Lisa Fischer

Allowance or No?

If you're a parent, your thoughts are often consumed about parenting. You wonder if your kids are better than the neighbor kids. You think, "My kids would NEVER act the way So and So's kids do. No way." Now you’re thinking you wished your kids acted that way because those kids are way better than your kids. I’m sorry that I don’t have all the answers here. But I have walked in the same shoes you have on many things, I bet. One area that most families deal with is the area of allowances. Yay or nay? Our philosophy is much like the way your employer rewards you. If you do the work he/she has assigned you, you get paid. So we never gave our kids money just because they breathed, but did they do what was expected from them? Here’s the checklist we used for a couple of years. Our goal was to develop good habits that we would hope would be life-long habits. But alas, they are grown or away at college, and it’s no longer my job to see who’s brushed their teeth or made their beds. I was homeschooling during this point of my motherhood journey, so their responsibilities included schooling. My husband acted as the school “principal,” so he was the one who went over their check-list every night. One child, my daughter who has a heart for the poor, said she couldn’t possibly accept the bounty of one dollar every day because after a year, “that’s $365 and Daddy, that’s too much money!” whereas my younger two children said they wouldn’t mind at all getting some of hers to split with them. When my children went to the dentist that year, the dental hygienist said she’d never seen such clean teeth on children in all her years of employment. Brush on, my friends, brush on. (And yes, fellow Grammar Policemen/women, I know the word "ma'am" is mispelled. It's what you get when your husband prints out the chore chart without your editing approval.)