We recently started giving my four-year-old an allowance. Is that too young?

It's a rite of passage parents: shopping with your kids and them asking you to buy nearly everything in sight.

It never failed that a trip to Target would lead to begging for a toy of some sort, and let's be honest, the stores aren't helping.

They put cute, little things everywhere you turn, making these begging meltdowns practically impossible to avoid.

So when my daughter started asking for toys, I started making her earn them.

First, we went with a checkmark system. Cleaning up after herself, putting shoes away, taking dirty dishes to the kitchen all earned her a check. And a certain number of checks would earn her a $5-or-less toy next time we were at the store.

But pretty soon the check marks meant nothing. We would be shopping, she would find something and when I tried to explain she didn't have enough checks to get it she would ask why.

So I've moved on to actual money.

I thought this was a good move. She could learn about earning, learn about adding quarters into dollars and that you need to have a certain amount of money to get something.

All good things, right?

Well, one friend made the comment that maybe I was "putting too much pressure on her." That the idea of not having enough money would be too upsetting to a child.


So far, she gets super excited when she does something that earns her money, and has goals in mind of toys for which she wants to save up.

Is four really too young to learn that you need to earn things? That you need to work for the things you want and not just get them instantly?

I certainly don't think so.

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