When I first started giving my daughter an allowance – $3/week – at the age of 6, it seemed to be a big old waste of time. She wasn’t getting the concept at all despite the fact that I was making her use it for the almost daily trips to the dollar store.
In the early days, I was a great big sucker and did this… Every. Single. Time.
But I persisted and toughened up a little. How? By just doing it. Why? Because Nikki wasn’t learning a thing otherwise. As the trips to the dollar store dwindled in proportion to the contents of her pink Hello Kitty wallet, she began to understand.
It became VERY clear to her when we were at an actual toy store – with the good stuff like Shopkins and Monster High dolls – and she couldn’t buy anything because Hello Kitty was totally empty. She cried. I very nearly cried too. But the lesson was learned because this morning, she announced that she wanted to do any extra chores I might have as we are going away next week and she wanted to be sure to have spending money over and above her allowance.
Hallelujah, she’s getting the message.
Let me be clear: I don’t pay for the chores she has to do as a member of this family and, you know, because I feed her and everything. But I am willing to pay for things that fall outside of her chore list. Like cleaning the car of all the floor detritus (that she dropped there); or cleaning up the porch of all of the mess (her toys)… You’re getting the picture, right?
So far, we’ve been working on the idea of only spending what you have – no credit. Next will be saving for what you want – delayed gratification. I think this will be a hard step for her (and for me) but here we go…