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Making family time with your children

Welcome back to our Friday news round up, looking at the stories relevant to family finance and children’s money matters. As January rumbles on with good intentions for reining in the spending, we’re looking at a new book that explores the stresses that interfere with your personal satisfaction, and how spending quality family time engaging children at home is an important indicator of future happiness.

Called ‘The Secrets of Happy Families’, the book talks about the stresses and strains of daily lives that can take their toll on family well-being.

In short, happy parents means happy children, and the most important way for sharing in all this happiness and well being is the family meal – a time to come together as a family unit, when you can empower your children through interesting conversation, set weekly goals, talk about pocket money and adult realities free from distractions, hobbies and friends.

According to this article in the The Week, children who eat dinner with their families are less likely to develop behavioural problems and are more likely to have larger vocabularies, better manners and higher self-esteem. Discussing money, how it is made, managed and lost, will help them learn critical business skills at a young age, the book says.

Not that family time should all be about learning, learning, learning however. Enjoying shared memories is another upside to sitting down to a family meal. We’ve been reminiscing on what we spent our pocket money on as children – sweets, sweets, sweets!  This article is a fun reminder of the sweets we spent our weekly allowance on as children -  remember the Chewits monster, and these adverts for Opal Fruits and Milky Way? True nostalgia!

If you’re trying to encourage your children to spend their pocket money on more educational items, one story that’s been in the press recently is the gender split of childrens’ toys. Are you someone who buys pink for girls and blue for boys? According to this article, gender specific toys can put girls off pursuing future careers in maths and science. The story follows a decision by Marks & Spencer to give their toys a more gender-neutral colour scheme. If you do have a daughter who’s a budding engineer, government minister Elizabeth Truss says Lego is a great toy choice. Another option is the brilliant Goldie Blox set up specifically to inspire the next generation of female innovators. Ready, steady, build!

goHenry, a unique earning, saving and spending solution. Perfect for parents with children from 8-18.

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