Wednesday, September 14, 2011
By Jessica Fox, LCPC
I love this article Modern Allowance Tribune Story on giving your kids an allowance. One of my clients referenced this article in a session so I decided to check it out, and boy was I glad I did. It’s not a mind-blowing, completely unique concept or anything., but rather, a sort of “duh” moment; why didn’t we think of this before?
I am no economic expert by any means. I am not well versed in the stock market and could probably only last 10 minutes in a conversation about the government’s plan to stimulate the economy. I’m a therapist, I could talk about anxiety and depression for hours…..However, as a therapist that works with parents, I found this article incredibly useful. It connects the concepts of finance with social responsibility. Two ideas that unfortunately have been strangers for some time now.
The article discusses a few different ways to distribute allowance to children. Many families are now adopting a plan that imitates the 401k system where they match what their children save. Other families are trying to teach kids about social responsibility, pushing them to place one third of their allowance into an envelope for charity. It is so important that we model and educate children about being giving. Many researchers have described today’s youth as “entitled.” I hear it all of the time in my practice, parents complaining that their children just seem ungrateful and entitled. It’s not all their faults. We need to do a better job at making charity a part of our lives and sharing this knowledge with our kids. Make it an expectation. You will teach your children two essential lessons about budgeting and valuing every dollar and the responsibility we all have to help those less fortunate.