Allowance Alternatives For Kids

The problem with giving a child an allowance is that it suggests a "something for nothing" mentality. An example of this is when parents have kids line up on Saturday and the kids say "give me my money". Kids need to learn that there is a connection between performance and reward.

At our house, we've set up a system where our kids have 4 simple things to do each day. They have a pegboard with 4 pegs and as they do these things on their own initiative, they put the pegs in the board. The first thing is "getting up on time". (2) doing their homework, (3) completing their task around the house, and 4th is getting to bed on time and having their clothes laid out for the next morning.

They keep track of this themselves with the pegboard and by filling in a slip each night numbered 1-4, checking off the things they did, and getting it initialed by a parent. Then they put the slip in a "family bank" and on Saturday the bank is opened up and it is called "pay day" instead of "allowance day."

How much they get paid depends on how many of the things they remembered to do during the week. So they begin to get the feeling that this is really my money…I earned it by doing the things that I was supposed to do.

If you have 2 children, you give the most attention to the one who did the most tasks. To the child that only got 3 or 4 things completed, you don't lecture, you just give a smaller amount of money.

This begins to teach the child responsibility and they feel that they really earned their money. Kids will learn that how well they perform, means how much money they will receive, and they will take better care of things they buy because they will perceive ownership.