Workshy children pocket handouts;News;News amp; Opinion

5th November 1999 at 00:00
TEACHERS may be urged to offer "something in return for something" if they want a pay rise, but it seems that when it comes to their pupils a something-for-nothing philosophy has taken hold, writes Karen Thornton.

Where once it was common to hand out pocket money in exchange for a well-mown lawn or a gleaming car, the traditional link between cash and services rendered has now largely been broken. Today's children don't have to lift a finger for their weekly cash, says a new study.

Adrian Furnham of University College London's psychology department surveyed 400 British adults and found that nine out of 10 thought children should start getting weekly pocket money by the age of five.

They reckoned that a fair rate is around 60p a week for six-year-olds, and rising to pound;6 for those hitting 18. But only a third said the cash should be dependent on doing chores.

Most were keen to encourage their offspring to save, give to charity, and take up a part-time job. The study, published in the next edition of the British Journal of Developmental Psychology found that 42 per cent were willing to reward children for academic success.

"Pocket money is a serious issue because of both the spending power of children (many millions) and the opportunities for parents to train and socialise their children in the economic ways of life," said the earnest Professor Furnham.

"However, money remains a taboo topic for many parents - and may account for both ignorance and bad money habits among their children."

Economic Socialization; A Study of Adults' Perceptions and Uses of Pocket Money To Educate Children. Published in the British Journal of Developmental Psychology

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