Preschoolers and money...

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-17-2010
Preschoolers and money...
8
Fri, 08-03-2012 - 10:20am

Not much to this post, just kind of a rambling thought.

My DD is four and is slowly beginning to understand about money, like you need it to buy things and pay for goods and services.  We're working on the saving money thing, but still a little over her head.  She also has a brand new piggy bank that I just bought her (little pink ceramic pig, thank you Target dollar bins!) and we just read a little critter book on money and piggy banks.  She wants money for her piggy bank now.

I told her that if she picks up her room she can have a quarter.  I'm thinking of assigning little values to chores and helping around the house.  Like a quarter for her room, a dime for the dishwasher and a nickel for helping with dinner or something like that.  I know these are ridiculously small amounts, but she's more concerned with the shininess and jingle of coins than she is with paper money...

Avatar for CMEvelyn
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-29-2012
Fri, 08-03-2012 - 2:44pm
They're not ridiculously small for a four-year old! They're just fine. I just offered my 18-year old 10 cents for every clam she could take out of the lake, and that's inflation, I used to get a penny each! Of course, she just laughed at me...
Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Fri, 08-03-2012 - 5:57pm

Before you start giving her money, what do you want her to do with it?  After she puts it in her piggy bank, when does she get to take it out, and what for?

I don't even remember when we started giving our kids an allowance, but it was absolutely not in exchange for chores.  Why?  Because they will only contribute to the household if someone pays them.  It's a short step from there to just not doing things if they don't feel like it, because while emptying the dishwasher may be important to you, it's not important to them.  It gives you no leverage for teaching them to do the right things for the intrinsic value and not for money.

We gave our kids money because they're members of the family and should have some spending money.  They have to do chores because they're members of the family and should contribute to the good of the household.  We gave them enough money to be able to make decisions about it - if you don't give them enough, then they don't learn anything about how to budget it.

By middle school, the kids were getting $5 a week, and in high school $10 a week.  They don't have to use this to pay for clothes, school lunches, phones, or anything else we view as being a normal part of family life.  They use it to buy souvenirs on vacations, gifts for friends and family, videogames, books, music, art supplies, yearbooks, outings with friends, etc.  They also get a total of $150 a year in birthday & Christmas money from my dad.  Overall it's enough for them to learn to make good decisions about money, and some mistakes too - though the mistakes are usually done by the end of elementary school.

They have grown to be highly responsible people who appreciate everything they have.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-17-2010
Fri, 08-03-2012 - 8:42pm

Those are good questions that hadn't fully occured to me...

She'll get to take it out for little things that she wants like when we go to Target or the craft store, she'll get to use her own money.  I hadn't really intended for it to be a full allowance, she just likes to hand cashiers the money while we're out and I figure this can give her some of her own to bring in and hand them.  

I'm honestly not sure how to handle allowances as I never had one.  I never had any exposure to money or how it worked until I was 11 and I started earning it on my own.  I remember I must have had about $250 cash sitting in my room before my parents said anything to me about it.  Even then, it was because I asked for money for something and I was told (rightly so) that I had my own money and I needed to use it.  I don't want DD in that boat.   

She helps all the time because she likes too at this age.  I'll be doing something and she'll come in and ask to help so I let her.  I figured a small reward for it would be nice but I totally see your point.  I know growing up I was never appreciated for anything I did around the house.  I did the chores I was asked and expected to, but everything I did my stepmother would come behind me and redo EVERYTHING telling me all the while how useless I was.  Shoot, she does that now and I'm almost 30.  

So are you suggesting that I give her a small amount each week and let chores stay separate??

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-15-2012
Fri, 08-03-2012 - 11:16pm

I agree chores and allowance are two seperate things.  My children know they do chores because they are a part of this family and must contribute to the welling being of our home.  Kids need to know they are appreciated and words with a hug are so much more than givng money or stuff to show appreciaton.  To give money to show appreciation is setting yourself up for harder times in the long run.

If you scroll down a bit you will see my post on Teaching Kids about money and it pertains to allowances.  Read through it.  With yours only being 4 you can modify it to suit your needs.  Maybe she gets a dollar a week and doesn't really have to save it except to spend it (like the dollar store or crafts supplies) but as she gets older you change the rules and the expectation of the responsibility of having money.

Good Luck

Sandra

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-17-2010
Sat, 08-04-2012 - 6:17am

Thanks :smileyhappy:

Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Sun, 08-05-2012 - 2:02pm
ktqt07 wrote:

So are you suggesting that I give her a small amount each week and let chores stay separate??

That's exactly right.

We give our kids the chance to make extra money for things that are beneficial to us, but are above and beyond what's normally expected.  They used to get money for babysitting their younger brother if we were out for more than an hour or two; when he got older and we got a dog, they got paid for dogsitting for more than an hour or two.  We'll pay them to do large, unpleasant chores too.

When I was growing up, my mother figured our hands were her property, and I spent my Saturdays cleaning the ENTIRE house (dusting, vacuuming, bathrooms), and my summers weeding and schlepping for her.  I understand the need for occasional help and chipping in, but as DH said, I was slave labor.  Not what I wanted for my kids.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-17-2010
Tue, 08-07-2012 - 4:35am

Ok, thanks :smileyhappy:

I wouldn't expect her to do that much even when she's older. For now, keeping her room clean and helping clear the table/empty the flatware box in the dishwasher is more than enough.  As she gets older, more will be tacked on but not to the point where she's cleaning the house by any means.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-15-2001
Tue, 08-07-2012 - 8:19pm
The three of us never were paid for chores. We were expected to do them as members of the family unit. Our father never made a great deal of money, and we knew exactly how much he did make. In the long ago, we were given the task of walking to the bank to deposit his paycheck. (Can you imagine giving a child that responsibility now???) When there wasn't money to buy extra things, we knew that was the truth. We did get small allowances, and a little extra when something special was coming along. Movies were 9 cents or 5 cents if one had a Capitola (brand of flour) token. LOL
pinchpenny2000