Children and pocket money 

My 10 year old is becoming more money conscious and for that reason I am wondering whether it’s time to introduce a pocket money chart.

My older children did get pocket money but it was largely reward driven or as they chose to tell me driven by blackmail!

The YD is in my view very fortunate. She dances 2x a week, goes to Guides, has swimming lessons and has a guitar tutor once a month (and forgets to practice) At school she fences and goes to netball club and she is an altar server at church!  On top of having a tutor for 11 plus practice there is little time for anything else and everything is paid for by me.

It is important though to appreciate the value of money and I have been looking for some ideas.

I suppose the thought behind this is as recently she was at her Dad’s and he said getting a lunch box out of a school bag and putting a dirty school dress in the wash and cleaning shoes  was too much to expect for a 10 year old. Ridiculous in my opinion but I thought I would do some research 

I found this article which is good:
 Should you hand over pocket money to children on a reward basis?

Yes says Siobhan Feegard. Founder of Netmums.com and mother of three
In the supermarket this week my nine-year-old daughter came running over to my trolley with a DVD in her hand. “Mum! Hotel for Dogs is out – can we get it? Please, please, pleeeeeease?”

I explained that she could, if she wanted to buy it out of her own money.
“Mmm, how much is it?” She was suddenly interested in the price. She paused and thought: “£13! I can rent it for £3 if I want and it’ll probably be on TV soon anyway.” She put it back.
As usual, my kids are delighted to spend my money on whatever they can get in the trolley, but are much more sensible and thoughtful when it comes to putting their hands in their own pockets (or piggy banks). I like to think this is because they have, to some extent, earned their money and it therefore has a value to them.
My children’s pocket money is reward-based. They each have certain weekly jobs: they tidy their rooms, fold and organise their clothes and clear the table. They also know that if they are asked to do little jobs such as taking out the recycling or sweeping the floor, then that is part of the deal. None of their jobs are arduous and they don’t feel put upon. The concept is that we’re a team and we work together and as a reward and a thank you for their contribution they get their pocket money.
There are also opportunities to earn a little extra money sometimes, especially if they are saving for something special. Occasionally, I have to explain the difference between family teamwork and the opportunity to earn extra money – such as when I recently emptied a basket of odd socks on the kitchen table and asked the three children to work together to pair them up and was asked: “How much per pair?” But my raised eyebrow was greeted with good humour, the socks got matched and no money changed hands.

There are pitfalls to financially rewarding children that we need to be aware of: with any motivation for children the rules needs to be clear, transparent and very obviously fair. And I don’t want money to be associated in their minds with the giving (or withholding) of love.

Hence, my children’s pocket money is not based on them “being good”, which is in any case too difficult to interpret and unachievable for most normal children all day, every day for a full week. And I know myself well enough to know there will be certain fraught moments in every week when I yell: “Right, that’s it. No pocket money this week/month/year/ever again.”

I also don’t believe in paying my children to be kind, considerate and well-mannered. This is something we expect from them as part of our family and as little human beings. For motivation and reward for good behaviour such as going to bed on time, or learning times tables, I’d rather use a reward-based activity or experience that involves time together: a bowling, ice skating or cinema trip instead of money. Sanctions for bad behaviour will usually be addressed with a time out (“go to your room”) or withdrawal of favourite toys such as games consoles or mobiles.

In this age of disposable income, credit cards and buy-now-pay-later,
I really want to instil good money management skills into my children, and I believe allowing them to earn – and spend – their own pocket money is a great place to start.
No, says Mary MacLeod, Chief executive, Family and Parenting Institute
No. Pocket money is not a wage or a reward. It’s a gift. Giving pocket money is about giving pleasure. When I used to run into Ullapool Post Office, aged 10, and ask my father (he was the village postman) for a “tanner” to buy sweeties, he would look up from sorting the mail, delighted to see me, reach into his pocket and give me the sixpence with a wide grin. For him, the lad who had grown up with next to nothing, the pleasure of being able to give was immense. And I remember still the delight of giving and receiving.

