Poll: Parents tell their kids about the recession

Kids are being told about the Great Recession.

Seven out of ten parents with children between the ages of 6 and 16 said their kids know we’ve been in a recession, according to a just released survey by American Express.

“This number suggests that talks about the current economic environment are happening at kitchen tables across the country,” said a news release about the poll’s results.

Despite the tough environment, allowances remain common, the survey of 506 U.S. households found.

Sixty-two percent of parents give their kids an allowance, the release said. The average was $12 per week.

Reasons for giving an allowance vary, according to the survey:

– Almost half of the parents who give one expect the money to be spent, not saved.

– Almost a third of the parents said the main reason for giving an allowance is to reward the child for good grades or household chores.

What happens in your family?

Have you discussed this recession? Why or why not?

What do you do about allowances? Have you cut back in this economy?

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11 comments Add your comment


February 17th, 2010
7:40 am

$12 dollars a week! WOW!!!!!!!
$624 / year….
Those families are NOT in a recession.

F-105 Thunderchief

February 17th, 2010
8:24 am

Our kids never got a regular allowance, but we paid for things for them. They were not spoiled by any means. But, if we can a few extra bucks, we’d reward them sometimes for grades, etc.

When I was a teenager, I got paid $20 a week and later $40, but we lived on a farm and I did many hours of manual labor, including during every spring break and every summer.

Beam me up Scotty

February 17th, 2010
8:48 am

I recently had a long chat with my 16 year old son and spoke passionately about the current recession and how it had impacted our family and others. I then paused and waited for his comments/questions. He said calmly, “Thanks for sharing Dad. Could I get $50.00? I’m taking Monica to the movies.

recession mom

February 17th, 2010
9:17 am

my daughter is only 8 and I give her $8.00 a week depending on soing her homework, some chores and just helping out. She usually saves it unless there is something that she really wants like books or movies.

Chief Wiggum

February 17th, 2010
9:33 am

Oh, my daughter knows about the recession. I’ve been not working for quite a long time now (many months), so my lifestyle has changed dramatically. We’re mostly eating at home, or if we dare to eat out, it’s off of the dollar menus. Her grandfather (my dad) was born in the Great Depression, and had it really bad as a kid. We talk about that, talk about how this is temporary, and how we all survive it, no matter how awful it seems at the time.

She doesn’t get a regular allowance, but does get money for good grades, and for other tasks.


February 17th, 2010
9:40 am

Kids get way too much nowadays. As a result, they do not appreciate anything. They do not want to work for anything and are unmotivated to do much except live with their parents foever.

ga peach

February 17th, 2010
10:38 am

When I was 15 which was only a little over 5 years ago my mother would give me $20.00 bucks on the weekend. Times are tough now and the kids are only getting worse.

Spanky Spankmeyer

February 17th, 2010
1:31 pm

Growing up my “chores” consisted of taking out the trash/garbage, cleaning the gutters, mowing the lawn, raking the leaves etc and didnt receive one thin dime for it. However if I hadnt done it then an ass-whooping would have been received.

I would receive some cash for good grades or going to amusement parks but nothing on a regular, allowance type, basis.

Kids nowadays are intolerable to be around…spoiled little brats.


February 17th, 2010
1:37 pm

Allowance often becomes another lost opportunity for teaching life lessons to our children. As a mother of two, I preach what I practice. Allowance should be low and not tied to chores or grades. Chores are expected as part of being a member of a family. Afterall, parents don’t get paid for making dinner or washing clothes. If chores are not done or grades are slipping these issues should be dealt with separately. Keeping allowance low (my children have never gotten more than $5.00 per week) helps motivate children to come up with creative ways to earn money. My two teenagers are honor students and tutor, babysit, dog walk etc. to earn extra money. This approach really works.

Ole Guy

February 17th, 2010
4:57 pm

It’s interesting to hear and read stories of those who were kids during the Sad 30s. While they, as a whole, seemed to have been unaware of the economic strife as anything but “life as usual”, the youth of today seem to view economic realities with “arm’s length” indifference. Driving by area high schools, one observes student parking lots at full capacity. It would appear that parents’ efforts at “teaching” their kids about the recession are done so with an “arm’s-length” approach.

By the way…F-105, did you fly those things “up north”?

Chief Wiggum

February 17th, 2010
9:03 pm

Ole Guy, my dad rarely talks about his days growing up in the Great Depression, but I have gathered bits and pieces along the way. He grew up in a small-ish house with two older sisters, and he didn’t have his own room. His dad was out of work for a long while, so his mom did laundry, and they grew their own food in their garden, including raising chickens. His parents always bought clothes too big, so he could wear them a long time. He made a vow, once he made it, he’d never wear loose clothes again. And…ugh…he buys his clothes too tight now, which isn’t a good idea for someone in their 80s.

I grew up in a lower-middle to middle class household, so I didn’t have a lot of stuff either. It makes me appreciative of what I have now. I try to convey that to my daughter, that growing up and living are more than measuring how much “stuff” you have. Hard lesson to teach in metro Atlanta, where so many parents are over-extended to put the Lexus in the driveway.