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does your 3 year old have pocket money? or get money as a reward?

(33 Posts)
elliott Thu 17-Mar-05 10:42:09

I've been wondering about this for a while and have been prompted by another thread to ask at what age your children became aware about shopping and money. I've noticed a few people mentioning using money as part of a reward system for children as young as 3 or 4.
my ds1 is 3yr and 3m and has only a very rudimentary understanding of money and shopping. he never asks me to buy him toys or sweets, and I don't think using money as a reward would have much meaning at the moment. We play pretend shopping and he will say things cost 'two pounds' or some such, and he calls coins 'pees' (so I guess he is picking up on 20p etc). Are most kids much more advanced in their understanding than this? Should I be teaching him more about money perhaps by giving him pocket money (though I don't know when we'd find time to go and spend it - wouldn't want it to go on sweets really)?

hoxtonchick Thu 17-Mar-05 10:45:03

my ds is 3.2. he does understand about money a bit, he likes handing over cash in shops (especially for sweets), & also likes collecting any loose change around the house & hoarding it. dp & i were talking to him about pocket money the other day, not with any real intent, just to see what he'd think. he said "oh yes, daddy, if you gave me money i could go & buy my own fruit." glows of parental pride all around! but i don't know if we'll do anything yet, maybe in a few months.

PrettyCandles Thu 17-Mar-05 10:48:16

Goodness no! Ds got a piggy-bank for Xmas when he was 3, and he loves putting coins in it and playing with it. From time to time I give him a penny or a tuppence and we also play shop games. I often give him the money to pay for small things and let him do the transaction, including bringing me the change. But I don't think he has any real understanding of money and I think it's far too early to expect that. I certainly wouldn't give money as a reward! (Mind you, I'll probably eat my words when it comes to getting him to tidy his room in 10 years' time .)

At the end of the year I collect all the coppers and 5p coins around the house, bag them up and take them to the bank to be exchanged for spendable money. Last year I needed a few pence to make up a bag and got ds to give it to me from his piggy bank. He was very distressed when we took it to the bank and got paper money in exchange, he is sure we came out worse off, and I just couldn't explain it to him. So he's definitely too young to understand the value of money.

desperatehousewife Thu 17-Mar-05 10:50:04

god, i'm going to try and hold off on pocket money for as long as possible - i was thinking 6 or 7 or 8 even...?

I think i'd rather bribe with chocolate buttons or marbles or gold stars at this age!

Tissy Thu 17-Mar-05 10:52:43

my dd (3) also likes hoarding pennies, and helping herself to a handful from Daddy's pocket, but has no concept of value at all. When she was whining for a Barbie coat ()I said I didn't have enough pennies to buy her one (blatant lie- I just can't stand the thought of dressing her in Barbie gear)she went off to her stash and brought me back several copper coins! Luckily the amount of money in her hand was enough to "buy" some chocolate from Mummy's cupboard, so she was distracted for a while!

Nope, she's not getting pocket money just yet. Don't know how long that will last, though, as her cousins (one of whom is the same age as her) all get money to spend on sweets on Saturday.

Tissy Thu 17-Mar-05 10:54:11

my dd (3) also likes hoarding pennies, and helping herself to a handful from Daddy's pocket, but has no concept of value at all. When she was whining for a Barbie coat ()I said I didn't have enough pennies to buy her one (blatant lie- I just can't stand the thought of dressing her in Barbie gear)she went off to her stash and brought me back several copper coins! Luckily the amount of money in her hand was enough to "buy" some chocolate from Mummy's cupboard, so she was distracted for a while!

Nope, she's not getting pocket money just yet. Don't know how long that will last, though, as her cousins (one of whom is the same age as her) all get money to spend on sweets on Saturday.

albert Thu 17-Mar-05 10:55:02

DS is soon to be 5 and I've not even considered it yet.

elliott Thu 17-Mar-05 10:57:23

I do remember that I started with pocket money around the time I was 4 (because I remember getting a rise when decimalisation came in!) but I had much older siblings so I'm sure I'd have been more aware of it. I used to spend it all on Fruit Salad and Black Jacks (4 for a penny!)

marialuisa Thu 17-Mar-05 10:58:29

DD has just turned 4 and i don't think she's in any way ready for pocket money. She understands about giving it over in shops, getting change etc., even the magic of cards but money as a reward would be meaningless to her.

