You can't have missed the bonkers story doing the rounds on social media about the mother in the USA who charges her five-year-old rent.
The Independent reports:
A mother has sparked a debate among parents by revealing that she charges her five-year-old daughter rent out of her weekly allowance. Essence Evans, a mother from Georgia, has received widespread attention after writing a post on Facebook about how she parents her daughter.
I MAKE MY 5 YEAR OLD PAY RENT. Every week she gets $7 dollars in allowance. But I explained to her that in the real world most people spend most of their paycheck on bills with little to spend on themselves. So I make her give me $5 dollars back. $1 for rent, $1 for water, $1 for electricity, $1 for cable and $1 for food. The other $2 she gets to save or do what she wants with.
The enterprising mum went on to explain that she actually deposits her daughter's $5 'rent' payment into her savings account which she'll have access to once she is 18 years old. In other words, she's really ensuring her daughter saves $3,380 – whilst giving her a $2 allowance every week.
It's a creative idea and I'm not one to judge anyone else's parenting approach but this isn't a strategy I'll be adopting. Evans wrote that along with preparing her child for the real world, her tactic will ensure kids will be appreciative of the 'huge discount' once they see how much real bills are.
For starters, I don't want my child to have to wrap her head round the real world at the age of five. My youngest recently turned four and I like the fact that 20p still seems like riches to her. She has little to no concept of the difference between 50p and a pound coin and nor do I want her to. At this age the only money she should be thinking about is the cash in her toy till or the wad of notes she watches her brother amass during a game of Monopoly.
As I see it, she'll learn all about the big, bad world soon enough. Bills and budgeting will be part of her reality all too soon and until then I don't want her giving a thought to paying her way.
I'm also uncomfortable with this not being what it seems – it's not actually teaching her about the cost of living because she's going to get handed a pile of unexpected cash when she reaches 18 anyway. Why not just give her the $2 allowance and call the rest of it what it is – money being put away in her savings account for her by her mother.
That's my view but what's yours? We'd love to hear what you think about this story. Leave us a comment here or come and join the conversation over on our Facebook page.