I can’t remember for sure how old I was when I received my first allowance, but what I do remember is that it was a quarter, dime, nickel, and a penny.
My parents would give my brother and me our allowance once a week. I always looked forward to the day—usually Friday. I also remember that I was the only one of my friends that had an allowance and they thought I was so lucky. I also thought I was lucky until I realized that every time I would want my parents to buy me something, they would say, “Did you bring your allowance?” Or, “How long do you need to save until you can afford it?” I didn’t realize until I had my own kids how easy this made it for my parents to say, “No,” without having to actually say, “No.”
I started giving my oldest son, Greyson, his allowance when he was 4-years-old. I agree that this was the perfect age to start, although, I will be starting a few months earlier with my youngest son Reid who won’t be 4-years-old until September. I am starting earlier with Reid because he quickly caught on with Greyson’s allowance and the benefits and naturally he wants to be just like his big brother, and Mommy wants to be fair.
Once again, my husband wasn’t too sure about giving a 4-yeard-old $4 a week. He believed that it was too much money for a 4-year old. I reminded him how much we spend on all the little stuff every time we go somewhere, and that by giving him an allowance—it would save us money. Also, I explained to him all the values of receiving an allowance.
- Teaches children to save their money
- Delayed gratification
- The value of a dollar
- That you receive an allowance because you’re a part of the family (you can always earn extra buy working for it by doing “jobs” around the house).
- Counting, addition, and subtraction
- Loans (If your children forget their wallets) that have to be paid back.
A few days ago we were at Legoland and Greyson was asking for a Star Wars Lego set. I asked him if he had enough money? After figuring out how much it cost, he was able to understand that if he saves last weeks and this weeks allowance then he would have enough money next time we came—which is this Monday. A few days later he saw a toy that he wanted at Target—I asked him if he preferred to have that instead of his Star Wars Legos? He thought about it and decided that he would rather save his money. The most amazing moment of this story was when we were in both stores he was able to quickly agree that he preferred one toy over the other AND he could wait until the following week. I loved seeing him practice patience and even more—I loved that I didn’t have to battle a full meltdown temper tantrum the way I had anticipated.
The Positive Discipline Tool for Allowances is not only beneficial for the child but, just as much for the parent.