I give my 16 year old daughter 1 dollar a day for keeping straight A's (90% or above in every class).  If she drops to a B in one of her classes, no dollar until she brings it back up (I check via the online access portal).  Another dollar a day if she has above 92% in every class, and a third if she has above 94% (usually she only gets the dollar for 90%).  I give her another dollar a day if she brushes/walks the dog before dark without me asking.  I also give her 1 dollar for every time she exercises (1 hour of tennis, run two miles, etc) So she could potentially be earning up to 5 dollars a day.  She generally earns around 1-2 dollars a day.  She uses this money to pay for ALL of her own clothes, her own phones (I pay for the service/contract but she has to pay for the device), presents for friends' birthdays, shopping, movies, outside food, and general other expenses. Is this okay?  She has been telling me that it's not "normal" or "legit" for her to pay for all of her own clothes, but with a 5$/day allowance, she should have more than enough money for that!  Side note: she has around 2-3 hours of homework per weeknight, and does 6-7 hours on Saturdays and Sundays.

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    "she has around 2-3 hours of homework per weeknight, and does 6-7 hours on Saturdays and Sundays." added to school that adds up to a lot of hours. She also doesn't have a $5/day allowance, that's the maximum if she gets more then 94 percent in school, which takes a lot of work (staying in the top 10th percentile apparently takes her 22 hours a week on top of school), exercises every day and takes care of the dog every day on top of that.
    – YviDe
    Commented Apr 10, 2016 at 11:01
  • The only comment I would make is that she should be given serviceable, appropriate clothing as much to her personal tastes as possible without spending a lot of extra money, but if she wants anything "special" (designer clothing, themed clothing, etc) expecting her to pay for that herself is entirely reasonable. Commented Apr 11, 2016 at 23:07

1 Answer 1


Is this okay? She has been telling me that it's not "normal" or "legit" for her to pay for all of her own clothes...

From what you have written, it sounds as though the only major expense you're not assuming is that of clothing. What you are providing is fine, and what you're requiring her to pay for is also fine, I think, though I was a bit more lenient.

About her clothing, though, I agree with her. A child should not have to work for their basic clothing needs when the parents are capable of doing so. Basic clothing needs don't include designer footwear, prom dresses/tuxes, or expensive clothes. But reasonable, everyday clothing needs appropriate for the weather conditions should be supplied by the parent(s).

According to the United Nations Human Rights Commission's Convention on the Rights of the Child (where "child" is defined as "every human being below the age of eighteen years"), children have a right to receive (from their parents or the state if the parents are negligent), food, clothing, housing, free education, free health care, and leisure time, among other things.

The parent(s) or others responsible for the child have the primary responsibility to secure, within their abilities and financial capacities, the conditions of living necessary for the child's development. States Parties, in accordance with national conditions and within their means, shall take appropriate measures to assist parents and others responsible for the child to implement this right and shall in case of need provide material assistance and support programmes, particularly with regard to nutrition, clothing and housing. States Parties recognize the right of the child to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts.

*The US did not ratify the Convention.

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    Awesome response! Thank you. Makes perfect sense.
    – Mary
    Commented Apr 11, 2016 at 4:31

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