16 May 2016

Siblings May 2016

I took these pictures a couple of weeks ago when the weather turned cold again, and after we had spent most of the day in-doors because it had been raining. But then it stopped, and we took the opportunity to get out of the house and get some fresh air and release a bit of energy (well, the kiddies, not me – I didn't need to release energy; I could have happily just sat down with a hot cuppa, hehe!).

They usually do their own thing at the playground, Becky going off on the more advanced things, and Alex usually honing in on the slide and the swing. But this time Becky insisted on staying with Alex, and they first played ball together and then they were chasing each other up and down the slide before Becky asked me to place Alex on her lap and slide down with him. Alex loved it and was giggling all the way, and I love how cute and happy they look in these images. 

Becky has been giving Alex a lot of attention over the past month, trying to teach him words and drawing pictures with him, which is really sweet. The other day we had a couple of Becky’s friends over and they obviously wanted to play on their own in Becky’s room, but Alex was desperate to join them. He just wanted to be part of their little group; maybe just because he figured that this was quite exciting, or because he wanted to be like the “big” kids, but you could tell that he just didn't want to miss out just because he is the baby brother.
In the end Becky let him come up, too, and luckily the other girls, one in particular, became quite besotted with him, and they ended up all playing with Alex and making him laugh, with Becky being the proud sister and showing off that Alex was “my baby brother”.
They are such a little unit, it makes me so happy. I don’t know whether this mutual love is here to stay or whether they will have their moments of ups and downs and sibling rivalry and quarrels, which I’m half expecting, but for the time being, for now, I’m embracing the harmony and enjoying every single minute.


11 May 2016

Introducing pocket money

We recently took the decision to start giving Becky pocket money. It was a bit of an ad hoc decision and not something we had deliberated for very long, but she is five years old now, and somehow it just felt right at the time.

It came after John took Becky shopping one day and gave her £5 to spend on whatever she wanted in the store. Obviously Becky went straight for the Monster High dolls – her current favourites. John pointed out, however, that the one she was after cost almost £15, so was not in her price range. Becky considered this and swiftly moved on to one of the kids' magazines, which, usually priced at around £4 (pretty hefty, I find!), were in her price range. She then began doing the maths: if she bought one of the magazines, she'd have just over one pound left.

John explained that if she didn't buy the magazine though, but saved the money, she could start putting it in her money box (which we randomly put coins in as and when we have some spare) and soon save up to then buy her desired Monster High doll. This seemed to make sense to Becky and satisfied her, and she decided to save the money.

They came back from their shopping trip and Becky told me excitedly about the fact that she would put the fiver in her money box and save to buy herself a Monster High doll. It was then that we decided to give her regular pocket money of £1 a week, which we have now been doing for the past month or so.

And we’re really pleased that we are, for several reasons:

- To facilitate and support her maths and encourage her to count in real life terms and apply what she learns at school in a proper shopping environment, which helps her to make sense of it.

- To reward and encourage good behaviour; equally, she can lose all or part of her weekly pocket money allowance if she doesn’t uphold certain things we have agreed upon, like not tidying her room, or not listening when repeatedly prompted (this hasn’t happened yet, and is probably only a last resort, but still, it’s there as a sort of deal/ agreement between us and her).

- It teaches her the value of money and that everything material in this world has a price - and that you don’t always get stuff handed on a plate, but sometimes have to wait / save / work for it. Hopefully this will instill an appreciation for the things she has and acquires in the future.

So far, it’s going well and every Friday she is really excited to get her pound (sometimes a little bit more when she receives a special award from school, as she did last Friday, or has been or done something extra special). She loves counting her money, and by all accounts is well on her way to earning her first Monster High doll herself! 

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8 May 2016

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