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

   
 

What is it about the sunshine? 

Do you find once you get a bit of sun you are propelled into the garden? 

Our garden has been very much work in progress (as has the house) since moving in! TOH has an aversion to nature trees and gardening and suggests concreting the garden over. Of course I am hoping to convert him into enjoying the garden but I think I have a long way to go!

When we moved in the previous owners had planted conifers all along the fence which made our living room dark as they were about 5 foot wide. We are now getting to the stage after nearly 3 years of cutting them all back and digging out the roots – slowly and surely! We also had some random decking and very spikey bushes we are also digging out. 

Today we have made great strides in the garden (including clearing and tidying the shed!) and it does feel good. What I love about the gardening is instant results! It always looks better after a little work here are some pictures, we just need to clear 6 more roots, lay some grass and put in some plants (in autumn) oh and win the lottery to put in a patio and a new fence! And make about 10 trips to the dump! 

 You and see some of the remaining stumps and one remaining conifer covered in ivy   
  

The YD watering my pots. We did some today, the area in front of her was full of conifers, we are grassing it until we have saved up for the patio. 

  

TOH BBQ area, decking to be sanded and retreated! More work 

Apparently the shed will be painted in West Ham colours – claret and blue this summer! I think TOH may have over exerted himself at this point taking up the random decking as this will be his project ……. along with all the other jobs we need to do! 

PRAGUE

Lovely writing from Emma, I hope you have a read of her blog and enjoy it as much as I have!

Mountains are Waiting

IMG_6660IMG_6654IMG_6644 Our bus to Prague was completely sold out, and we couldn’t really figure out why, although it was a Friday afternoon. Until we arrived, then we discovered that the Ice Hockey World Championships were underway in the Czech Republic. So there were people everywhere, wearing jerseys supporting their country whether it was Czech, Sweden or even Canada. I guess being Aussies means we’re sort of out of the loop when it comes to sports like ice hockey.

We’re staying at the Post Hostel, it’s a little bit out of the centre of Prague, maybe a 25 minute walk but only 7-10 minutes on the tram. The hostel is brand new, only open for about a month, so everything is completely new. Even the towels are still fluffy! We’re in a four bed again, and the rooms here are absolutely huge. Plus after our first night when the Canadian couple in…

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Argh!!!!

Why Is it that once you embark on something on the internet it becomes such an enormous time wasters! I tried to design a new bathroom online and failed miserably, setting up the room size window and doors took ages and by the time I had that right  the stress of trying to fit a bath into the room in all sorts of ways has made me realise I need to give up the dream of the double ended bath and go for the big luxury shower instead! I suppose every cloud has a silver lining!

Instead I decided on planning some fun things to do in Bellagio, Lake Como, Italy where I am travelling to in a couple of weeks. That has proved rather therapeutic, the thought of electric bikes, private boat tours and ferry trips coupled with good food and wine certainly proved an escape! However suddenly realising the time I had spent fantasising myself as George Clooney’s new wife brought be back to earth with a bump.

I needed  to do a shopping list –  but there were of course other pressing jobs needing my attention such as trying to sort out Amazon Prime so that it could actually work on my TV. Needless to say after further research I discovered to my disappointment that my TV is not on Amazon’s list of compatibles even though it’s a Samsung Smart TV.  Is it a conspiracy? As an aside last weekend the same task actually wasted the whole afternoon as me and TOH nearly came to blows due to the poor instructions and lack of information from the said Amazon Prime. I have now bought the hdmi cable which is in fact the cheapest and easiest option! Well,  we will see when it’s delivered (by Amazon Prime)  can it be that hard connecting cables to the TV and iPad! So thanks Amazon Prime the whole TV streaming thing is a bit of a con for the 50 plus technophobe! You have had 2 subscriptions from me hopefully I will soon get to view some programmes 

Time check  –  going shopping in 45 mins now need shower, eat breakfast pay for our August holiday and do the shopping lst! I need to rewind back to 6.30 am when I woke up or not get so distracted!

Beautiful pictures  for contemplation and positive energy thoughts, enjoy I’m having a shower.

  

  

What is it about the first of the month! 

  

How many healthy eating plans, diets or exercise plans start and fail within a short period of time?

The penny has finally dropped for me – as when I am feeling accomplished at work it has an impact on my home life, resulting in less stress and feeling more empowered in my life including gym and diet. 

