When is allowance just a bribe?

GUEST POST from The Mind of a Mom

FACT ~ In today's society we give our kids too many material things. If you don't agree just look at the mount of toys or clothes or whatever your downfall is that our children have.

Often by the time our kids are in their teens they expect things to be handed to them. When our generation or our parents generation were growing up and we had to do chores or tasks for our pocket money. As parents today we often find ourselves being the bank-machine on wheels.

This discussion came up for me because my girlfriend thinks that it is okay to just give her daughter money when she wants something, no questions asked. I, on the other hand, am an old school believer that The girl has to earn her money.

Now when I say earn I am not talking a 9-5 child labour camp in my home. She has to bring the garbage from her bedroom and the washroom down to the garage on garbage day. She needs to unload the dishwasher. She must vacuum her room once a week and occasionally she must dust. The girl is 15 and is very sport oriented (soccer, volleyball, field hockey, cross country, flag football) and because of this The Hubster and I want her to focus on her school and sports and prefer that she doesn't work part-time quite yet.

The other day I was talking to my girlfriend and she asked me what The girl was doing and I thought she meant right at that moment so I told her " vacuuming her room". She then said to me that I was not teaching my child anything, all I was doing was showing her how to bribe her children into getting them to do things. I was taken aback when she said this. I would have never thought that having my daughter do things around the house and giving her an allowance was bribing her to do things.

My take is that we are teaching her responsibility.
I think if I was bribing her I would tell her she would get cool things if she succeeded in her chosen sport.... wait I do that too :o)

Do you bribe give allowance to your children?
What chores do you think are reasonable?

Thanks so much to The Mind of a Mom for this guest post!


Kristi said…
I have a 17 year old, a 15 year old and a 5 year old. We tell them that to keep the house running, it takes all of us - and because we are a family, then we need to share the responsibilities. (Doesn't always work, but it sounds good in theory doesn't it?) We are very inconsistent with allowance, but if we are out shopping, and they have been good about helping out, I am more likely to buy the older girls makeup or something like that that I would expect them to use their allowance on. We are trying to get more consistent in allowance so they learn to manage their money - but I don't see it as a bribe for what they do around the house!
Tanya said…
My kids, 18 and 14, are expected to help around the house, and each has certain chores to be completed daily/weekly. They also earn money on the side. If we have extra money, we're happy to give it to them. And if not, then we don't. They don't have an allowance per se, mostly because we simply cannot afford it.

However, I see NO problem linking chores to an allowance. That's the way the real world works. ;)

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