I wasn't really given pocket money as a child (I don't think it's the norm in mediterranean countries? Certainly my family find the idea of "expected giving" pretty repellant)just spontaneous handouts or purchases and I can't see I'll ever get into the swing of it TBH.

Bozza Thu 17-Mar-05 11:06:16

Well we do . DS is just turned 4 and he has a plastic piggy. And we give him money when he has done something we are impressed with, helped us in some way eg when he put his face in the water at the swimming baths. And he chooses what he is saving up for - might be one of the Thomas trains or something cheaper. And when he has got enough money (several weeks) he goes and buys it. Don't really see that it is much different to a star chart with a reward at the end. He has no real concept of money tho' would prefer several coppers to one 50p for example. But if he asks he doesn't get, and I try to just give it afterwards rather than say "if you do this I will pay you".

GeorginaA Thu 17-Mar-05 11:09:51

As I've just mentioned in the other thread (sorry to have caused confusion!) our currency is stickers! Ds1 just has a vague idea of a bigger toy needs more stickers, tbh. He knows roughly that money is needed to buy stuff, but not much beyond that.

I was planning to introduce pocket money around 6 as I think at that age they're ready for a few more responsibilities and privileges so I was going to make a big thing of it on his 6th birthday Of course, I reserve the right to completely change my mind when I get there...

trinityrocks Thu 17-Mar-05 11:15:08

my DD is just turning five in a couple of weeks and she gets pocket money now (for the last few weeks) purely because I changed things and she now has a sweet day (once a week on saturday) and I set her up a bank account with the intention of teaching her how to save money and be responsible!!!!!! . so now she has £1.50 a week on Saturday and she has to put £1.00 into her bank account and she can buy one small sweet type thing with the 50p. So far she has been very happy with this and likes to look in her bank book and see that she has £3.00. I am not entirely sure that she really understands the value of money but the changes I have made were for me and her. Sje was eating too many sweets because she asked for them all the time and in my depressed, crap state gave in more than not. Now she understands sweet day is saturday and THAT'S IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Also I used to buy her things all the time (I have a shopaholicism problem) and now I will wait till she has saved and see what she wants to buy with her pocket money.

Prettybird Thu 17-Mar-05 11:20:12

...indirectly, as we have started using the "pasta jar" (as recommended by Mumsnet ). each piece of pasta is worth 10p, and in theory it gets counted at the end of every week and he gets a "new" float of 10 pieces of pasta.

In practice, it only gets counted about every fortnight and ds (4.5) doesn't really understadn the correlation between the pasta and the money - althugh that is coming. He does get distressed when we threaten to take away pieces of pasta and is really proud when he gets awarded them. SO at the moment it is the pasta istefl that means most to him.

Dh did comment however that when he took him to the local wee toy shop for a treat (after his MMR booster) that ds went round it saying, "too 'spencive" - as that's what I tell him when we go along for him to spend his "pasta" money!

ThomCat Thu 17-Mar-05 11:22:20

My 3 year old has Down's syndrome so doesn't have nay coception of money, and will probably always struggle with it tbh, but no I would never give a 3 year old pocket money, jesus that sounds so young, perhaps it's just me but it doesn't sit right with me at all. perhaps when they start school as a way of helping them understand the value of things etc but not before school in my opinion.

Lonelymum Thu 17-Mar-05 11:24:48

No. I found my older children didn't appreciate money until they reached about 7/8 (the ages they are now!) I gave them pocket money and the occasional bit of money for helping from 5 onwards but they had no conception about it really. Dd is about to turn 5 and, as she has older brothers, seems to have a bit more idea about it, but I think 3 is too young.

