suitable amount?"

Kayla DeWees March 02, 2011 at 11:08 PM
We talk a lot about different kinds of community and that family is one type of community. Consequently, we all contribute to the family community. Both kids received allowances for awhile but it was another thing to keep track of....now, they write checks on the calender when they complete a specific chore and 10 checks equals a free app. That works out to be a 2.00 a week allowance, but it seems like more to them. They can also exchange the app benefit for cash, if they are trying to save for a bigger item. So far, so good.
Nance Ebert March 03, 2011 at 02:38 AM
If I remember correctly, my twins began to receive a weekly allowance once they reached the age of six and were expected to have certain chores that they were responsible for like making their bed and helping to set and clear the table. I believe we started with about two dollars a week and worked our way up through high school.
Nance Ebert March 03, 2011 at 02:42 AM
My twins began to receive an allowance around the age of six. Each week, they were responsible for certain chores like making their bed and helping to clear the table. I believe they each got two dollars to start. As they got older and their responsibilities increased, so did their allowance. This continued until they were in high school and were encouraged to get a part time job to allow for extra expenses.
Faith Mayer March 03, 2011 at 04:48 AM
We have never given our children an allowance; rather we have attempted to instill a sense of community and shared responsibility in the family. That having been said, I was the camp director at a local day camp, so I was able to employ my children at a young age (13), and that money lasted them well. We also gave them what they asked for, within reason, when it came to spending money in exchange for the work they regularly do around the house. If they really need/want extra money, we find big jobs that they can assist with. This worked well with my now 16 and 17 year old sons, but the jury is still out on my 12 and 10 year old son and daughter. Bottom line, this is a work in progress!
Caroline Schultz March 03, 2011 at 01:30 PM
We do not have a formal allowance system in our house, but perhaps that is because my oldest is nine and my youngest is not quite two. Certainly I want to instill responsible financial sense in my children as they get older. That said, my children don't yet seem to be particularly motivated by money; rather, they like to "earn" a toy or privilege by helping with things I ask them to do around the house. I can imagine a time in the future when we will formalize chores, assigning specific duties to specific members of the family, but for now, it's too much to keep track of an allowance system what with all of the other "little kid needs" my family still has.


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