My job is stressful and I often bring it home with me and if I don’t do it, it sits there staring at me and mocking me so consequently I feel too guilty to go to the gym which then has the downward spiral with the diet. The “why bother” syndrome!

The whole work life balance is something that can really go out of kilter and so for me I know I must address it in order to accomplish the other small achievements.

My goal is to celebrate my small accomplishments and leave work at work! 

The thrill of the ride

Do you ever get that feeling when you are sitting on a roller coaster just before it starts and wonder why am I doing this! I had that feeling several times today at Thorpe Park. Whilst we had a brilliant day out each ride has me wondering am I really getting too old for this 😀

I think the danger is having an annual pass. We have had some use out of it and thankfully the year is now up. The saying you can have too much of a good thing is true! 

   
     

Burn fat with fat

JsMe  

Love this article shared…..

” A recent article has a few take home points that I would contend. The article suggests that eating before a workout is critical so that the body stays away from cannibalizing its own muscle the moment you break a sweat. Additionally, it suggests that the body strictly burns sugar for energy. Finally, the article proposes that stocking up on sugars prior to exercise is the answer to avoid bonking. Sounds like the traditional line from the typical performance nutrition “expert” who has neglected to understand the real story behind pre-workout fueling. Lets review the facts about fueling the body as I explain my points of contention. 

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT HOW THE BODY IS FUELED

The body has an alternative, more efficient and effective fuel source other than sugars: fat! 

When you load up on carbs before activity, the body will choose the sugar every time.

This means that your body never has a chance to get into a state of fat burn. It’s amazing to me that everyone who breaks a sweat during a workout is in some way motivated by burning fat, but so many insist fueling with sugar. 

Burning primarily sugar for fuel is a devastating error in the quest to shed body fat. Not only does it mean that you limit your chances of torching body fat but the cost of running on sugar at the cellular level is much greater than the cost of burning fat. The article at the root of this discussion suggests that ATP is a naturally occurring energy source in the body. ATP is indeed the currency of energy in the body but saying it is “naturally occurring” is misleading. It is produced by converting either sugar or fat into a usable energy source.

ATP is indeed the currency of energy in the body but saying it is “naturally occurring” is misleading.

Dumping out your piggybank of carbs or fats at your body’s cash register and expecting your body to give you energy in return would be like dumping your piggybank of american coins and dollars on the counter of a store in Canada. They are going to ask you to convert your American dollars into Canadian currency before making the sale. The point is that the body requires you take your carbs (sugars) and fats to the bank for exchange into the proper currency. The bank is your cell (specifically the Proton Pump) and the proper currency for usable energy is ATP. 

TAKE NOTES – THIS IS BIG

You get taxed on converting sugars into ATP differently than you get taxed on converting fat. Within the cell, during the conversion of sugar into ATP there are three compounds of Carbon Dioxide that are produced as a byproduct of the conversion process. When you bring fat to the cell to be converted into ATP only two compounds of CO2 are produced as a byproduct of the conversion process.

In other words the tax on converting sugar to ATP is 30% greater than when you convert fat into ATP. CO2 makes the cellular environment more acidic. A more acidic cell sounds to me like something to avoid, but here’s exactly why it’s the opposite of good: the lower pH environment in the cell results in less ATP production by the Proton Pump. Less ATP equals less available fuel or energy. 
See the Proton Pump pumping out ATP (gold nuggets) in this cellular animation video from 1:10 – 1:30:

SOLUTION

Direct your body towards burning your own body fat for energy. Eating cereal and “energy bars” before exercise is not the way. Eating primarily healthy fats and proteins no sooner than 2-4 hours prior to exercise and pumping the brakes on the carbs until after the gym is one way. Taking in the healthy fats more regularly trains your cells how to use fat for fuel more efficiently. The post-training carbs will top-off any depleted glycogen stores just in case you ever need them. Only thing is you may not need them very often if you are regularly burning fat for fuel – converting fat into energy equals more gold nuggets of ATP available to do more work with! 

TAKE TO THE TRENCHES

Start slow and give this a try before your less intense, shorter workout days to get used to it. Keep in mind that unless you are hungry there is no law that says you must eat before you break a sweat. Assuming your goal is fat burn then exercising on an empty stomach is one way to become a fat burning machine!

