Even a small amount of money given to a child to spend as he pleases helps a child feel trusted. And children who handle money regularly learn to handle money well.

The amount of a child's allow-ance depends on your family's budget. But it's better to give an allowance that's too small, because you can always add more later. Some experts think that kids with too much money are the first to turn to drugs in junior high.

You give an allowance to a child because he is part of the family. Giving money only for chores, or for good grades, tells a child he's only important for what he does, not who he is.

You can help your child set up a budget, saving some money for big purchases. And you can also encourage your child to share with others.

But as a parent, you need to remember that once your child has his allowance, it's his. Give him great freedom to can spend it as he chooses. And when it's gone, it's gone—that's an important lesson, too.

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