Talk of Allowances Makes Parents a Little, Uh, Squeamish, Survey Shows

Filed under: In The News, Chores, Tween Culture, Research Reveals: Teens

Allowance for children

Are you losing the allowance battle with your teen? Credit: Janis Christie, Getty Images

Would you rather deal with a car salesman than talk to your own kids about their allowance?

Don't worry. You're not a pathetic wuss. Well, maybe you are, but you're not alone.

According to a survey by American Express, the National Association of Pathetic Wusses is a big club -- with as many as one in three parents getting all wussified at the prospect of negotiating allowances with their teenage children.

Thirty-six percent of those surveyed said they'd rather go 10 rounds with a car salesman, the website MarketWatch reports.

You would think this would put teens in the driver's seat when it comes to negotiations, yet almost half (49 percent) of teens surveyed said asking their parents for money is a "hassle." Maybe that's because they have to find the exact table Mom and Dad are hiding under.

Some of this fear might be based on teenagers' widespread reputation for being complete and utter morons. More than half of parents (54 percent) said they don't like the idea of teens carrying cash because the (insert parental eye rolling) kids might lose it.

When an even bigger percentage (56 percent) of the kids themselves share the same apprehension, you have to wonder.

Of course, American Express execs might have had a slightly ulterior motive in releasing this survey when they did. They're hawking a prepaid reloadable card parents can give kids in lieu of a cash allowance.

Would a credit card company actually create a solution, then commission a survey to let everyone know that there really is a problem? The cynics can stroke their beards and give each other knowing looks on that question.

Meanwhile, the survey still offers some interesting numbers. Not surprising. Just interesting.

For instance, parents (85 percent) are more likely than teens (78 percent) to tie allowances to chores. You see basically the same spread (66 percent of parents and 60 percent of teens) when allowances are tied to good grades.

MarketWatch suggests these numbers indicate that parents and teenagers don't exactly see eye to eye on what should be done to earn an allowance, and the kids -- hold on to your hats -- want to do as little as possible.

Strange, but true.

Related: Barack Obama Cheaps Out on Daughters' Allowance

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.