My 15-Year-Old Got Upset We Do Not Have Money for His Allowance: Advice?

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"My 15-year-old does not belong to either me or my husband biologically but we are his legal guardians. It has been that way since he was 18 months old. Anyways, his biological father pays $80 a month for child support. I am very strict as to what that money is used for. It pays for his PlayStation subscription, buys his hygiene products, gas if he wants me to take him places to hang out with his friends, etc. It’s not very much at All. All of my kids were getting $15 a week for an allowance. We have three kids. Y’all do the math. My husband and I are both out of work right now so we don’t have the extra money to pay them their allowance but we have told them as soon as we start working again, they will get their allowance back. My 15-year-old has now thrown a giant fit because we have not agreed to pay him his allowance out of the little child support money we get. He says that him doing his chores free of pay is illegal and child slavery. I would really like some advice or opinions. What should I do? What would y’all do?"

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The following top answers have been selected by a moderator from hundreds of responses to the original question.

"Explain the cost of him living in your home. Actually explain it to all your kids."

"15 is old enough to get a job."

"I personally don’t do allowances for chores because when they get older they won’t get paid for doing their laundry, dishes, making their bed, and cleaning their room and etc. You can tell your child when they get older and on their own that they won’t get paid for those things they do for themselves anyways. Just my thoughts on it."

"Our town has a community center and starts teenagers working at 14! I say he is old enough to start working a job!"

"I’d sit down, write down, and show them all the bills and the costs. I’d then add the costs of taking care of children and their costs. I’d then explain the income coming in right now. If they can’t or don’t want to understand then tell them to get a job and learn how much work it puts into making the money, how much uncle Sam takes, etc."

"Maybe he can get a job ? My daughter works at 15 at McDonald’s … a lot of fast food hires at 15 . Then he can work for his own money . My daughter enjoys having money now instead of getting $10 a week ."

"First of all it was a privilege not a right to get an allowance. Chores is apart of being a family. He needs to reevaluate how selfish he is being. He is 15 almost summer tell him to get a job."

"Tell him to go around and ask people if they need odd jobs done. Even if it’s taking out the trash for an elderly person for $5 is more then he’s making now."

"Housework should be divided between everybody that lives in the home… help him do up some resumes, apply for paper routes, babysitting, easy repairs. My daughter wanted to make money so I brought her to a house cleaning job with me and she made 60$."

"Do a budget night with all the kids old enough to do addition, don’t single him out other than explaining and showing how much his expenses come to. Suggest if he wants more spending money he can get a summer job mowing yards or something age apprioate"

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I raised 3 children of my own and now have foster children.
I have NEVER paid any of them for doing chores. Chores are done by everyone because that is the **right thing to do.**I HAVE paid them for doing extra chores. The Partner, Bio Child or what ever a member of the household have an obligation to share in the chores. I is not slavery.

What I still can’t see is why you start by making it clear that he is not your or your husband’s biological son. If that’s really important or makes a difference for you, then I feel pity for him and i think he needs to get a job soon and leave.

I think she only pointed it out because she gets nominal child support & kid appears to think that part of that is owed to them as allowance