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Pocket Money, Should Parents develop this habit at the tender age?


Childhood is a period of observation and learning .It is a golden time zone in the life of an individual where he can gather experience without the burden of responsibilities. The only responsibility the child has to shoulder is of becoming a perfect student. Today the family pattern has changed. We have nuclear families, where grandparents are not around to look after the emotional needs of the growing and impressionable individual. Today as a result of women empowerment and also the need to have double income to provide the best of education and facilities to their children both the parents are working round the clock. They are trying their level best to fulfill the economic needs of their wards .I would say, Parents are able to accomplish only half of the responsibilities of being the economical provider but the children are thirsty of something more. They expect their parents to spend quality time with them and empathize with their little challenges and share their seemingly meaningless adventures. But the parents are so emotionally drained by the time they reach home that they are not able to share a rapport with the children. To compensate for this guilt, the parents are ready to shell out some money to the children to buy entertainment outside. So the money which the parents are giving to their children right now cannot be called pocket money. It is only a monetary compensation directly proportional to the guilt created because of their absence from home. Previously parents used to provide pocket money to their children but it was only a fund which was to be used at the time of emergency. Moreover, the nuclear family system had not come into existence at that time and in the emotionally bonded joint family set-up, the grandparents were present to monitor the spending of the emergency fund provided by the parents. Today in the disintegrated family, the children open locked doors and let themselves in after a tiring day at the school as the parents are yet to come back home from their jobs. The television, the video games and the internet gadgets are their only companions in a secluded apartment. Even if the child goes out to play there is no one to supervise his choice of friends. In this scenario, he may fall into the trap of wrong playmates who may lure the child into a dangerous situation. Children imitate parents and become adults. A child who has ready money will be tempted to use his fund in a wrong way. But if the parents provide him only with a little emergency fund and audit it tightly then he will have to ask the parents for money again and again. In this way, the parents can come to know the changing needs of the child and for what and why does he want money for? If the child suddenly demands a lot of money, then the parents can quiz him and can help the child grow out of his temptations through counseling. But if the child has a ready fund of pocket money at his disposal which he is not accountable for, then he will be at ease to spend the money as and when he likes without moral control. The parents will be unable to trace the changes in the spending patterns of the child .They would lose control and right to monitor and shape his personality. As the child will get the decision making right to spend his own money, he will gradually behave like an adult and slowly dislike the prudish questions from his parents. It will be very difficult to control and discipline such a child.

So I sincerely feel that the parents should only provide a small emergency fund to their children so that they are left with a small window to peep into their ward's life and counsel him about what is right and what is wrong.

Suchita Marathe