While spoiling your kids every once in a while is not necessarily the devil’s own work, the problem is that it can create an unrealistic expectation regarding money that might not pan out down the road. It’s important to instill in your children the point that money actually comes from working, and not due to asking somebody for it or just a magical gift from the sky for simply being good. From a young age, an allowance is a great way to clue your kids in to the fact that work produces money.
When your kids are extremely young, offering them the chance to do simple tasks in exchange for money is a fabulous way to start – even the youngest kids can help with tasks as setting the table or emptying the garbage cans in the bathrooms. You can suggest other chores for them to do once they start making the connection between work and money.
Older kids can do harder tasks like mowing the lawn in exchange for greater compensation – and you can even encourage them to offer their services to neighbors or others around the neighborhood if they find themselves wanting money to make a larger purchase. Making a connection between work and money can make the difference between a financially solvent adult and one who can’t stop spending and ends up in horrific credit card debt. Many teens, when introduced to the idea of credit, simply see the plastic, hop on the American Express, and then end up getting more of a ride than they originally bargained for. Point being, connecting your child’s mind to work and money is a great way to ensure that your kids will be able to understand this concept fully when the time comes for them to be an adult and get out there on their own.
If you give them everything they want all the time, it often creates this idea that wanted items come out of nowhere. Worst case scenario? Kids who are spoiled start thinking that they are entitled to these items, which can cause serious problems in the future when entitlement issues run up against lack of funds. Be smart – make your kids work for the money and they will!