The Great Pocket Money Debate

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It was around the time last year when my elder son turned six, that the issue of pocket money reared its ugly head.

It wasn’t the first occasion I had considered the idea; for quite some time my son had been asking for toys he would see on television ads, or that his friends would take to school to show him. Occasionally we would purchase one as part of a special treat, or I would spread the word at birthday time.

More and more though, he had been requesting toys that I didn’t want to buy him. Maybe I thought they were poorly made, or a gimmick. Whatever the reason, we simply don’t have the disposable income to buy the kids toys all the time.

I must admit to wimping out a little: we haven’t yet introduced a regular allowance, but we have offered cash for jobs like car-washing, vacuuming and sweeping. I’ve loved seeing the pride on his face as he finally earns the last dollar towards the latest {insert junky toy here}, and the excitement as he counts his earnings one more time to make “for absolutely sure” he has enough money. And then, of course, it’s time to con mum in to a trip to the shops…

When do you think is the best age to start
giving a child pocket money?

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Handy Tips for Fussy Eaters #3

It’s no secret that my boys put up a bit of a fuss at dinner sometimes. It’s really hard to find a meal that both of them will like. Usually it’s one or the other complaining about something!

I’m not soft on them by any means. I’m giving them food to help them for life, and it’s no secret that eating chicken nuggets every night ain’t the best nutrition for a growing body. So they can eat what I put in front of them, or go to bed. I’m not going to become a short order cook for them (been there, done that).

It does make things easier though, to figure out what works for your kids. What often works for mine is a “help yourself” meal. The boys seem to like the control they have to choose their own food. If we have lamb cutlets, potato and salad, I’ll try to make things ‘light’ by letting them serve their own cutlets (show me a kid who doesn’t love a pair of tongs) and then asking “what will you choose from the salad bowl tonight?” They will generally choose a few pieces of the same item (for Number One Son it’s a couple of spinach leaves, for Number Two Son it’s carrots). But as long as something good is going in that little body, I’m happy. You have to choose your battles, yes?

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One meal they both love is tacos. They love all the little bowls of food they can choose from, and over time they have progressed from “mince and cheese” to adding grated carrots, a sliver of tomato and even lettuce. Yeeha!

And then we argue over whether it’s hard or soft tacos. Thank God for the mixed box… 😉

Mostly we stick to the traditional beef mince filling, but there’s a cool Beer-Marinated Chicken Taco recipe over here, if you happened to luck out with a more adventurous kind of kid…