IF YOU LIKED WHAT YOU READ HERE, BE SURE TO SHARE IT.  

@tdathletesedge #paleo #paleodiet #crossfit #TDAE

Tim DiFrancesco, PT, DPT, ATC, CSCS is the Head Strength & Conditioning Coach for the Los Angeles Lakers and President of TD Athletes Edge, where he provides fitness, recovery and nutrition guidance to aspiring and professional athletes. For training advice, visit http://www.tdathletesedge.com and follow him on Twitter/Instagram through @tdathletesedge. 

References:

Powering the Cell: Mitochondria [Motion picture]. (n.d.). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RrS2uROUjK4.
Special thanks to Dr. Cate Shanahan and Luke Shanahan for helping me to explore the goldmine that is the Proton Pump.”

Alcohol and the effects on diet

  
I’m going to put together some references And articles here from various sources which I hope you enjoy

From Dr Atkins

“Here’s the problem with all alcoholic beverages, and the reason I recommend refraining from alcohol consumption on the diet. Alcohol, whenever taken in, is the first fuel to burn. While that’s going on, your body will not burn fat. This does not stop the weight loss, it simply postpones it, since the alcohol does not store as glycogen, and you immediately go back into ketosis/lipolysis after the alcohol is used up.

If you must drink alcohol, wine is an acceptable addition to levels beyond the Induction diet. If wine does not suit your taste, straight liquor such as scotch, rye, vodka, and gin would be appropriate, as long as the mixer is sugarless; this means no juice, tonic water; or non-diet soda. Seltzer and diet soda are appropriate.”

From Cynthia Sass

“Over the years, many of my clients have confided that too many cocktails on the weekend, followed by alcohol-induced overeating, cancels out their work-week healthy eating efforts. And as a result, instead of seeing results, they remain “stuck” in a weight loss plateau. Sound familiar? This trend is supported by a new UK survey, which found that in a single evening out on the town, 40% of women consume about 1,000 calories in alcohol alone. In addition, more than half say that imbibing makes them hungrier, and four in five admit that drinking diminishes their willpower, causing them to indulge in foods like burgers, pizza, and chips. If alcohol is your diet downfall, try putting these seven tips into action.

1. Eat before you drink

When your stomach is empty, alcohol is absorbed quickly, which means you’ll feel the effects within minutes. But eating something rich in lean protein and/or good fat, which are both digested and absorbed slowly, creates a buffer. So to curtail your tipsiness, nibble on something like a golf ball-sized portion of nuts, or fresh guacamole with veggies before you take your first sip.

2.Count your drinks correctly

If you count one drink as one of what you’re served, you may be greatly underestimating your intake. Technically, 12 oz of light beer (one bottle or can), 5 oz of red or white wine (a little smaller than a yogurt container), and 1 shot of liquor all pack about the same amount of alcohol, and each contains roughly 100 calories. But one study found that wine and liquor served at restaurants are about 40% larger than these standard drink portions. Another report, out last week, found that beer and wine contain higher alcohol levels these days, so when you order a drink out, you may be getting 50% more alcohol than you think. In addition, if you order a pint of beer (16 oz), you’ll get four extra ounces than one standard drink, and then there are mixed drinks that contain more than one shot (like those illustrious Long Island Iced Teas!). The lesson: if you underestimate your intake, you may be far tipsier than you think. That means not only more alcohol calories than you counted on, but also a loosier goosier state of mind than may seriously affect your appetite.

3. Slim down your drink order

If you’re a beer drinker, the type you order can have a big impact on your nutritional bottom line. A bottle or can of ultra low carb beer contains about 3-4 grams of carbs. But a regular version packs at least 10 grams, about as much as 10 mini pretzels. That means three a week adds up to an extra 1,560 grams of carb per year, the equivalent of nearly five loaves of bread. Drinks made with mixers are even bigger carb and calorie traps. Just four ounces (a half cup), of a sweetened mixer will cost you a whopping 25 grams of carb (about 14 gummy bears worth), and decadent drinks like a mudslide can contain over 500 calories, more than the amount a slice of chocolate cake.

4. Slow your pace

One of the biggest culprits in alcohol-driven overeating is getting too tipsy, too fast. To slow down the rise in your blood alcohol level, order a tall glass of water with every alcoholic drink. Alternate sips, and be sure to finish at least 12 ounces of H2O for every cocktail. This simple strategy may cut your total consumption in half.

