A third of parents admit bribing children with cash to do schoolwork
Around three in ten (29 per cent) parents – including many working from home themselves – have used money as “motivation” for their children to apply themselves to tasks set by their school.
Nearly two-thirds (61 per cent) said they have handed over cash to keep their offspring quiet while they worked from home and more than half (53 per cent) paid youngsters to complete schoolwork, the poll from Halifax found.
Some parents have used similar tactics previously, with one in six (15 per cent) saying they have used cash incentives before lockdown to entice children away from screens.
Getting youngsters to go to bed on time (15 per cent) and to go outside and exercise (7 per cent) were also popular reasons to use money as an incentive.
But offering cash may not work for every child. A quarter (26 per cent) of children aged eight to 15 said they would be willing to sacrifice some of their pocket money for more “perks” such as extended screen time.
Emma Abrahams, head of savings at Halifax, said: “Pocket money is a fantastic tool when it comes to teaching kids about money, even if the extra pennies are sometimes paid in a last-ditch attempt to secure parent power.
“Instead of just handing over the cash, use it to kick-start conversations with your children about what they intend to do with the money. This will give you the opportunity to reinforce good habits, such as saving for the future and spending within your means.”
Nearly two-thirds (60 per cent) of parents pay their offspring to do chores even though 38 per cent believe they should not need a cash incentive. During the lockdown, nearly a fifth (18 per cent) have paid their children more for doing jobs around the home.
Nearly four in 10 (39 per cent) youngsters have done general housework for the first time, 30 per cent have taken their first steps into gardening, and 14 per cent have looked after siblings. As well as rewarding children with money for hard work, some parents are willing to take it away to punish bad behaviour.
More than four in ten (41 per cent) use pocket money in this way. Nearly a third (31 per cent) said they had changed the way they paid their children during lockdown. More youngsters are getting money paid directly into their bank accounts, Halifax found.
Three in 10 (30 per cent) now have pocket money going straight into their personal bank accounts, compared with 24 per cent a year ago.
Squeezed household incomes have also had an impact on pocket money.
This year, the average weekly pocket money was £7.55, down from the £7.71 reported by children in 2019. A quarter of parents (23 per cent) have had to reduce or stop paying anything to their children.
More than 550 parents of children aged eight to 15 and more than 1,100 children in this age group were surveyed.
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