Just giving kids money sends them the wrong message about being responsible and working hard. They need to earn it.
After my post about how hard work is the best thing you can teach your kids, many asked me how we instill this in them (including a radio show I was on). It’s a great question. I gave a few examples, but now I have even a better one: quit giving them allowances.
Before crucifying me about how we need to teach our kids about money, hear me out. I completely agree that our kids need to be much more money savvy than we are. Instead of half the crap they teach in junior high and high school, personal finance should be a requirement from the seventh grade straight through to graduation. I think it’s that important. Just giving them money sends them the wrong message about being responsible and working hard. They need to earn it.
No one just gives you money. You have to go to work and earn the hell out of it. Your kids should do the same. If they mow the lawn, maybe that’s $5-10, cleaning up dog poop in my house will net you a cool $1-2 depending on the “load.” This teaches them that they receive payment after doing a job—and doing it well. If my kids do a half-ass job, I make them re-do it. It might seems harsh, but it’s better we do that now than have them lose a job down the road when it really matters
Giving people something of value without earning it is a great way to make them lazy, unappreciative and never satisfied. It’s not only a problem when raising kids; it’s also a problem in society. Able-bodied people need to pay their own way. When they receive something for a job well done they’ll not only respect the money, but they’ll also respect themselves.
Doing away with allowances and rewarding kids for a job well done solves two problems: it teaches them to work hard and to respect money. When they go to buy that Xbox game or a killer Nerf squirt gun and are able to plunk down money they actually earned, they’ll walk a little taller and feel better about themselves. This creates proud people.
And we need more proud people in this world.