boy washing carTips for Parents and Children on Earning an Allowance

In these economic times, it is important for children to understand that they should contribute as well as be compensated accordingly. Joy Berry,a pioneering educator,  and bestselling author advises, “Children need to become part of the solution to the family’s responsibilities in order to earn an allowance. And this can only happen when parents educate children about the chores that need to be done in the family.” Once children understand the situation, it’s time to negotiate an allowance between parent and child. Joy Berry thinks that a child should go about earning an allowance by treating it as a business deal. Kids and parents together can:

Identify chores that can be done.

Taking care of oneself is a way that a child can contribute
to the family:

  • Cleaning up one’s room and keeping belongings  well-organized
  • Putting away household items after use
  • Keeping oneself groomed
  • Taking care of clothes and dressing oneself
  • Preparing one’s own breakfast or lunch

Chores a child can do that will benefit the family

  • Setting the table for meals
  • Washing, drying and putting away the dishes
  • Emptying the trash
  • Taking care of family pets
  • Dusting the furniture

Decide together as a family what is a fair contribution

Discuss how much time will be put in and specify the number of chores to be done.

Determine an appropriate allowance

  • A percentage of the family income, say–1%, for example–is a
    possible way to calculate an amount
  • Discuss what a child is expected to buy out of his or her
    allowance and what items parents will pay for

Some Examples:

  • School supplies
  • Snacks in addition to the ones provided at home
    or school
  • Entertainment such as movies, bowling, skating,
    etc.
  • Supplies needed for hobbies

Researching how much friends make and what chores are
included can help a child negotiate a fair price

Create mechanisms for follow-through

    • Create a task chart and fill it in as chores are completed
    • Use a payment chart to record how much is paid and when
    • If the itemized chores are not done and someone else does
      them, the amount must be subtracted from the allowance

Put everything in writing

      • Have a signed agreement
      • List all the chores
      • Agree to an amount

 

Joy Berry’s A FUN & EASY WAY TO EARN AN ALLOWANCE kit encourages children by explaining how to calculate, earn, collect and use an allowance. Included with the book is a CD with songs and read-alongs, plus an allowance agreement and charts to record tasks and payments.

Marilyn Clinton

Mary is a single parent and writer. She likes to share her family adventures, and tips for managing a busy family and a full-time job.

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