Gobbledigook Thu 17-Mar-05 11:40:29

DS1 is just coming up to 4. He's fascinated by going through my purse and picking up money but no, I don't give him money to buy things with. We put all our 10p pieces in his money box but it's just building up.

Don't see any need to give pocket money at this age.

elliott Thu 17-Mar-05 11:43:02

I should say that I actually think the concept of pocket money is a very good one as it teaches responsbility and budgeting - and I have a very clear memory of understanding perfectly the value of my four big old pennies at the age of 4. I suppose I have been thinking that once ds1 is more keen on sweets it woudl be a useful way of limiting his access and also encouraging choices between sweets now or toys later. I've been surprised though how slow ds1 seems to have been on asking for toys etc from me. Maybe because on the whole we avoid shopping with him! (except local food shopping).

psychomum5 Thu 17-Mar-05 11:54:08

I think three is way too young for pocket money,but then, I also think ten is. None of mine get pocket money yet, but the two eldest (9 and almost 11) do get money for certain things whenever they ask (if it is a reasonable request).
The thing is, I don't let them go out by themselves shopping, so I don't think they have a need yet for pocket money. When they need anything, we buy them it, and as for wants, well, they get xmas money, b/day money and also extra from their grandparents thro the year, so can dip into that if we are not aggreable with what it is they are after.
For example.....clothes we buy, shoes we buy, they each get a comic once a week that we buy, sweetie day is a saturday that we buy, and I pay for ballet etc.....they don't have a need yet for their own money yet!!!!

I am very aware tho that our eldest is going to secondary in september, and will therefore be wanting to do her own thing a little more, so that will be when we start to give her pocket money. At the moment tho she seems quite happy with the arrangement.

Bozza Thu 17-Mar-05 12:08:27

It works for DS in that if he asks for something I will say that he hasn't saved enough pennies yet and he will have to wait until he has. Also he does not buy sweets with it. Don't think it has occurred to him that he could. I buy him chocolate once a week before his 11.30 am swimming class and he has a banana in the changing room afterwards (he loves routine ).

SoupDragon Thu 17-Mar-05 12:12:03

DSs (6 and 4) have had pasta linked pocket money for about a year now. It goes in their money boxes and we do count it up every now and then. When it gets to a sensible amount (£5), we go and spend it on a small toy. I wouldn't let them spend it on sweets.

It has helped DS1 understand how much things cost because I turn prices into the number of 10ps he'd need to earn to buy something. It makes money more "real" to him.

DS2 does understand the idea of money to a certain extent but partly this is helped by having an older sibling. He loves putting his pocket moeny into his money box and counting how many 10ps are in there.

In reality, it's the reward rather than the actual money IYSWIM. Like Prettybird says, they are more concerned about losing/gaining something rather than speifically the pocket money. I like the way it teaches them that money has to be earnt which is why we tied pocket money into the pasta jar reward system.

coppertop Thu 17-Mar-05 12:14:38

Ds1 (4yrs) and ds2 (2yrs) are both given pocket money by their grandmother. This goes straight into their piggy banks at home and then into their bank accounts. Neither has any concept of money. The thing they enjoy most is 'posting' the money through the slot in the piggy bank.

We don't give pocket money ourselves though. IMO they are too young to know what it is.

clary Thu 17-Mar-05 12:16:54

Pocket money? God no! DS1 is 5.5...
Elliott, shoiwng your (young) age there - fruit salad were 8 for a penny when I was a lass

MissCheef Thu 17-Mar-05 12:18:07

I think 3 is too young - they don't really need money at that age do they? Kids usually get money as gifts that you save for them don't they?

elliott Thu 17-Mar-05 12:18:46

clary I think I just remembered wrongly - this would have been 1970

Enid Thu 17-Mar-05 12:24:30

I am about to start giving dd1 pocket money (she is 5). I thought £2 a week - she can buy her own hairclips/pens etc. Don't see anything wrong with it at any age tbh, its a part of life! The only problem is getting them not to spend it all on sweets IMO

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