Weekend Coffee Share – Week 1

The city of Falun, (Sweden,) viewed from Falu Copper mine

Good morning to you this beautiful Saturday morning! It is the second Saturday of 2021, but the first week of the year, (since last Saturday technically belonged to week 53 of 2020.) How are you doing? This week we have a new gracious host for the Weekend Coffee Share – Natalie The Explorer. Can I get you some coffee? Or tea? How are things in your corner of the world? 

I have really enjoyed hearing the laughter of my children having a good time around our new place this holiday season (this is my last week of vacation.) All of us love it here! That makes me very happy. The two of them (the kiddos) like to relax and play in the morning, so they play when I go for a walk. Then I get home and make lunch. It’s a nice routine for days off, starting each day with a walk around one of the closest lakes….followed by a lot of cooking, it feels like I cook a lot with two growing kids in the house. I really want them to eat nutritious, good food, and when you make everything from scratch that takes some time. During the school/work days we all eat a hot meal for lunch at school/work, and then I cook dinner when I get home. On days off I cook two meals/day and then there is snacks in between. I try to make the snacks healthy and mostly fruit or full grain bread, but in the weekends/holidays we sometimes make exceptions and I bake a fruit cobbler, or some pastry. 

After enjoying lunch we do something outside together. There’s been sledding and walks in beautiful snow-covered landscapes. Most of the time it’s all three of us, and sometimes only me and my youngest, if the oldest have other plans. Despite the craziness of the world, this holidays season have been filled with love and laughter. I know these are just everyday things, and nothing super exciting, but it is life right now, and I am content. 

My daughter got two late Christmas gifts in the mail this week.
One was a gift box with four chapter books, we almost finished the first one!
The other gift was a crochet set with different characters, and how to make them, all the materials included in the gift.

One day this week I took a longer walk, from my house up to Falu Copper Mine, where I (safely, outside, with Corona distance,) met a colleague of mine, and we walked around the mine together, stopping at a vista point where you can see the whole town (the first photo was taken at that vista point,) where we enjoyed a picnic lunch. (We each brought our own lunch.) It was great seeing my colleague, catching up a little before I go back to work on Monday. 

Falu Copper Mine

Yesterday I talked to my children about finances, and how to make a budget. My youngest get a weekly allowance, and my oldest a monthly allowance. We talked about what I expect from them, and what they can expect from me. I am trying to teach them about the value of money, and different ways to think about money, giving them some real life examples. I talked to my oldest about investing in stocks, and saving up for things that he might want in the future. Many young adults move to their own place at age 18 in Sweden, he will be 16 in a few months.

My daughter that is 8 is expected to have a good attitude at all times, get up/go to bed when asked, do her best in school, do all her homework on time, and keep her room tidy. She only gets a small weekly allowance (with a chance of a monthly bonus for extra efforts,) that she can spend as she likes, and is not expected to pay for any of her personal expenses. 

I expect more from my son that is older, and responsible for a lot more money, and also have more freedom when it comes to deciding over his own time. 

My son needs to:

Be on time to every lesson in school (not as simple as it sounds as they are all in different places.)

Always do his best in school, this is his last year of the mandatory school in Sweden (almost everyone continue to school for at least 3 years, many for 6-7 years, and he will too.) 

Do all his homework on time. 

Make his bed every day, and keep his room and personal bathroom tidy.

Be home on time in the weekends.

He has 1-2 times a month when he picks his little sister up and watch her for two hours (those 1-2 times/month when I work late.)

My son is expected to purchase his own clothes and pay for hobbies/travel etc. 

I added that he can not smoke as long as he lives at home, and that he can not drink any alcohol before legal age (18 in Sweden.)

By the end of our talk I asked them both to sign individual contracts (including all of the above,) that I’ve written before hand. That they agree to do this in order to get their allowance. I think signing a contract, like in real life, make them take their responsibilities more seriously. We will follow up on how things goes in a casual way during a more festive family dinner every weekend. I want to keep things fun, and make them see possibilities, and watch them grow as they make their individual choices. I believe it is very important to teach children about money, how to make and keep a budget, how to make plans and be able to achieve them. They are both good kids, and I desperately want them to grow up to be responsible adults, happy knowing that they have choices. In a way being in some control of your life have to do with choosing happiness. There are so many areas that we can not control in any way, so to make good choices when it is possible to make a choice feels important. Or what do you think? Feel free to take a refill on your beverage and tell me about it! 

Love,

Maria