I suspect I am in the minority in that I have never given either of my children an allowance.
Yes, I buy them things occasionally and for a while I would give them a thrifting-day stipend (to help them learn to manage their spending, reduce whining for me to buy them things, and um, okay, to buy myself some time.)
But normally they earn their own money.
When Sage was four he started his first small business.
He grated our LuSa soap trims, packed them into little drawstring bags, and sold them at the farmer's market as "Soap Sachets". By the end of the day he had something like $24 in his little pocket.
At age four.
And that was powerful for me.
I decided that I wanted my kids to experience wanting ("I really want those fancy pencils!" I really want to have a scooter!") and then find a way to make it happen. I wanted them to experience the satisfaction of earning their own money as well as the patience for delayed gratification.
I wanted them to learn that they are capable of having whatever they want, if they choose to make it happen.
I also didn't want their participation at home (IE: chores) to be linked to the money in their wallet. I think chores are done by all members of the family simply because that is how a family functions and survives. You don't do it in order to get paid in dollars. (More on how we do that over here.)
And then there is the fact that our family lives entirely off of income from our own small business. So to me it's a pretty important message that yes, you can follow your passion and earn a living - joyfully!
But I digress.
Sage's second business venture, "'Magical' Play Silks" dying and selling silks, was a huge success as well ( thanks to you beautiful people) and when he and I calculated how much he earned per hour we were both amazed. (Okay, I was floored. He was mildly engaged.)
And now it's Lupine's turn.
Lupine began her first small business venture last week, called "Rainbow Dough".
She is making homemade, essential oil-scented play dough. (Yes, she raided LuSa for the essential oils.)
Currently Lupine's Rainbow Dough is available in turquoise (eucalyptus), deep pink (rose geranium), purple (lavender), and light green (spearmint).
Because it is her business (not mine) she chose the recipe, set her prices, and picked her scents. She made the dough. Sage is helping her here and there (as am I), but mostly she's on her own. At six.
In case you were wondering, Lupine will be selling Rainbow Dough to anyone who is interested. (And yes, she ships!) She is charging $3.50 each, plus postage.
Truth be told I don't know how big each dough will be. I'm guessing every one will be different. Because, well, she's six. (But she's a generous six so I don't thik she'll dissapoint anyone.)
I hope that Lupine, like her brother, will learn that hard work and passion pay off - quite literally. And that work can be fun. That's a lesson that most of us didn't get as children that I think is vital to finding joy in adulthood.
I mean really. Who wouldn't benefit from that message?
For your own kids, the possibilities are limitless. Cut flowers, jewelery, freezer paper t-shirts, tea blends, cookie mix, poetry, painted peg people... Ask them what they love to do and then support them as they run with it. (But when they're ready to be done remember that that's okay too.)
Oh, and for the record, the play dough smells heavenly.
So. Who wants some?