Recently, the tween came to me and asked me if she could start having pocket money. Up until now, there has been no pocket money, the only money is the odd £1 or £5 they have received for a birthday or Christmas. There is no need for either child to receive pocket money: We have saving accounts for their long term future, and anything they need is generally bought for them, this includes those Friday night treats of sweets and (wretched) football stickers.
However, at nine, peer pressure is mounting, and Caitlin very much feels she should get pocket money. For some reason, I couldn’t quite face just handed over £1 or £2 for the sake of it She is immensely privileged as it is, and the fact I was going to give her money for no other reason than some of her classmates get pocket money, just didn’t sit right with me.
Therefore, I decided to use this as a lesson to help her value the worth of work and money. By all means I would give her a little pocket money, but she had to undertake chores in order to earn it. To my surprise, she took this very well and immediately got on the internet (as all good millennials do) and researched chores for children. She came up with a list of what she considered to be age-appropriate chores. She then asked me to monetise each one. We ended up with a list that included the following:
Mopping the kitchen floor: £1
Feeding the cat and dog: 20p
Putting clothes away after washing: 50p
Sorting out the recycling: 50p
Tidying bedroom / playroom: 50p
This has gone down very well, and when her little eye has spotted something she would quite like (no toys or Wii games tend to be bought outside birthday and Christmas) it incentivises her to actually do something towards earning the money towards it. Of course, no job is done like it should be done, but there is a lot of effort and the intention is utmost.
Of course, this by no means the perfect solution to giving pocket money, on one hand it is a very materialistic and capitalist approach to giving money, however on the other I do feel she is learning the value of working and receiving a salary for it: Things don’t come for free! However, there is still part of me that thinks there shouldn’t be a monetary reward every time they pick up a dirty sock or wash a plate, sometimes you just need to do things to be kind and helping out in a busy household. I’m yet to strike this balance!
How do you give pocket money? Do you even give pocket money?
This parenting malarkey just gets trickier as they get older!