Best of the Web: Talking to kids when money is tight, and more

How to have money conversations with your kids, leaving the phone at home, and why my parents lied to me about my birthday.

Our selection of thought-provoking and useful resources from around the web on educating and raising children, and supporting families.

Is it okay to tell your kids when you're worried about money?

 (Josie Sargent, ABC Everyday)

The rising cost of living has been hurting families as budgets come under pressure. Should you keep worries about money from your kids?

This article talks with two experts – finance writer Effie Zahos and parenting guru Maggie Dent – who both support talking about money with kids in an appropriate way.

‘I think it’s really important that you do involve them in the household conversations,’ says Effie, adding the key is age appropriate conversations.

Maggie Dent says it’s important to remain balanced in conversations. Kids need to know how to adapt to setbacks by ‘acknowledging and managing disappointment’.

Parents can also cut back discreetly so anxious kids don’t worry unnecessarily, she says.

And she reminds us that we can still have family fun when the budget is tight.

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I took my kids to the playground without bringing my phone – and it was a revelation

(Emma Brockes, The Guardian)

Being a parent involves countless hours of being on the sidelines, watching – from visits to the playground to kids playing sports.

The age of the mobile phone has seen a distinct shift in the experience for parents, who can disappear into social media or in the case of the author, podcasts.

This is how the New York Spring recently began for the author. But there were mixed emotions. ‘The experience felt simultaneously like an amazing win and vaguely like cheating.’ she writes.

To be mentally absent from your children, she writes, had started to feel like missing the point.

She accidentally left her phone at home twice – and revelled in the experience of being present.

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My parents lied to me about my birthday, and I'm glad

(Alistair Baldwin, ABC Everyday)

Every 14 February, the author would get presents and cards, have a Freddo ice cream cake and be made a fuss of – all the trappings of a Happy Birthday.

This happened until the age of 10, when the white lie his parents had been telling him was revealed.

His birthday was actually 23 December, and his parents wanted to separate it from the trappings of Christmas. They chose 14 February – Valentine’s Day – because of its association with love.

‘People ask me if I felt betrayed, but the birthday lie feels like my parents’ lie about Santa Claus: the kind of small fiction parents tell that’s only ever in the service of a child’s joy,’ he writes.

 ‘I also just find it incredibly fun to describe myself as a “late-in-life Capricorn” at parties.’

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