• Thu, Feb 27 - 2:00 pm ET

Wanna Stamp Out Sibling Arguments? Give Your Kids Fighting Fees Like One Dad Did

fighting-siblings

A Redditor recently shared the list of rules (and fees) that she and her three sisters had to follow while growing up with a dad who sounds kinda like an accountant mixed with a drill sergeant. They had fees subtracted from their allowances for missing the bus, fees for fighting about going to school, and fees for saying unkind comments about their siblings.

Here, take a look at this list, which dates to 1996:

allowance-sanctions

Intense, right? I don’t know how much these girls were getting in allowances, but $5.00 for starting a fight before school seems steep to me! Stephanie Chappe spoke about her dad to Yahoo!, saying:

“Our dad thrives on order. And we were four girls who defined chaos to him, I think. He is neat, exact, and thorough. A great planner. He makes spreadsheets and databases for everything. In a similar vain as the allowance sanctions, he also created a whole hand signal system for when we took road trips (we took a lot of road trips), which we never followed but it was equally detailed (like, if he puts two fingers in the air it meant one person can talk only, putting his fist in the air meant we had to all be quiet, as so on).”

This kind of parenting, while it works beautifully for some people, is not my jam. I would never be able to keep track of which kid did which infraction and how much it cost and and honestly, I think I would feel bad taking away from the small amount of money I deigned to give them in the first place! That said, perhaps I’ll be eating my words when I have annoying eight-and-ten year olds who snipe at each other all day long.

I feel like this kind of thing, these “sanctions,” is something my parents would have thought was a brilliant idea. They’d institute it for like, a week, and then it would have fizzled out because who could really keep a system like this one going? I mean, we barely had allowances. Not because my parents didn’t want to give them to us, but because it was just easier to do what we were told and then ask for money when we needed it. Still, maybe if I’d had a regular allowance that was tied to my behavior, I’d have a healthier relationship with money as an adult.

It’s interesting to consider what this kind of system that Stephanie and her sisters grew up in teaches children about the intersection of morality and money. I mean, it’s one thing to take away privileges like iPad or TV time for doing unacceptable things, but taking away actual money? Something about it smells a little fishy to me.  But hey, if it works, it works. And it may be just the thing to keep your kids from fighting, being rude to one another, or missing the bus.

Photos: Yahoo! Shine/Shutterstock

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  • Guest

    I love this idea- but these things only work for parents who cant be organized and follow through. If you’re like well nevermind I don’t want to take the little money I give you then you would be doing more damage than anything. I had friends growing up whose parents gave them .10/chore and they grew up to be great with money and saving. Meanwhile my parents tried this and that and then just gave us money and all of their kids suck at finances for what it is worth.

  • Beanie

    My parents wanted to reduce the amount of time my brother watched TV when he was 10 or so. He would be glued to the TV and would refuse to do chores or other activities. So my parents would give him a container of quarters and each half hour of TV he watched during the week cost a quarter. If he had extra money left at the end of a week it was his to keep. He quickly wised up and figured out that not watching TV would earn him money. He still spent some on his favorite shows (Power Rangers), but my parents successfully limited his TV watching and taught him something about the value of money.

  • Sara

    My parents just let us Thunderdome it out in the yard. The only time they got involved was if we really hurt each other, which was rare because if Dad had to beak it up, nobody was happy.

  • talaricg

    the only “sanctions” my dad ever instituted was one summer, when he was sick and tired of hearing my mom complain that me & my 2 brothers weren’t making our beds. He said if someone else made your bed before you did, you had to pay your sibling $5. My dad was an only child, and didn’t realize the chaos this would create. my brother tried to make my bed with me in it, and people would stalk outside a bedroom door and make a bed super quickly while someone was going to the bathroom. It was anarchy. and cost all of us a lot of money from our summer jobs!

  • Alanna Jorgensen

    My stepson only gets $5 a week since I’m not horribly well off, but I explained to him that he earns it just like he would if he was working. All of his chores must be done to receive it, and since he can known to act up in school he loses it if I get an email from his teacher or a blue slip for behavior. He will also lose it if he doesn’t bring his homework home, as he used to “forget” it at school a lot, lol. I feel mean taking it away, but I also think it teaches him about responsibility and money.

  • evilstepmom

    We did a star calendar one summer. Each star was worth .25 cents and you could lose up to four per day. The up to $7.00 at the end of the week could be used to buy snacks at the store that you didn’t have to share with anyone! It worked amazingly well!

  • Rowan

    We put plus or minus on the calendar for great or bad behaviour from my son. If he’s in credit at the end of the week, he gets pocket money. If he’s in debit, he sacrifices TV or iPad time.

  • Angela

    Yeah, I’m really glad that I didn’t grow up in this household and I sure as hell won’t be doing this for my kids.

  • K.

    This is too complicated for me and I would resent having to look up the fine in our family penal code.

    I’d much rather my mother’s approach: “I don’t care who started it, keep it up and you BOTH get punished. And don’t ask me how–whatever it is, I can promise you, you won’t like it.”

    We shut up.

  • Momma425

    Omg, I would have had to sell my soul to pay my parents for all these sanctions.

  • JLH1986

    My mom was a “submarine” mom. If we acted up and couldn’t handle it ourselves she would tell us “If I have to come up and deal with it, no one is going to like the consequences.”

  • ILoveJellybeans

    I do this with the oldest-except for that its the same fine for every bad behaviour.