Pocket money or bribery?

The kids are all grown up...or at least that's what they think. Living with teenagers is a blast...not! We're in the midst of choices, exams, school changes and whatever the world can try and throw at us.

 I'm ducking it all and letting them each make their own decisions....a cop out I know, but try talking some sense into an obstreperous 15 year old who thinks gaming is a career choice and a 14 year old who believes that university is not the bee all.  And there was me thinking that in a very few short years, I'd be free of their smelly feet, the 'Perry' effect,  so that me and Mimi would have some quality time and do girly things together. It seems like Mimi has other ideas too. Apparently she asked my child free sister for ideas to make money as "Mummy won't pay pocket money". Sister was aghast and took her down to her studio where she makes all manner of crazy stuff from junk and gave her a few ideas. I'm a bit cheesed off as I thought Mimi would be my girl..but it appears she's not, she's not interested in girly stuff and seems to be intent on donning a mask and creating metal art!!

Anyway, back to the subject in hand....pocket money! In the idealised days of yore (pre-child) it as always my intention to reward any child I had with the cash once they'd completed a chore. I thought that to earn in that way would teach them the value of money and would encourage them to save for items they wanted and that it would be a great life lesson. It would teach them the basic principles of money.

That's all well and good until reality bites back. When they were younger and a lot smaller, we'd barter on chores.
Empty the dishwasher and I'll give you 50p.
Do the vacuuming -50p.
Lay the table 20p.
Mow the lawn £2
Clear the table 50p

We had a calendar and each chore had a price attached and at the end of the week we'd total up the chores and how much each one had.  It worked well for about 2 months, then they started to fight over who was doing what, they'd argue over did the most, who was earning the most. There'd be fights with forks whilst another wrestled the knives from my hands. I didn't fancy seeing an eye on the end of the fork so I made them take it in turns.

Then it stopped...completely! I couldn't get them to do anything. Then they started to negotiate more money for chores when in all honesty I thought they should be doing them anyway! They'd complain that it's slave labour and that they should join a union for exploitative child labour!  Trying to encourage them to come into the kitchen to cook was nigh on impossible. I remember peeling the potatoes and chopping up the cabbage for our dinner when I was growing up. It seems they fear the kitchen. They don't want to cook. Why should they? Mum does it all anyway. I was hoping that the bribery would make it easier for me. I hate vacuuming!

After months of trying to get them interested they didn't seem to want to earn any money after that. I couldn't exactly promise them their chance to save up for their Ferrari. They'd worked out that they'd never be able to afford the petrol....let alone the insurance! I could bribe Mimi with the promise of all the Shopkins her heart desires...but what then?

I worry for them when they leave home. They really won't have a clue, will they? BH thinks it'll all come out in the wash and they'll have to learn how to clean, how to wash their clothes and have their own rotas for the mind numbingly dull things I do on a daily basis, but they'll just do it in their own way...or not at all!

Little did I know that grandma was giving them a £5 secretly every week to do sod all!!!

How can I teach them the value of money when my own mother won't even play the game?


Popular Posts