Parents concerned over `playground economy'

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The Independent Online
MOST PARENTS give their children weekly pocket money from the age of five but strongly disapprove of the "playground economy" where primary school pupils lend each other cash.

A study published today in the British Journal of Developmental Psychology has shown that children receive pocket money three years earlier than their parents did but are twice as likely to be expected to do household chores in return for their weekly income.

"Children operate a playground economy and trade marbles and conkers," said Professor Adrian Furnham, an occupational psychologist, from University College London, and author of the study. "They may well also be doing it with money. Parental disapproval probably stems from a concern that their children do not understand the `true value' of money," he said.

In the study of 400 parents, researchers found that five-year-olds in Britain receive on average 62p a week, with those aged 11 on nearly pounds 3 a week and older teenagers getting pounds 6.

Four in ten parents said they used money to congratulate their children for academic achievements from the age of nine. Two-thirds wanted their children to save money from the age of eight and to investigate the different accounts available to them on their own.