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Consistency: Allowance and Bedtime

by Louise | March 24th, 2009 | Teen Perspective

moneyIn many families, the oldest sibling generally deals with the strictest rules, which is natural because parents can be uncertain which liberties should be granted to their children. As a younger sibling, I have reaped the benefits of this phenomenon: when my older sister started receiving allowance I did, too, at the same time. While I should not complain about how this worked out, I realize it is unfair to the older sibling and that maybe inconsistency is something parents should be wary about.

Allowance is definitely a common inconsistency that easily can be avoided. When you starting giving allowance to your oldest child, it might be wise to mark his/her age and the amount he/she is given. To be fair, any younger children should not be given allowance until this same age. Of course, there can be circumstances in which being consistent simply is not logical. If, for instance, you were not financially able to give an allowance but now are, this might be an appropriate reason to give allowance at an earlier age to one child. However, you should consider starting the older sibling on a higher allowance to “make up for lost time.”

Yet, it is also possible that the younger child, in your opinion, has deserved an equal allowance at an earlier age. Perhaps they do more chores, get better grades, or simply have better manners. Whatever the case, coming from the perspective of a teen, I urge you to have a reasonable explanation for the difference. If not, be consistent!

The same applies to bedtimes, but this is more susceptible to case by case issues. It may be difficult to get a younger child to sleep if the rest of the house is still bustling with noise; it is essential to be fair here not just for consistency but for the sake of the younger child who needs the sleep. However, studies have shown that most children, including teens, do not get enough sleep as it is, so maybe it is time for all of the children to have an earlier bedtime! (This might not go over well with a child. A more reasonable suggestion would be to enforce a “quiet time” in which the older sibling does not have to go to bed but be relatively quiet.)

  1. iceah says:

    This is a good suggestion for me even though I have an only child but we are still planning if I will have my second child next year or so. This helps me to be prepared when the time comes for my child to be in school too c:

  2. […] Info (a sister site of Select Index) encourages parents to consider keeping some things fair.  Click here to read the full […]

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