A mum has revealed she gives her six-year-old pocket money – but not for doing chores.
Parenting specialist Kirsty Ketley, 42, has previously made headlines for revealing the worst parenting tips and myths that we should avoid.
Now, Surrey-based Kirsty, who is mum to Ella, 10, and Leo, six, has revealed her potentially controversial parenting technique of giving her children pocket money without them having to earn it.
“We have started giving our six-year-old pocket money – £2 a week like his sister,” Kirsty, who offers her services under the name Auntie K, told NeedToKnow.co.uk.
“The kids don’t get money for chores – we just expect them to muck in – but they have to have stick to our family rules and boundaries.
“It is important for us that the kids are aware of what money is, how to save, and how to spend responsibly, and I think that has to start young.
“If they want a magazine or a toy, for instance, they have to save and spend their own money.
“This has helped them understand the cost of things and often they decide they don’t want whatever they have asked for in that moment.
“We do set rules that they don’t just spend their money in the sweet shop, and that they use it for things that they will get more enjoyment out of.”
Kirsty recommends other parents follow suit in giving children their own money to spend and insists it doesn’t have to be earnt – which she admits may “spark some debate”.
She said: “I feel it’s important to give kids pocket money as it helps them not only understand the value of money better but also teaches them to be financially healthy.
“Growing up they will need to understand how to manage money and instilling good financial habits from a young age is best, I think.
“How kids ‘earn’ their money, depends on the family.
“For some, paying for chores works well because their kids need the incentive, and there is nothing wrong with that, but for us, the kids are just expected to ‘muck in’ and help – and they don’t need a financial reward for doing so.
“They get £2 a week, which will likely increase as Ella gets older and more independent.
“They save their money for things they have seen and would like – for Leo, usually toys – but for Ella, it’s books, stationery, magazines, bath bombs, hair accessories, and sometimes clothes.
“They work out how much something is and how many weeks pocket money that equates to.
“We don’t allow them to just go to the sweet shop and spend it all on sweets and it’s not for anything that they need, like clothing.
“Ella buys because she wants, not what she needs, or school stuff – that’s our responsibility as parents.
“They get the money because they’ve behaved well and followed our house rules.
“So far, this approach is working well.
“They both know how to do tasks around the house and don’t expect chores just to be done by mum and dad.
“The kids’ rooms are their responsibility, so they are in charge of keeping them clean and tidy – [although] obviously with Leo, he does require some help, but we help alongside him, rather than do it for him.
“Both will dust, hoover, and tidy and put clothes away.
“If they don’t, then their rooms are not cleaned or tidied, and this approach works well.
“One of our house rules is that if you make a mess, you clean it up to the best of your ability, so when the kids play downstairs in the living room, for instance, they know they have to tidy up after themselves when they have finished playing, which they get on and do.
“If we ask them to unload the dishwasher, they do so without complaint and Ella often asks to help with hanging the washing or hoovering the living room.
“My husband Stu and I don’t have a set chore schedule or set ‘mine and yours’ jobs around the house.”
Kirsty says determining how much pocket money you shell out is difficult.
She added: “I’m not sure on the maximum to give.
“I think you can only give what you can afford and it’s important that kids understand that, but also give what they need.
“Does a six-year-old need more than £2 a week? A twelve-year-old, however, will need more because the things they will be buying cost more, and they are also becoming more independent and there will be more hopping on the bus to go out with friends.”