Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Back to School Allowance Advice for Parents

What do good schools and well thought out allowances have in common? Both teach your child a vitally important life skill: reflective thinking. Kids are naturally impulsive. Learning how to reflect before making a decision - learning to think in terms of choices, alternatives and consequences -- is a great life skill for kids to learn. Stanley Greenspan, M.D., one of the country's leading child psychiatrists, says that children who develop the ability to think in terms of choices and consequences are likely to grow into teenagers and adults who "can solve problems and assess and evaluate their own impulses and desires." Teens and adults who never develop this skill are "limited to their immediate and often impulsive reactions to events."

What do we mean by a "well thought out allowance?" It's been our experience that many parents simply haven't a clue when it comes to their kid's allowance. They don't know when to start, how much to give or what the purpose of the allowance is in the first place.

Since back to school time is rapidly approaching, here are answers to the four most common questions we get from parents about allowances.

Q: When do you start giving your kids an allowance?

A: There's no magic age. Start an allowance when your child becomes interested in money and using it to buy things. This is usually about age six. But if there are older children in the house already getting an allowance, don't be surprised if your five year old asks for an allowance. For your child's first allowance, look at the piggy bank recognized as a Parent's Choice Award Winner that has four transparent chambers and four slots, labeled Save, Spend, Invest and Donate.

See more of this article on FamilyCorner.com

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