Lately we have been having a few difficulties with our teen son and pocket money. We give both teens £10 a week each, providing they do all the chores we ask of them (washing up or loading dishwasher after dinner, hoovering, cleaning their rooms, changing litter box etc) usually a couple of things a day taking 20 minutes or so of their time.
We’ve always let them buy whatever they want with it. Teen daughter saves up and buys herself makeup, clothes, cimema etc but lately has been saving for Christmas presents, just her boyfriend, mum and dad and siblings.
Teen son however has bought junk food every week and last week came home with a bike and said he bought it from a friend for £10. We told him to take it back and get his money back but he said his friend wouldnt do that so we just cast it off as a silly mistake and told him to not do anything like that again. Yesterday he received his £10 again and he said he was going to start saving for Christmas presents now. We’ve said he doesn’t have to buy much, maybe a couple of pounds each person. It’s more about learning the joy of giving and not just receiving.
Both kids have a Go Henry card which means I can top them up on my app and I can see what they spend and where and I can also put limits as to where and how much they can spend.
So as I was saying teen son got his £10 and said he was going to save but on the way to school I got a notification that he had withdrew it, again! I asked him why when he got home and do you know what he spent it on? He gave it to the boy for the bike, again! We had a big argument and got nowhere because he always says “my money so I can do what I want” or “I earned it so I should be able to spend it on what I want”
Am I unreasonable to be angry that he is wasting his money? Yes he has earned it but it’s not like he’s got a job and so can enjoy his wages. He helps out in the house, as he should at 14. We’re not rich and it’s annoying me that we give him money for him to just waste.
I’ve tried to explain that he is lucky to get £10 a week, a year ago he wasn’t getting anything! I just don’t know what to do. I’ve considered stopping the pocket or putting a limit on his card so he can’t spend it. But is that mean?
I feel doing chores around the house and getting pocket money are for helping your child to learn basic life skills and to teach the true value of money so they can be independent adults, but I just don’t think he’s getting that.
What would you do?