Our policy with the boy’s allowance has been to give them a small weekly stipend that is independent of whatever chores they accomplish. As I explained it to them, they’re not getting paid to meet their responsibilities. Instead, they’re getting walking-around money, just like their mom and I get. It’s a perk, not a right.

Unfortunately, my history of remembering to give them their allowance is horrible. I’m not trying to cheat them out of their money. I just never seem to remember.

It got so bad that I finally transferred the responsibility to them. “Sunday is allowance day,” I said. “But you have to remind me. I always forget. Tell me on Sunday, and I’ll give it to you.”

They turned out to be no better at it than I am. They get their allowance maybe one Sunday out of three, as none of us ever remember.

Last night, as I was saying good night to my oldest son, he suddenly sat straight up in bed: “Allowance!”


“It’s still Sunday!”

“Okay. I’ll leave it on your place for you in the morning.”

I went to say goodnight to his little brother.

“Don’t forget my allowance,” he said.

“I won’t.”

Clearly, they’ve been talking. I wonder what they’re planning on buying?

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