Mum's Ingenious Hack To Stop Her Kids Pestering Her For Sweets
With many families in self isolation, as well as schools closing across the country from today, many parents will be anxious about keeping their kids entertained - and educated - at home.
And one mum has come up with a genius idea which has been inspiring other parents across the UK.
With her children at home, Laura Symonds, 33, explained her girls, Emily, seven and Isabella, five, had been constantly asking for snacks while the family were self-isolating in the house.
Emily suffers from asthma, so the whole family - including dad, Rob - have been indoors since Tuesday.
To reduce the demand for snacks, Laura has mocked up a tuck shop where the kids can 'buy' treats. Each day, they're given £1 to spend on a variety of different snacks - with the healthier options being the cheapest.
Not only does it reduce requests, but it's also educational for the girls while they're off school.
Laura, from Herefordshire, said: "I tried to do it so the unhealthy stuff is more expensive so they choose the healthier options. I don't think they've caught onto that yet. So chocolate costs 25p but an apple only costs 5p, squash is also 5p but water is free.
"My eldest is really bad for not drinking enough water so if she spends all her money on chocolate and crisps then she'll have to drink water.
"I give them a pound to spend each a day but the other day they both had 25p left so that carried over and they had a bit more to spend the next day.
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"It's been great, the girls are loving it and they aren't constantly asking 'can I have this?' or 'can I have that?'. They have to actually think about it.
"It also motivates them to do maths without even realising they're doing it. All the prices will change next week otherwise the maths will get too easy."
Laura decided to share the brilliant idea on Facebook, where other parents were inspired to do the same. The post went viral, quickly attracting 54,000 shares in a matter of days.
The primary school teacher has now been flooded with messages from parents, thanking her and even asking her to set up a YouTube channel.
Laura said: "I wanted to share the post about our tuck shop for anyone else in isolation and because seeing the girls enjoying it so much has cheered me right up.
"All parents are feeling overwhelmed with the schools closing and having the kids with them all day. I have been nervous and anxious and worried about money.
"But then I thought to myself 'all I ever wanted was to be a teacher and a mum and now I have the opportunity to do both so I'm going to embrace it.
"I'm not saying it's perfect or my kids are perfect and this is a perfect world. Obviously we still have the meltdowns and the tantrums.
"But this is an idea that has worked for us and maybe it'll work for some other families too.
"I never expected it to go this viral, not in a million years. I can't even comprehend it. Everyone has made such lovely comments and I've had so many messages.
"It's been so nice to share something fun and it's given me loads of inspiration myself. My head's been filled with all these other little ideas.
"My friends keep saying that the kids won't want to go back to school."
During isolation, the girls have also been practising writing and drawing by brainstorming ideas for lunchtime meals.
They've even tapped into teamwork and reading skills to set up a mini salon where Laura treated them both to a pedicure.
The mum said she hopes the fun activities will bring the family some feel-good cheer - and we're sure it will do the same for other parents and children across the UK. Keep it up, Laura!
Featured Image Credit: Kennedy News and Media