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Would it be wrong to pay a kid for volunteer work?

 
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Apr, 2013 08:21 am
@chai2,
Get off your high horse.

If it's so "obvious to you" you need to work on your reading comprehension. I've said many times that I have problems with my idea and I'm trying to work my way through it.

But yes, I'd prefer to pay him for something than pay him for nothing.
Mame
 
  5  
Reply Sat 27 Apr, 2013 08:38 am
Boomer, I think you do need to untie the two. Or call it something else. I agree with Chai, Eva and Cherrie about that. Volunteering, real volunteering, can be very rewarding because it's a gift you're giving to others - it makes you feel great and you're contributing to your neighbourhood. Working can also be very rewarding because you're earning your money but he has a lifetime of that ahead of him and he's only 12; he's still a kid. Not that he's a baby, but he is still only 12.

I think the solution, if you're wanting him to have his own money, is to give him an allowance, which would simplify things for you. I think all people should have money, including children. It's a great opportunity to learn, as Mo has done, about saving, etc. and gives them the freedom to buy what they want when they want without constantly asking for money. This way, he'd volunteer if he wants to and but still has money.

I don't know why he doesn't have an allowance - $5 or $10 a week or something like that - just for being part of the family. You provide food, shelter, love, etc., so why not money? If he wants or needs more, THEN the job issue comes up.

ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Apr, 2013 09:02 am
@boomerang,
I like that..
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Apr, 2013 09:13 am
@Mame,
The conventional wisdom says that allowances are good but the (emerging) research says otherwise.

The largest study on allowance and financial literacy showed that kids that got no allowance were the most financially literate, followed by those that received an allowance tied to chores, followed by those who received an unconditional allowance. (http://www.learnvest.com/2012/01/money-mic-why-allowance-does-more-harm-than-good/):

Quote:
Studies have shown that instead of encouraging good financial habits, giving an allowance is statistically associated with diminished financial literacy, lower levels of motivation and an aversion to work.

According to the 2000 Jumpstart Coalition survey “Improving Financial Literacy—What Schools and Parents Can and Cannot Do,” 35% of the total respondents, American high school seniors, received an allowance based on chores, and 10.5% received an unconditional allowance.

Those who received no allowance had the highest mean financial literacy score of 52.5%. Those who received an allowance dependent on chores followed closely, at 52.1%.

But those who received an unconditional allowance—in other words, those children who parenting experts say should have the best money habits—had the lowest rates of financial literacy (49.1%)


I know it would be simple to give him an allowance but I'm not necessarily after simple.
ehBeth
 
  3  
Reply Sat 27 Apr, 2013 10:36 am
@boomerang,
I think it's too simple to just look at the source of the money in those studies. You also need to consider what the child will be responsible for in terms of purchasing.

By Mo's age, the hamburgers had stopped paying for my clothing - other than winter coats and boots. I was responsible for saving my allowance and other income to buy the rest of my clothing. I've told the story several times - the summer I turned 10, hamburgboy gave me my allowance for the upcoming quarter and I ended up spending 3 months dressed entirely in pink - even after I complained mightily.

Financial intelligence isn't just about income - it's also about how to use the money wisely.

There are a number of studies which look at that side of things as well.

An earlier poster has commented on it - asking how Mo's money was to be used. There are some interesting studies about children's financial learning approaches out there. I was always interested in one that required the child to pay 5 or 10% of their allowance back to the parents (representing government) as tax - required some money to be put aside for gift-giving to others - some money was to go into an education fund - it had 5 or 6 savings groupings. The kids in those plans seemed to be very wise about income as well as use of money when they were quite young.