5. Prevent mindless munching

If you’re at a bar with free happy hour apps, or one that serves up goodies, like popcorn or nuts, turn your back on the free fare, or place them out of arm’s reach. Research shows you’ll mindlessly munch if food is right in front of you, without even realizing it, and even if you aren’t hungry. But if it’s out of sight, you’re much less likely to seek it out.

6. Pre-plan your post-drink meal

Alcohol can indeed act as an appetite stimulant. And we all know it lowers inhibitions. So if you don’t want to give in to eating things you wouldn’t touch if you were sober, create a pre-drinking strategy. Stash something in your bag, like an all natural energy bar, so you won’t grab a greasy slice of pizza. Or scope out restaurants nearby where you’re going out, so if your friends want to grab a bite, you can suggest a spot where you know you can order a healthier option. Finally, strategically place some light snacks within sight at home, like pre-popped organic popcorn on the countertop, or cut fruit and fresh veggies and hummus front and center in the fridge. If you get a case of the munchies before bed, you’re much more likely to grab what’s readily available, rather than digging for something like chips or cookies.

7. Volunteer to be the designated driver

The best way to prevent alcohol from derailing your diet is to avoid drinking altogether. One tactic is to save your group taxi or ride-sharing costs by offering to drive (stick with naturally calorie-free club sodas with lime all night). While it may not be as fun as indulging with your group, you’re the one who’ll wake up the next day without a food or alcohol hangover, and that feels pretty darn good.
What’s your take on this topic? Does alcohol get in your way of eating healthfully and managing your weight? Please tweet your thoughts to @CynthiaSass and @goodhealth”

Staying focused

Can anyone explain to me why it’s so difficult to have that memento and stick to something? I seem to fail continuously at this whether it’s sticking to a diet or going to a gym. The sad thing is I know I’m doing it yet it keeps happening and I do want to get fit and lose weight! 

Perhaps I have an underlying desire not to succeed and it is much easier to fail. My excuse is my work. I have a very pressured job. I’m always bringing stuff home to do sometimes I do it sometimes I don’t but it sits there mocking me and consequently I don’t go to the gym and then feel guilty! That then spirals into what’s the point!

I have a 10 year old and she does so many things after school and weekends I find I don’t have time and come 9pm I am winding down. On the odd times I have taken her with me she is happy to wait for me if I do a spin class or activity. 

I need to lose a good 40 pounds but I think  the answer is locking me up. I want to see results in weeks though!  

I need my own personal trainer! Vinnie Tortorich are you free! I need the worlds angriest trainer to yell at me! 

I have read loads of books and understand the healthy living approach , no sugar no grains, paleo approach and I love the food. I confess I have had some chocolate this week and for the first time in ages pizza! I was persuaded by my daughters friend to get a dominos. Not only did it cost the earth but it was revolting. I genuinely felt sick, bloated and had a headache afterwards. It didn’t even taste good! 

What is the secret of success and being able to stick at something? Perhaps I believe I will fail at the outset and it’s one of those self perpetuating cycles 

Feeling fed up!  

 

Hooray for the weekend

The Easter bank holiday has to be one of the best breaks. Two extra days off work and chocolate! It’s a shame though that we haven’t got much sunshine here as it would be a great opportunity to get out in the garden. 

It’s a great to spend time with our families. Yesterday we had a retro evening playing Buzz and having a bit of karaoke. 

So now I have found my mojo I have been trying out spinning. This is something that I never thought I would enjoy but I really love it! Fortunately our gym have a dedicated room which is often empty so you can just go in and use the programme for your choice class.  TOH and I are now confirmed spinners and have even thought about getting a bike rack to take the bikes out at the weekend. 

I have also been to a “back to netball” session for a few weeks. Netball used to be my passion but I had a knee injury which caused me to give up and I  thought I would never play again. I have rediscovered that joy and hope to keep it up. We played a match last week which I thoroughly enjoyed even though I was a bit red faced and struggling with my fitness I had that feeling of right I’m ready to do it again!

My interest in exercise has now been rekindled which is great hopefully the pounds will start to shift! Next on the agenda is the functional training! 

#healthyliving #weightloss #exercise