All About Allowances

Giving an allowance can be an excellent tool to show your teen how privileges and responsibilities go hand in hand throughout life.  


Giving an allowance can be an excellent tool to show your teen how privileges and responsibilities go hand in hand throughout life.  

While many children receive an allowance based on whether they complete their chores or make good grades, authors Eileen and Jon Gallo of “Silver Spoon Kids” suggest approaching allowance as an opportunity to allow children to “share in an appropriate portion of the family’s resources.” This means setting the expectation that children help with chores because they are part of the family, and in doing so, they can share in the family’s resources, instead of feeling entitled. 

Here are some ideas to consider when tackling the allowance issue:  

  • Don’t tie allowance to rewards/punishments or base it on grade performance: 

You don’t want to teach your child that “behavior equals money.” Give them the chance to establish an internal sense of right and wrong. Your teen also should strive for good grades because they want a sense of personal achievement, not because they can earn money from you.    

  • Do include your child in discussions about allowance: 

Talk with your child about what you both think is a fair amount and what should be covered by the allowance. Will parents pay for school clothes and supplies? Is your teen responsible for paying for things like movies with friends or purchases like music and video games? Try to settle on an amount that is just enough so your teen still has to make choices about how to spend their money. 

  • Don’t come to the rescue when your teen runs out of money:  

It sends the message that they don’t really have to be responsible because mom and dad will always give more.    

  • Do help your teen devise a budget: 

Talk to them about how to better manage their money. Did they spend their weekly allowance on soda and snacks instead of saving it for movie night?     

  • Do offer opportunities to make extra cash: 

Create a list of special chores (cleaning out the garage, washing the family cars) to earn more money, and assign each a dollar value.By giving your teens a “safe space” to learn how to manage their money and handle the consequences, they should be better prepared to make wise financial decisions once they head off to college and into the real world. 

For more tips and information on raising well-adjusted, emotionally and financially responsible kids, check out “Silver Spoon Kids: How Successful Parents Raise Responsible Children” by Eileen Gallo, Ph.D and Jon Gallo, J.D. 


As an editor, copywriter, and social media manager at exploreMedia, I work to develop content that is relevant and interesting to our readers and coordinate with contributing writers.

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