Mother: “I have two daughters, aged 15 and 16, who each receive 60 euros in pocket money/clothing money. My youngest daughter makes up for this on nice clothes, things and some treats now and then: fine. But my eldest daughter spends hard money and doesn’t care about clothes (wears old clothes from family until the holes fall). She wants to use the money she saves to buy a motorcycle or to travel the world for more than 1,500 euros. She also has part-time jobs.

“Paying her monthly money is therefore against me: it is my job to dress/facilitate her, not to make her ‘rich’? By the way, she likes to spend my money, she likes to go to shops to pick out food, drugstore products so that I can buy them. That gives me the feeling that she is shifting her buying behavior – which she should actually practice with her monthly money – onto me. My husband and I both have academic jobs and no financial problem. The upbringing question is more of a principle.”

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Family conversation about values

Ad Kill: “We want to raise our children to be independent adults who can handle money and live according to their own preferences. Pocket money and clothing money are instruments to achieve this.

“With pocket money a child can do whatever it wants, we can be brief about that. Clothes money is more difficult. You can say: clothing is bought with clothing money, otherwise you will not get it. A clear position. But your eldest can bring in not to value clothes, but something else. Is it fair that her sister gets money for something she likes, and she doesn’t?

“You can say that looking well-groomed and neat clothing is part of growing up successfully. But that is precarious territory for a child of 16: what is nice and neat? Parents and teens can think very differently about this.

“In short, this calls for a family conversation in which you talk together about your values: what is important in your children’s lives and how does money help with that? What is the role of clothing, and what is saving? And then discuss carefully what exactly the money you give is for.

“As for your dissatisfaction with the clothes with holes: family members are always a bit ashamed of each other, I would shrug my shoulders.”

Giving unconditionally

Loes Keijsers“There are no parenting principles that apply to every child. In education we prefer to look at what is needed to allow this unique child to blossom into a happy adult. Your eldest has big dreams, and appears to be able to save for them. It’s amazing that she can put so much money away for long-term goals at such a young age. In fact, she’s already working for it. What an example teenager! As a parent you can be proud of that.

“Money is for practicing spending. You can place conditions on the money you give to children, but I am in favor of giving it unconditionally. That they can do whatever they want with it, except for alcohol and drugs. In what they then choose, we get to know our children further. Talk about it together: ‘Tell me about your trip around the world, tell me about your dreams’.”