Funnily enough, pocket money only became a common practice in families around the 1940s and 50s; perhaps it was a small cultural expression of satisfaction following the upheaval of depression, war and evacuation – children’s pocket money signifying peace and prosperity. Now, in another time, we seem to believe pocket money produces materialistic, spoiled children who take everything for granted. We worry about this as we do about almost everything to do with parenting.
If you Google “pocket money” you get sent to one place after another (out of millions) to learn how to manage pocket money, how to deploy it to improve children and get them into good habits. Without being against the lessons that can be learned through the judicious use of rewards, I believe we should worry less, enjoy more and see pocket money as one symbol of the “gift” relationships within families.
This symbolism is expressed in different cultures at the big festivals – weddings, christenings, naming ceremonies and funerals – where money is given in ritual ways to assist families with costs, help people embark on family life, and to express regard, esteem, care and hope for the future. Giving pocket money, we love the look on our children’s faces, the way you can see them thinking, almost out loud, as they decide at the sweetie counter. We love our children having fun, getting a longed-for toy or clothes they love to wear. We are touched when our children want to spend their money on a gift for us. So money is not just a commodity, it’s a token of love and attachment.
Of course, pocket money can be functional as well as symbolic. It teaches lessons about money – saving for something you want, having the freedom to make your own decisions. Withholding it can be a useful tool when parents are responding to bad or unkind behaviour. Extra pocket money is a great reward for kindness and helpfulness.
But if pocket money is only for good behaviour or in return for chores done, some of the pleasure and fun goes, despite the useful lessons learned about working for what you get. We don’t want children only to be helpful because there is a cash reward. Rewarding children doesn’t necessarily have to be with money – words of praise give as much or more as a cash handout. Children don’t need to have pocket money to feel loved.
Maybe we wish for a cash-free utopia where children don’t manipulate and whine and parents don’t use money to battle for children’s affection when they are at war with each other, or to assuage guilt. But money is not just the “root of all evil”, it is also the root of much pleasure and good. And nowhere more so than when we give to each other freely to show love and care and to exchange pleasure and delight.
I am going to ask the YD to make a chart based on these below, for her to identify her areas of responsibility will be a good start and we can negotiate pocket money after this. We will use £3-5 pounds a week as a start! 

  
 

I do rather like these for guidelines! The last one is so sweet! I’m definitely learning to sit reverently  x

   
 

Lo carb kids

Taken from ditchthecarbs.com  Since reading this I am thinking more about my daughters lunch box and trying to educate her regarding food and wheat intake. Please read this article: 

All children will benefit from lowering their carb, sugar, and wheat intake. You don’t need to be so strict with children in the healthy weight range, as they are generally more insulin sensitive than adults are, so their body can deal with sugars and carbs more efficiently. Overweight children should be controlled quite tightly. Studies have shown that children eating a ”low carb high fat’ diet, loose more weight and keep it off far better than those on a ‘calorie restricted low fat diet’.

I have written a series on Low Carb Kids. There are some great infographics and printables to help planning lunch boxes easier.

Low Carb Kids 1 – tips and tricks
Low Carb Kids 2 – printable guide to get your kids involved. How to plan you lunchbox each day.
Low Carb Kids 3 – 2 weeks of school lunches and how to plan them.
Low Carb Kids 4 – how to make a low carb lunchbox, and more Low Carb lunchbox ideas

All children will benefit from drinking less soft drinks (and energy drinks are an absolute no-no), less cakes, less sweets, less ice cream, less chips and tomato sauce (and don’t even get me started on chicken nuggets and pizza). Their bodies are growing at a rapid rate, and if we don’t feed them the nutrients they need for all the complex mechanisms that are going on inside their body, we are setting them up for a very unhealthy future. It is so sad when some children exist on litres of soft drinks, hot chips, pies, McDonalds, KFC, Subway – DAILY. Next time you see a bunch of teenagers hanging out at the mall, what are they eating? Usually some kind of takeaway washed down with an energy drink. Zero nutrition. These are beautiful growing bodies who have an addiction to high energy foods, neglect whole foods, and are probably deficient in some area. Try and really think about what your children have eaten in the last week. Make a mental note or log into My Fitness Pal and track it.

