Any parent can attest to this: children are master negotiators, if they know it or not. When a child wants something out of their usual routine, a chocolate bar, crazy gizmo or computer game at the checkout for instance, you bet they will pick the most awkward time to ask for it.
One of the questions we are frequently asked by parents is ‘How do I decide how much pocket money to give?’ and what should I give it for? And our answer to this question is always the same; it depends on your family and what you want a pocket money routine to achieve. The key is to let children know exactly what they will need to cover with their own allowance.
Of course, this will take some negotiation, and it can be great practice in helping children understand value by going through what you expect them to cover vs the things you as a parent will supply. It can be constructive to ask questions like “How much do you think you will need to afford (enter bizarre kids toy/game/magazine)” and work back from this. You can also explain to them the difference between wants and needs, helping them grasp opportunity costs – when they get one thing it will mean they forgo another.
Tactics that children use to negotiate are brilliant, and as the Entrepreneur magazine notes, they can be useful for anyone of any age. The key however, is to always give children a choice, that way they will feel responsible for the decisions that you come to as a family – empowering and educational for them and reassuring for you.
If you want a general idea of how much pocket money children of all ages get in the UK then you can check out our pocket money index here. For more general information and resources on pocket money visit our resources area >
Please share any experiences you have had when it comes to negotiating pocket money in the comments.