Good Morning Britain!

On the sofa with Susanna Reid and Kate Garraway early this morning at Good Morning Britain, discussing which times of the day are the most stressful for parents.

Apparently 5.08pm is ‘crisis point’, the culmination of a ‘perfect storm’ of post-school stress when we’re trying to cope with tired kids, tired parents, clubs, homework, tea and bed. Following swiftly behind is the morning school run.

Which do you find more stressful? Personally it’s that late afternoon slot that gets me, when patience is elusive, demands constant and the temptation to mop up the kids fishfingers strong…

My tips? Don’t expect you or your children to go straight into yet another strict routine. Give yourself permission not to be perfect. And find small moments of space when you can… a car journey, a walk home, five minutes in the park or garden. Now, off to get the kids and see if I can practice what I preach..!

Money money money…

Just been speaking on BBC Three Counties Radio’s JVS Show about pocket money – apparently £14 per week is the going rate now! My children are clearly woefully short-changed then…

And should pocket money be linked to specific chores, or given independently of household jobs etc? My feeling is that I want my children to contribute around the house because they are part of a family unit which pulls together, not because I’ve bribed them with 50p to stack the dishwasher. Any thoughts?

What I do love are the new apps for children to manage their own pocket money. My eldest uses GoHenry, which gives her a “dashboard” she can log in to where she can see what’s coming in, what’s going out and how much she’s saved. Being a sensible sort, her savings are now outstripping my own!

It’s a new world out there for our kids… part of me yearns for the days of trips to the penny sweet shop with spare change. At least they’re learning to budget – even if it’s to save up for downloads and apps…