Why I don’t give my kids an allowance…and what I do instead.

Many parents give their kids a weekly allowance of a few bucks.  Now while I don’t believe this is horrible, I do believe it can be damaging to them.  An allowance is usually just free money giving to kids.  And I don’t like this practice, because it is just free money, or unearned profit sharing.  Although I love my kids, and I do give them many things for free such as love, time, provisions, and presents, I do not want to give them unworked for profits.

I want to teach my kids that work is rewarded; that hard work is their way to earn their living in this world.  I want my kids to learn how to work and support themselves.  I do not want them to think that there is money floating around out there that is theirs that they are just entitled to.  I want them to learn that money is only the result of deserved value giving to others.  I want them to learn how to be productive citizens who know how to provide products and services to others that deserve recompense.

Giving them free money gives them false expectations.  It breeds an entitlement mentality.  It is counterproductive to a healthy work ethic.  I think we can all see how an entitlement mentality that rewards slothfulness has weakened many in society.  We don’t want our kids to learn the path to weakness, we want them to learn how to be productive, self-sustaining, members of society.  And an allowance is not a tool to bring about self-reliance.

Instead of giving my kids an allowance, I create opportunities for them to do age appropriate work around the house to earn wages.  Money is the result of work.  And I want them to learn how to work.  So there is some work that is allotted to each child as chores, or what they are asked to do for no money because they are members of our family.  And to keep a house running, we all must work together for our mutual benefit.  But there is also work they can do for pay.  It is optional, but if they complete the designated assignment completely, they will receive pay.

I believe create healthy expectations about chores and optional work helps them learn best practices to succeed in life.  They must know that life is work.  And if they want to live their own life, there is lots of work, like cleaning, organizing, and preparing food that is necessary just to live a wholesome life.  And, in addition, there is work of value to be done which rewards them with pay so they can purchase other things they desire to live a more fulfilled life.

This is not to say that the only fulfillment in life comes as a result of earning money.  But, there is much to living an enjoyable life that only comes from having earned money.  And it’s important that at an early age they learn this distinction.  And, I believe, this understanding comes only through practical personal experience.  So I endeavor to give my gives valuable experience that teaches them healthy practices to better their lives.

So, an allowance is not a good idea, but working for chores and working for profit is a good idea.  The Bible says that hard work is rewarded, and that work provides a satisfaction that cannot be gained by any other means.  If we believe the Bible, then practicing its wisdom in our home life should be the goal.  And I hope that you will consider your economic policy in your home, and make adjustments if needed to promote healthy attitudes and expectations about living a fulfilled life.

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