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:
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