A friend used a homegrown variant with her kids starting at age 3 - in their late teens/early twenties her kids are incredibly money savvy - her 23 year-old daughter still has over $22,000 in savings after paying for university while living away from home.

~~~

On the original question - if you're paying Mo, he's not volunteering and there's no upside to calling it volunteer work. He's working and you're paying him. He doesn't show up, he doesn't get paid ... and if you've set it up right, his expenses will continue so he'll need to think about the effects of not showing up.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Apr, 2013 10:38 am
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:
Quote:

But those who received an unconditional allowance—in other words, those children who parenting experts say should have the best money habits—had the lowest rates of financial literacy (49.1%)



that makes absolutely no sense

why would anyone think an unconditional allowance has any benefits?
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Apr, 2013 10:39 am
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:

Quote:
Those who received no allowance had the highest mean financial literacy score of 52.5%.



of course.

if you have no allowance in high school, you've got to work for your money
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Apr, 2013 10:55 am
@ehBeth,
I completely agree that spending is the other side of the issue. Luckily, Mo is a very smart shopper. Getting money out of his pocket is harder than getting money into it so I didn't open the conversation with that in mind but it is a good topic for discussion.

We don't give Mo an allowance but we do put him in charge of his clothes shopping by giving him a set amount and letting him spend it as he sees fit. He usually wants to hit the thrift stores first. He will really consider whether he's spending his money carefully and appropriately.

The only clothing that is treated differently is shoes since he really likes to splurge on shoes. I tell him my shoe budget is $X. Anything over that he has to pay for himself. And he does.

And I agree that it isn't as simple as looking at the money in those studies. I just think this summer would be a good time to introduce the idea of "working" somewhere that doesn't involve the things he's responsible for at home.

During most school breaks he earns some money by going to work with Mr. B (where he really is put to work) but I think it might be time to branch out.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Apr, 2013 10:58 am
@ehBeth,
According to the researcher just nagging parents for money forces conversations about money and spending and that makes the kids more savvy about it.

You might be surprised at how many parenting resources recommend unconditional allowances! This approach focuses on the spending end of things -- budgeting, etc.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Apr, 2013 10:58 am
@boomerang,
Has he participated in any day camps over the years?

Locally, 12 through 14 are the ages that campers can apply to be CIT's - counsellors in training. They can then become paid camp counsellors when they're 15. The trick is that they can only be CIT's at camps they've already attended.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Apr, 2013 11:00 am
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:
You might be surprised at how many parenting resources recommend unconditional allowances!


I would be very surprised as I don't know any parents in real life who provide unconditional allowances. Most discontinue 'money for nothing' before the kids are 5 - which seems a bit harsh to me - but they're getting pretty amazing results.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Apr, 2013 11:06 am
@ehBeth,
No, he hasn't. He's always really resisted the idea of camp.

There's an absolutely phenomenal day camp near our house that offers cool outdoor adventures (kayaking, archery, fishing, paintball). It has a great reputation. Every summer I try to get him to go to some of the camps but he flat out refuses.

He gets really stressed out around new groups of people, is the only thing I can think of that it might be attributed to.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Apr, 2013 11:09 am
@boomerang,
That's too bad - I was thinking he has a lot to offer other kids.

What is the most junior job/volunteer role available at the local golf courses/clubs? are there positions he can aim toward over the next couple of years?
boomerang
 
  2  
Reply Sat 27 Apr, 2013 11:18 am
@ehBeth,
The golf course is a great idea! I'm going to nose around a bit.

Judging from what I've seen at the course near our house there aren't any volunteers but I know that sometimes if you just hang out enough someplace they'll start tossing you odd jobs to do.

Mr. B stopped by the other day to hit a bucket of balls and everyone was asking where Mo had been (school) after his marathon spring break golfing. Mo's well liked there. Your idea has possibilities!
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Apr, 2013 11:19 am
@ehBeth,
ehBeth wrote:

boomerang wrote:
You might be surprised at how many parenting resources recommend unconditional allowances!


I would be very surprised as I don't know any parents in real life who provide unconditional allowances. Most discontinue 'money for nothing' before the kids are 5 - which seems a bit harsh to me - but they're getting pretty amazing results.

so long as the kid has a good work ethic what is being taught with money is how to manage money......for this how the kid gets the money is irrelevant. as part of this lesson from Mo's age my kids bought their own clothes, but we simply handed them a set amount each August.
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  2  
Reply Sat 27 Apr, 2013 11:21 am
@boomerang,
The groundskeeper there can probably come up with some good projects for him to help out with.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Apr, 2013 11:27 am
@Butrflynet,
Butrflynet wrote:

The groundskeeper there can probably come up with some good projects for him to help out with.

no manager in his right mind would sign the course up for this liability....if anything went wrong the insurance company would refuse to pay.
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Apr, 2013 11:48 am
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:

Get off your high horse.

If it's so "obvious to you" you need to work on your reading comprehension. I've said many times that I have problems with my idea and I'm trying to work my way through it.

But yes, I'd prefer to pay him for something than pay him for nothing.


I know, you often have problems with your ideas, and have to work your way through stuff that would probably get resolved if you said it out loud.

I heard you say many time you have problems with your idea, my comprehension is fine. That's why I, and others have pointed out the obvious. Volunteers don't get paid.

I don't care if you pay someone or not, just don't call it volunteering, making it into something it's not.

Maybe you don't like the way I said it, that's too bad. At least it's straight communication.
0 Replies
 
Mame
 
  2  
Reply Sat 27 Apr, 2013 12:18 pm
Boomer, no offence, but you research child-rearing / parenting to death. I couldn't care less what this or that study says - the outcome depends on the study and the researchers. I've worked with many idiotic researchers in my time and have no faith in what researchers say unless I'm familiar with them or the studies have been peer-reviewed.

Edit: and for every study that says X, there's another one that says Y.

When you're 8 years old and given a couple of bucks a week to spend on whatever you want, it's a marvellous feeling. Suddenly you CAN go to the movie with Cathy, or buy that bag of chips or Archie comic you've been coveting.

I've always given my kids an allowance because I felt it was their right to be able to buy something when they wanted to. Neither of them ever asked me for money, ever.

My son bought his own house when he was 23, and my daughter recently purchased her second one as a working single mother. I also got an allowance and I have enough savings to live on, should I choose to, and have not had any debt since my university loans. Doesn't sound like having an allowance harmed any of us. So much for those studies.

I think, aside from some parental instruction or guidance, people who are spendthrifts will be spendthrifts, and likewise the opposite.

But... this is all off-topic. I think you should just go with your instincts (instead of studies) unless you think you're way off. Every situation is different, and for different reasons. You and Mo are unique... do what's right for the two of you.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Apr, 2013 12:23 pm
@Mame,
Yeah -- I research topics I'm interested in, especially when it questions the conventional wisdom. Guilty as charged.

And yeah -- every kid is different. No one in my family ever got an allowance and we turned out fine, too. I don't really think there's a "right" and "wrong" way but that doesn't stop me from looking into issues.

No offense taken!
 

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