I GAVE my kids an allowance...no strings attached. No specific chores or jobs required. I wanted them to have a certain amount of money and learn to manage it for the items they needed. I expected a certain level of behavior and commitment in their school and social life. Both were very involved in school and extra curricular activities such as sports, band and various service organization through school and church. Both worked jobs in college and both have done very well in school and life in general.
They have both turned out just fine. Not spoiled brats by any stretch of the imagination. They know how to save and they know how to stretch a dollar.
My oldest has already spent her own money to backpack through Europe and Africa between jobs. Even now in the worst economy in years and NO JOBS in her field, she has saved nearly $10,000 working in a low paying service industry job and will be taking off for SE Asia for a few months. We let her live with us since she she is earning several thousand below the poverty level, but she pays for her insurance, gas and other day to day expenses. She qualifies for food stamps based on her income, but we have decided not to let her accept those. I can help her and the government doesn't need to. This past Christmas, she gave 3 families $400 each to help with presents for thier children because she knew they had very little extra money due to the economy (she did this anonymuosly...not for the recognition).
The youngest has another year in college and is a kind and generous person. She works full time in the summers and part time during school. She is responsible with her money and a good saver as well. She spends time helping others and doing volunteer work.
There is no ONE RIGHT WAY to raise your children.
I made a conscious decision a long time ago that I would offer my kids financial support and provide them with a college education...on me. All they had to do was to accept it and make the best of the opportunity I made available to them. They will both have a college education with no student loans to repay. They are well rounded, grounded and good kids, who have worked hard to get an education and stay out of trouble. They are fine young women who are a credit to society and who have made their parents proud...even if they did get an allowance.