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Should Children Still Receive An Allowance In The Time Of Online Distance Learning?

Should Children Still Receive An Allowance In The Time Of Online Distance Learning?
Image by Karolina Grabowska / Pexels

Part of anyone’s school experience, aside from first-day jitters and leaving your lunch bag by mistake in the cafeteria, is getting – and spending -- your allowance. If you’re a parent, you’re now the giver instead of the receiver, and we can all agree that times have indeed changed.

In light of the coronavirus pandemic, the educational system has taken a turn in 2020, leaving teachers and students no choice but to adapt the digital space as their new venue for learning. But this begs the question: Should parents still give their kids an allowance now that everything is virtual?

It’s different strokes for different folks, for sure. Below, parents share their views about giving their kids school allowance in the new normal.


No to allowance, yes to savings

Didat, AJ, Princess, and Ahmad are siblings all attending virtual classes. They do not get a regular allowance from their mom Carolina, a government employee.

I don’t give my kids allowance during online learning because the expenses that they should have incurred such as food and transportation in face-to-face classes are [no longer present] in online learning,” says Carolina.

Prior to the pandemic, she used to give each of her kids a Php 200 daily allowance for food and transportation, but with online learning, the young ones understand that this is no longer necessary as everything they need is provided for at home.

“We are also saving money by doing this,” adds Carolina. “[In] these difficult times, it is important to save up,” says Carolina.

Like Carolina, Axell’s parents do not give the 8th grader an allowance, although both parties agreed on a compromise.

“My wife and I don’t give any allowance to our youngest son [but we have a] deal that we will pay for his orders online since online shopping became one of his hobbies during the pandemic,” says Ignacio Bermundo, an AFP Senior Master Sergeant.

This agreement is favorable for Ignacio and his wife Regina because at least they are aware what they are paying for, and how much, exactly.

Axell usually browses online shopping sites like Shopee and Lazada to look for affordable clothes. 

“[What I like most about] our deal is [that] we also get a chance to decide whether he’ll buy it or not; unlike [when we’re] giving him an allowance, we are not sure where he will spend the money,” says Ignacio.

He says this is good in a way because it enables parents to save money, not only for themselves, but also for the future of their children.


Yes to allowance and to life lessons

Glenn Abad, an X-ray technologist who works overseas, also provides an allowance for his 15-year-old daughter, Yzha, who is currently in 12th grade.

“She spends some of her allowance to buy breakfast or snacks online,” says Glenn, noting that Yzha is also able to set aside some savings from the money she receives.

Every two weeks, Yzha’s mom Lhyn gives her Php 2,500, while her Tita Len, who lives in the U.S., sends Php 4,000 twice a month.

Glenn says the allowance he gives Yzha is his way of showing her his appreciation for studying hard and maintaining high grades despite the hurdles of online classes.

Vida is a Fine Arts college freshman who receives a Php 3,000 - 4,000 monthly allowance from her mother, Merida, a government employee.

“Despite the current status of online learning, I think children need to have [an] allowance even if it’s minimal only so they have something to [use for] projects, submission requirements, and other school-related concerns,” says Merida.

She shares that Vida spends her monthly allowance on art materials, cellphone load, meals, and other needs.

For Agnes Soriente, a bank manager, giving children an allowance for their online classes helps them be mindful about the importance of managing their own finances at an early age.

Giving them an allowance would make them financially knowledgeable in all aspects, like saving for what they need and want,” says Agnes.

She also believes that it could motivate children to study better, or teach them independence, as when purchasing essential items they will need for their virtual classes on their own.

Agnes believes that through their allowance, children learn valuable lessons about managing finances and saving for the future. 

“Keep in mind that what you are doing is part of your children’s learning in life and it will help them face the many challenges in the years to come,” she says.

So, should kids receive an allowance for attending online classes? It’s really up to your parenting style and beliefs. Whatever it is, remember that it’s not about the money; it’s the life lessons your kids could learn during these challenging times that matter.

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