Dear Lola,

A few months ago my children started earning an allowance for doing chores. My wife and I thought it would be a good way to teach kids the value of earning money, saving for what they want and purchasing it once they had enough. I felt confident that we knew exactly what we were doing, which is rare in parenting. However, we’ve come across a problem with the system and don’t know what to do – our kids now think that any time we make a request of them, they are entitled to money for doing it. I ask them to pick up their room, they respond asking how much they will earn for it. What do you think we should do to correct course?

Parents of Materialistic Masterminds 

Dear Lola

Dear Parents of Materialistic Masterminds,

You can’t see it, but I am clapping. While I feel for your pain, I commend your Miniature Humans for figuring out a way to profit in their childhood. I myself arranged for a system where I was given cheese in order to ensure poop never went on the carpets. Sadly, the system was cut off once I was out of my puppyhood.

Your Mini Humans will find the adult world a cold, dark place indeed.

Since you do seem intent on thwarting the efforts of your creative geniuses, I will give you some helpful advice. Hopefully it will decrease your anxiety and stop you from overreacting and instituting a ban on anything that isn’t homemade. Imagine having to learn to sew your own clothing just to teach them a lesson!

Charge your Miniature Humans for rent and groceries.

Nothing will sober them as quickly as finding out their meager allowance will now all be used to pay for those precious cheese crackers and apple juice boxes they crave after school. Sure, you have to pay them for cleaning up their room – charging them twice that rate for rent will ensure that you actually profit off your Miniature Human’s work.

You may be able to retire early and buy that beach home!

I do feel I need to warn you to sleep with one eye open. Those Mini Humans may team up to get your life insurance money and return to store-bought clothing with tags sewn inside.

Have you considered writing up a chore sheet and explaining that anything not on that list will be performed for free? You could even point out a few of the things you may expect them to do in future for free – like picking up their rooms. That’s a very obvious and easy solution so I’m hoping you already tried and failed before coming to me. If you didn’t consider that at all, you may need to buy a parenting book… or three.


Send Lola your questions in the comments, or by clicking one of my social media links below!

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