I debated long and hard about giving my kids an allowance, I was never comfortable with the idea of paying my kids to do chores. In my view my kids should make their beds, pick up their toys, make me a cup of tea or stop fighting because I have asked them to not because they will be financially rewarded at the end of the week and in an ideal world that would happen.
Unfortunately in my world beds are unmade, teeth are not brushed without a minimum of three reminders, fighting is non stop and the mention of completing daily homework is met with rolled eyes, hunched shoulders, moaning and groaning, and protesting and procrastinating that would make you think they were asked to walk on cut glass while reciting an encyclopedia rather than taking 20 minutes to read a novel or practice times tables.
In addition to becoming worn down from getting through a normal day routine the constant barrage of requests for BOOST JUICE, Frozen Yogurt, magazines, moshi monster cards, and other costly crap that will no doubt remain half consumed or laying about the floor of my car , made me reconsider my position on giving my kids pocket money.
My latest system which has had rather impressive results is the money jar! I deposit RM 25 (in small notes) in a jar labelled for each of sons, the money jars sit on our kitchen counter for 7 days at the end of which my boys can keep what ever is left in the jar, through the week I deduct money in varies amounts for various offenses:
- If I have to repeat a request more than twice (get your shoes one, brush your teeth, stop jumping from the sofa to the coffee table to the sofa) – minus 1RM
- Reading/Spelling/times tables not done minus 1 RM
- Home work forgotten at school or at home 1RM
- sports bags not packed night before minus 1RM
- calling your brother Stupid/Moron/Loser minus 5RM
- Not eating vegetables minus 1RM
- fighting well after bedtime minus RM 10
and so on… I generally make it up as I go along but so far the system works well, especially with regards to not having to repeat my self a million times to get something simple accomplished like having my sons get their water bottles filled and ready at the door prior to us going to football now I ask once or twice if it is not done I just get up and head to wards the jars the bottles get filled and I claim back a ringgit or two.
The secondary upside to my money jars is now when I am bombarded with requests for juice, sweets, candy etc I give my kids the option of paying for it them selves or not having it.
My nine year old actually bought himself a can of old spice deodorant spray last week for RM 25, I never would have bought it for him and normally that would have been an endless argument around the grocery store ending with a grumpy nine year old and a frazzled mother but instead he said he wanted it, I said no he replied “I will buy it with my own money”- ok your choice. no argument all parties happy!