Guest Post: Bribery or Pay: Giving Your Children an Allowance

Here’s a great article on the topic I always get the most questions about, “Should I give my child an allowance or not?” It’s also the reason I wrote the book, Allowance Secrets: To Give or Not to Give? where I got the top 25 kids and money experts to share their opinions, suggestions and tips on the topic of allowances so that parents could finally find an answer to this very touchy subject that would fit with their individual parenting values.

I’m always open to hearing other’s parents’ and experts opinions on this topic and so I was honoured when Liz Nelson asked if she could share her thoughts with you. Liz makes some great points in her article.

After you read her article if you would like to read my personal view on the topic then I invite you to grab a complimentary ¬†copy of my Allowance Secrets ebook, simply click here to grab your copy for free! Enjoy! ūüôā

P.S. Thanks Liz for your awesome article! Enjoy Everyone!!!Cheers…Amanda van der Gulik…Excited Life Enthusiast! ;o)


Bribery or Pay: Giving Your Children an Allowance

As children get older, they begin to understand a little bit about how money works. You need money to buy the things you want. While this is an important aspect to teach a child, you can inadvertently give him or her the wrong message about how to earn the money. If you pay your child for no other reason than because he or she is your child, you give the child the impression of being entitled to be paid or bribing the child for just going to school. What are some better ways to incorporate an allowance without it seeming more like a bribe?

1. Chores –¬†Although many parents view chores differently, they can be a great method to teach your children how to work for the money. Some households will break down how much each chore is worth if it is completed. If the task is done in a reasonable amount of time, then there is a growing pool of money for the child. If they don’t do the task, then there is no money. This could seem like a bribe to some parents. Others may disagree for it demonstrates that you should get paid for working. It’s a simple, yet effective, method of teaching how you shouldn’t expect to receive money without working in return.2. Grades –¬†Some parents will assign an allowance based on a child’s grades in school. If he or she does well on each report card, subsequent allowances are higher. If they do poorly, then so is the pay. However, could this be viewed as bribery in some form? Are you bribing your child to do well in school? That depends on the message you are conveying. While some parents will see bribery, others will emphasize to the child how it is more akin to the real world. Excellent employees are often paid more than mediocre ones.

3. Behavior –¬†Rewarding children for good behavior may be one of the more slippery of slopes for a parent. Without the right context and explanation to the child, it could easily become a form of bribery. While you may want your children to be on their best behavior at all times, rewarding them with money or toys for doing so could be detrimental to their development. This could easily become a method of extortion if the children realize they could fall back on, “pay me or I’ll throw a fit in the store.”

4. For No Reason –¬†Giving your children an allowance for no reason could make an entitled individual, but handing out bits of cash here and there for extravagances doesn’t have to be related. For instance, handing a few extra dollars to the children while at an amusement park is the process of many parents. While you want them to learn the value of a dollar, you don’t want them to miss out on some of the joys of being a child in today’s world. There are many things that you want them to experience that cost money, and you may have to shell out in order to help them become a part of that experience.

Every parent practices their own set of rules within the home that others may not agree with. What works for one family may not work for another. However, there is one fundamental truth that all parents should practice. Taking the time to speak to their children and teaching them how the world works as they grow can help them later on. The allowance doesn’t have to be a bribe for good behavior as long as there is a message being taught.

This is a guest post by Liz Nelson from She is a freelance writer and blogger from Houston. Questions and comments can be sent to: liznelson17 @


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