We recently took the decision to start giving Becky pocket money. It was a bit of an ad hoc decision and not something we had deliberated for very long, but she is five years old now, and somehow it just felt right at the time.
It came after John took Becky shopping one day and gave her £5 to spend on whatever she wanted in the store. Obviously Becky went straight for the Monster High dolls – her current favourites. John pointed out, however, that the one she was after cost almost £15, so was not in her price range. Becky considered this and swiftly moved on to one of the kids' magazines, which, usually priced at around £4 (pretty hefty, I find!), were in her price range. She then began doing the maths: if she bought one of the magazines, she'd have just over one pound left.
John explained that if she didn't buy the magazine though, but saved the money, she could start putting it in her money box (which we randomly put coins in as and when we have some spare) and soon save up to then buy her desired Monster High doll. This seemed to make sense to Becky and satisfied her, and she decided to save the money.
They came back from their shopping trip and Becky told me excitedly about the fact that she would put the fiver in her money box and save to buy herself a Monster High doll. It was then that we decided to give her regular pocket money of £1 a week, which we have now been doing for the past month or so.
And we’re really pleased that we are, for several reasons:
- To facilitate and support her maths and encourage her to count in real life terms and apply what she learns at school in a proper shopping environment, which helps her to make sense of it.
- To reward and encourage good behaviour; equally, she can lose all or part of her weekly pocket money allowance if she doesn’t uphold certain things we have agreed upon, like not tidying her room, or not listening when repeatedly prompted (this hasn’t happened yet, and is probably only a last resort, but still, it’s there as a sort of deal/ agreement between us and her).
- It teaches her the value of money and that everything material in this world has a price - and that you don’t always get stuff handed on a plate, but sometimes have to wait / save / work for it. Hopefully this will instill an appreciation for the things she has and acquires in the future.
So far, it’s going well and every Friday she is really excited to get her pound (sometimes a little bit more when she receives a special award from school, as she did last Friday, or has been or done something extra special). She loves counting her money, and by all accounts is well on her way to earning her first Monster High doll herself!
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