This is a great little video from the daughters of Tim Naughton, maker of ‘Fat Head Movie’. To see all their videos, see my link on You Tube.

I want to teach my children about having a healthy lifestyle –

for their bodies to be well nourished (which is different from well fed)
to be able to concentrate at school
not eating to excess
enjoying treats
eating real whole food
making good choices
enjoy trying new foods (our family rule is “you don’t have to like them, but you do have to try them”)
being active is fun
health and nutrition are a priority
Children need good FATS – they keep you full for longer, contain essential fatty acids and supply the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.

Children need protein – building blocks of their growing muscles.

Children need carbohydrates – but no where near what people think. Even severely restricting carbohydrates, the body can still make it through gluconeogenesis from excess protein.

Children need vegetables – fibre, vitamins, minerals, trace elements, antioxidants, phytochemicals and all the other hundreds of compounds that haven’t even been discovered yet. Fruits and vegetables should not be seen as equal. Fruit is incredibly high in carbs,especially fructose. Eat whole fruits (and never fruit juice or dried fruits), as the whole fruit contains fibre and nutrients, but don’t consider they are equal as vegetables. Be aware of the fructose content of fruit, and limit to 1 or 2 pieces a day. Go for lower sugar fruit such as berries. Cut back on high sugar tropical fruits such as pineapple, melons, grapes, etc.

How many parents do you know where they just laugh and say their children just WON’T eat vegetables. It is your responsibility as a parent to ensure they are properly nourished. It’s your convenience of not having a battle at the dinner table that allows them to refuse vegetables. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it is easy, but establish a few family rules, one at a time, which let them know it is not negotiable. Go slowly as it may be a big change for some families. Be proud of what you have achieved. Little by little.

Our first family rule is they have to try everything. They don’t have to like it, but they have to try it
Keep introducing that food (maybe weekly) until they enjoy it, this may take forever, but you do get there
Get them to smother the food in something they do like to hide the taste (remember, they HAVE to eat some of it)
Flavour your vegetables. My children would turn up their noses at most greens until I made them silver beet carbonara, Asian greens etc. I almost cry when my youngest asks for more, a proud mum moment.
Put butter and cream cheese on the table instead of tomato sauce (way too processed and full of sugar). Let them flavour their own food. They have control and won’t battle so much.
Put twice as much of something on the plate as you know they will eat and then you can negotiate they only have to eat half (sneaky psychology, but man this one works).
Get them to choose what to go in their lunch boxes. I know what each of my children’s tastes are so make their lunchbox accordingly. I’m not saying I make totally different lunch boxes, but where one has tomatoes and feta, my youngest will have capsicum and carrots. I still add one thing a day to push them. At the moment it’s a cherry tomato each day for the boys. They know I will check each day to see if it has been eaten, if not, they have to eat it before they eat their afternoon tea.
I would say I am pretty good at what I feed them at home (all the pictures you see, are our actual meals), but I don’t restrict them in any way when they are at friends or at parties. No one likes a diet bore or a food restrictor. It would be great if other parents made good choices, but really, it’s not making up a huge part of their diet. This would be different of course if your child has a true food allergy or intolerance, but my children never have. My focus at home is always restrict the carbs and restrict poor food choices.

Eating out is a tough one. Most cafes sell cakes, muffins, donuts, sandwiches, juice, …. and sometimes there is no other choice. Thats ok, just make sure they have the best of what is there and NO juice. Save your $$$ and ask for a jug of water. Try and adapt what is on offer.

BEST LOW CARB TIP EVER!!!!

If we go to McDonalds, I always choose a small burger meal, but choose a diet coke and replace the fries with a side salad. I then open the burger and put the meat patties, sauces and cheese on top of the salad. Voila, the regular meal would have been 870 kCal, 133g carbs, my new meal is only 204kCal and 4g carbs!!!!! It just takes a bit of thinking. My children don’t drink many soft drinks but when they do I always get diet drinks if we are eating out, I know there is a lot of controversy about artificial sweeteners, but I personally choose them.

“STRIVE FOR IMPROVEMENT, NOT PERFECTION”