Thursday 14 November 2019

'I want my children to have that work ethic and gratification'

Lucy Wolfe with her children
Lucy Wolfe with her children

Lucy Wolfe and her husband, Alan, live in Douglas, Cork, with their four children aged between four and 12, but have only just started giving out pocket money to their eldest, Jesse.

"At the moment our approach is still quite general in that we are not necessarily providing a weekly sum. We are giving our eldest son money, but it has to be earned," says Lucy, a paediatric sleep consultant and co-founder of

Jesse has regular tasks around the house he is expected to do, such as emptying the recycling bin and the dishwasher, for which he gets between €15 and €20 a month.

Sometimes this payment comes in the form of phone credits for his first new mobile phone.

"He is one of the eldest grandchildren and both sets of grandparents are very generous, we are keen to observe that this is not always what happens and that large sums of money received are saved for a specific item that he wants."

The second eldest, Ellen (10), has not really been getting regular pocket money, says Lucy.

"She uses birthday and Christmas gifts for luxury items that she wants and saved up to buy herself a laptop, but so far doesn't have any outgoings that we feel she needs to be paid for. She still has to do some activities and jobs about the house though."

As a child, Lucy had a part-time job from the age of 12 and "was quite self-sufficient from then onwards", something she learnt from her own parents.

However, she acknowledges that "jobs outside of the home aren't available like they were when we were young. I had a paper round and babysitting jobs and I hope that as soon as he is old enough he will be able to do the same.

"There is a sense of achievement in earning your own and buying what you like and I want them to have that work ethic and gratification."

- John Cradden

Irish Independent

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