• 4 Pocket Allowance

The secret of getting your kids to prioritize what they want…especially when they want everything

OK, let’s be honest for a minute. Have you ever avoided a toy store, gift shop, or other similar kid-friendly store because, as a parent, you just did not have the inner stamina to run the gauntlet of never ending requests for things. In our last blog we talked about the power of empowering.


But how do kids decide what they want? It can be overwhelming!!! (OK, I sometimes have days where I want one of everything too, so no judgement here).


From a big picture point of view, the longer kids are in charge of their own money, some of this will ‘sort itself out’...they will get that their money is limited, and be more strategic in their choices. It amazes me how quickly decision making changes when they are spending their money instead of your money.


But this doesn’t help you with the tantrum in the aisle. I often take a picture of everything they want….or right it on a list. Then it becomes a game of getting to take pictures of everything (remember the fun of creating your baby registry). Then, get them out of the store...space and distance are your friend….and let them look at their list/gallery. Without all that razzle-dazzle in front of them, they’ll have an easier time evaluating.


(Hint….this works for adults too….have you ever loaded your online shopping cart with everything you wanted, and then cut all the items that, as Ms. Kondo would say, don’t bring you joy?)


My Ah-Ha Moment


Right after we started our allowance, we went to the movies. The tickets were parents’ treat. But then came the request for treats. As smug parents, who had just implemented an allowance, we said “if that’s what you want to spend your money on, go for it”. To make a long story short, they took one look at the prices, determined they could get the same thing way cheaper at a discount store, and said “no way”.

For all those years, it was OK to ask me to spend my money on it, but it all changed when it was their money…..suddenly, they had priorities.


Micro Move


Sometimes it just takes a first step.


Try visiting a dollar store (where the stakes are lower). Let kids choose one thing. The rule for them is they can only choose one. The rule for you is that you will go with their choice and not try to influence them (unless there is a health/safety reason to veto, of course...no steak knives).


Family Movie Night


Pop the popcorn and pop in The Boy that Harnessed the Wind.

The power of what you can do when you set a goal!


Lunch Box Notes


Download our lunch box notes about priorities...a little daily dose of inspiration for your kids.





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