The cost of kids in a pandemic
Perhaps it is not surprising to learn that during this lockdown, beleaguered parents motivated their children with money. The latest Halifax Pocket Money survey has found that nearly a third (29%) have used money as motivation during the lockdown. Of these, 61% rewarded good behaviour, meaning the children were quiet enough that parents could work from home.
Cash for chores
Children are typically paid for a wide variety of actions. While 38% of parents believe that they should not have to pay their children to do chores, 60% do so nonetheless. 18% admit to paying their children to do their homework, 15% to go to bed, 7% to go outside and play, and 15% to just turn their screens off. More than a quarter of children, in comparison, would willingly sacrifice some of their cash to have more screen time and other luxuries.
The lockdown has meant that 49% of children have done general chores for the first time, 30% have gardened for the first time and 14% have looked after their younger siblings. 18% of parents admit to paying their children for doing more chores during the lockdown. And 41% of parents are willing to take that money away as punishment for bad behaviour.
Counterintuitively, this flow of income from parent to child has not necessarily cost parents more. The amount that parents pay has dropped. Last year, the average weekly payment was £7.71. This year, it is £7.55. A quarter of parents (23%) has reduced or temporarily halted pocket money because of the financial constraints caused by the coronavirus. On the whole, children seem to understand with 31% of parents stating that their children were fine with this reduction, and 26% of parents stating their children understood why it was necessary.
Emma Abrahams, Head of Savings, said that “Pocket money has to be seen for what it is—a luxury that some parents are able to provide their children. For those that have been impacted by the pandemic, this may not be feasible.”
Sometimes, it takes as little as a five-pound note to persuade children to change their behaviour. At the other end of the spectrum, some lucky children are getting £15.50 a week.
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