Getting Allowance or a Job - What is the Difference?

Do your children get an allowance?  If yes, what do they have to do to get it?  Do they do chores; get the money for having a nice attitude and being good kids, or get paid regardless of either and so it is just because they are too young to work?  What values are you teaching by giving an allowance?  What do you think your teen can learn from an outside-the-home job?

As children, my brothers and I got a weekly allowance.  However, we had chores to do based on our age and ability in order to “earn” that allowance.  The smaller kids just had to pick-up toys without complaining.   (A bad attitude, complaining, pouting, or being told twice did not count as a properly done chore.)  At a certain age, doing dishes in pairs became a daily chore. One child washed and placed dish in rinse, the other removed dish from rinse and dried it.  Once the boys reached a certain age, mowing the lawn became a rotated chore and their allowance went up a little.  Dusting the home was added to my list of chores once mom decided I wouldn’t break anything. 

Also, when we were a little older and a lot more responsible, we were allowed to work outside the home around the neighborhood for extra money, in addition to our allowance.  The boys would mow neighbor’s yards for a few dollars. I would babysit at an hourly rate.  Once we reached a certain age, we were encouraged to get a “real” job.  Once we had the job, our allowance stopped however the expectation of us being accountable to do the chores we were responsible did not.

Having our kids work, is that crazy talk?  Am I suggesting child labor?  Well, the USA Labor Age Requirements say some teenagers can work part-time jobs if they want to (and parents permitting of course).   Depending on minimum wage for where they live, teenagers might make better money working outside the home than if they get an allowance.  However, depending on the amount of allowance given by parents and the requirements for earning it, teenagers may feel they have to do less work to get the same money.

If you have a child who is considering being a babysitter for extra money, read the pros and links in 10 Reasons You Should Be a Teen Babysitter and check for any potential community or state regulations before advertising services. 

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