Bar mitzvah money

Q: When a bar mitzvah receives money for a present to whom does the money belong – the bar mitzvah or his parents?
A: From a halachic perspective, since the child is already bar mitzvah, the parents cannot take his money. Theoretically, the parents could say: We are not taking your money but we are not obligated to feed you, give you lodging, etc… According to the Torah, a parent is only obligated to provide for the child until the age of six and then he can go work, and the Chief Rabbinate made a ruling that it is until the age of fifteen. But even until the age of fifteen, a parent could give bread and a place to sleep. They are not obligated to do and to go beyond the letter of the law until people ask whether they can use ma'aser money for their children's education. We say that if you use ma'aser money to raise your kids there will be nothing left to give to others. Based on ethics, fairness and truth, this money should go to the parents after all the money they have spent. Therefore, if the parents are not lacking for money, what does it matter to give the money to the bar mitzvah boy and put it in an account for him. But if the parents are not in a great financial state and they spent a lot of money on the bar mitzvah, they can certainly say to him: "Our dear child, it is true that you receive the money, but we need the money. Don't worry, if you need money, we will give you as we have done up until now. We live together in this house and we work hard but we are lacking money. Therefore, you need to be a partner with us." This education not only pertains to the bar mitzvah money, but we must tell child that they are partners in the house: You are not the masters and we serve you. You need to help. This is the source of many arguments at home, but we should not give in on it. You must sit together when all is calm and tell them that they need to help. Give a list of household chores, and they can each choose a few. This should be the approach not only for the bar mitzvah presents but for all of their cooperation in caring for one another.