Why kids should be given pocket money

Last updated: 24/10/2014 12:52 by GrainneMcCool to GrainneMcCool's Blog
Filed under: MummyBloggers
“Do you give your child pocket money?” the teacher asked me on Parent’s Day.
“I do,” I said and in my head I was planning his punishment, thinking he’d done something wrong. I couldn’t have been further from the truth.
‘It shows!” she said. I was intrigued.
I must admit it was due to the advice of a very wise friend that I had recently begun to give my three boys pocket money mere months before this incident.
The boy in question was just seven-years-old and he got €2.50 pocket money each week. This was to cover his sweets, football fee, and anything else he had to purchase during those seven days. It took a while for him to learn to budget, save, and spend wisely, but in hindsight it was one of the best decisions I’d made as a mother.
The teacher then proceeded to explain that she had been teaching money that week to the class. My son was able to recognise all the coins, and answer every question she posed. She told me that he could calculate change required from certain priced items immediately and that her first thought was that he must be used to handling money.
She was right! It was at that moment I realised how important it is that we teach our children how to appreciate the value of money while they are young.
Not only did it teach him how to budget and buy only what he could afford, but it taught him basic mental maths. He learned how to add and subtract in his head, and it has stuck with him ever since.
Now a college student, the boy budgets wisely on a weekly basis. He has rent and bills to pay and of course, he has a social life to fund! On a very small budget he survives week to week. He eats well, his bills get paid and he even manages a wee night out during the college week!
It might sound ridiculous giving a seven-year-old a weekly budget, but it pays off in the long run. Budgeting for your sweets at seven years of age not only limits your intake of sweets, but it teaches you to count and do basic maths for the rest of your life. Pocket money rocks!
Grainne McCool is a mum to three boys from Co. Donegal, who thinks parenting is a learning process in which you're never done learning.
Déanta in Éirinn - Sheology
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