Rewarding your child for a job well done
When to give an allowance to a young child depends very much on when the child is actually able to understand the value of money and is starting to become responsible. Yet a child in a candy store knows money will buy sweets. A small allowance once a week to your child can start as early as three when you start to negotiate with the child to pick up his slippers or put away his toys. You can buy a money box and let the child start to save. It teaches responsibility and management skills.
Children from the age of two understand what you say. If there are other siblings, they learn from one another and soon the sibling will also help pick up things. For an older child of five you can give a dollar a week if he cleans his room and an extra dollar if he washes the dishes and sweeps up the crumbs in the kitchen. Children like to be helpful; it makes them feel good. For a pre teen who helps you with cleaning the yard and vacuuming the carpets, you can give more. He has friends and he does not want to appear different from them.
Rewards and punishment
Rewarding your child does not necessarily mean you give money all the time. You may promise them a movie on Saturday afternoon if they help with small chores, or take them to the library or the park and play ball or Frisbee. Kids need to be outside a good part of the day to run off their steam. They also need Vitamin D from the sun. Time out for bad behavior is becoming old fashioned when a child needs to be reprimanded as they can play computer games in the room and instead of a punishment it will be a luxury.
Incentives to save
To make them save their money for Christmas gifts you can start talking to them in July so they have enough time to build up their funds. Of course if you give fifty cents to one child you cannot give a dollar to the other one if they are all around the same age. You don’t want to be unfair as children hold grudges if there is favoritism.