Yes, it has come to that. Alia, now a big 4th grader, is interested in having a little spending money for those times when she needs gum, expensive toys we won't buy for her, etc. Oh, and charity! She wants to make sure to have some money that she can send to help animals.
In a lot of ways, those things make sense to me. Why not help her along in the process of learning a work ethic, the value of money, how to prepare a budget, savings plan? It opens the discussion -- how much should we spend on charity? Where do we find that information?
On the other hand, I believe that everyone in the family is responsible for contributing. We all play a role and a part of the family. I want my children to participate in caring for our home and each other not because they get paid an allowance for it, but because that is our expectation for each other and what is necessary. Also, it is important to note that with one child in private Day School and one in Preschool, that doesn't leave us with much money.
The solution: Alia and I came up with a preliminary. We have a list of expectations for before and after school but ouside of family contribution. Provided she positively completes these without us (the parents) having to nag or such, she can earn up to $1 per school day (up to $20 per month). We will open a free online account for her to put these earnings in. We will open a conversation about what she feels her responsibility towards charitable giving is and do some further teachings about what Torah says about the subject. And she will have to keep a spreadsheet - a little math never hurt anyone!
We are both excited to see how this pans out!