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September, 2013

27 Sep 13

Children’s pocket money: Getting it right

The new school year is under way, bringing with it new teachers, new subjects, new extracurricular activities and the yearly pocket money negotiations – yes, I do mean negotiations! I think my children Tom and Mary gang up on me every autumn before we discuss pocket money for the next school year.  They always have plausible reasons why they deserve an increase! But I am no push-over. I believe that pocket money has to be earned.  So I laid down some guidelines for my children from an early age. The language of pocket money Children need to learn the language of money as early as possible, and pocket money is a useful starting point for teaching them about it. There are no hard and fast rules on when to introduce pocket money, but I began to give Tom and Mary a small weekly amount when they were 5 years old and starting school. This […]

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19 Sep 13

Tips for fun and stress-free family holidays

Tom and Mary are now settled back in school after the summer, but half-term is just around the corner. I need to plan a mini-break! I like my children to spend the first half of their mid-term holiday at home, then we take a two- to three-day trip somewhere that both mummy and children can enjoy themselves. Good holiday planning is vital as each of my children likes different activities and environments. Knowing your children’s likes and dislikes gives you the confidence to choose a holiday that will be perfect for everyone.  Here are some of my tips for fun and stress-free family holidays. Choosing a holiday destination Family holidays are important because they give parents and children time to relax and bond.  So if you choose to travel away from home, you need to get it right. I prefer an organised, all-inclusive holiday at half-term, and we have had great experiences with holiday […]

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10 Sep 13

How to plan children’s parties for every occasion

Children’s parties are fun to organise, but thoroughly exhausting! I prefer to do the catering myself, so that takes a lot of time and planning. I always celebrate my son Tom’s and my daughter Mary’s birthdays with a birthday party, but I also like to throw a small impromptu gathering to mark an accomplishment, such as winning a prize at school or being chosen for the football or hockey team. Any excuse for a party! So what’s my recipe for success? Here are some party planning ideas that work for me. Pool parties and tea parties Tom’s birthday is in August and Mary’s is in January, so I have plenty of time to recoup energy and ideas between parties, as well as to make a note of what party activities were successful. Tom, aged 10, likes to have a small pool party in our garden, weather permitting.  For him, I need to plan some […]

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