The mom shared that she charges the boy $5 for rent every month while electricity and WiFi cost him $2 each.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published on October 12, 2021. It has since been updated.
A mom on TikTok has sparked a debate about whether her 'parenting hack' is an appropriate method to teach children financial responsibility. TikTok user @craftedandcozy left netizens divided when she shared in a video that she makes her 7-year-old pay rent and bills at the end of every month. In the video — which has been viewed over 2.7 million times since being posted — the TikTok user claims that this tactic "has worked wonders" in her house. "It is something that I've incorporated in my household for the past two months and it's been extremely successful," the mom says.
"I have a 7-year-old. He has a daily task list that he must complete on a daily basis. Should he complete everything on his task list, he gets a dollar per day. At the end of the month, he realizes that he has bills to pay. He pays those bills to me. He has his rent, he has electricity for his room, and he also has his internet for his iPad," she explains. "He then understands that throughout the month, he has two buckets. He has his 'fun' money and his 'bill' money. It is up to his responsibility to categorize his money and where he's going to put it into those buckets before the end of the month."
"I don't do anything with his money but put it right back into his savings account. It has taught him the value of a dollar and responsibility. I'm so pleased with the results. Hopefully, it's something that can help you out as well," she concludes. TikTok user provided some more insight into the unconventional parenting tactic in a follow-up video. "Essentially, yes, he is paying the bill. It's worked wonders in my household. It may not work in yours, but he's paying himself. That goes to his savings, which he's gonna get one day," she reveals.
@craftedandcozy then went on to share her son's daily task list. The chart included: "make the bed," "brush your teeth," "clean your bathroom," and "put your dirty clothes in the bin." She also clarified that her system does allow room for the boy to learn as he goes. "If I see that he's being challenged in any area, for instance, if he gets out of the shower [and] drops the towel right next to the towel hook, it's going on his task list next week," she says in the video.
As for how the youngster is charged rent and bills, the mom shared that she charges him $5 for rent every month while electricity and WiFi cost him $2 each. Therefore, the total amount he has to pay every month is a mere $9 which is about 30% of his minimum income. "If he doesn't pay his bills... we haven't run into that problem [yet]. But I truly can say what I believe I'll do is give an extension for the next month and then have that conversation at that time," the TikTok user explains. Her unconventional parenting method drew both praise and criticism from netizens.
"This may seem extreme to some but financial literacy is not taught in school so where is it going to be taught? At home! This is a good way to start," commented one TikTok user while another argued: "I'm okay. I'm going to let my kids be kids and teach them that when they get older. Those are valuable times to enjoy not be thinking about 'bills.'" Responding to the critics in a comment, @craftedandcozy wrote: "I appreciate everyone's opinion and their perspective on this topic... This is a small portion of my child's day. My son lives a very fortunate life. And I am beyond blessed to be able to provide him with that lifestyle. However, he needs to learn responsibility and this works for us!!!"