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One important thing to do with your kids this Summer holiday

“I’m bored!” Ever heard that one before?

That signal usually sends most of us in the parent/grandparent business into action to ‘solve’ this terrible affliction with ideas for activities which are both fun and challenging.

Or actually just get them out of the house so you don’t have to hear it.

Well, there is good news as it turns out because experts in this field are now saying that boredom is good for young people.

Puzzling as that may sound at first, any parent will recognise there is a very distinct logic to it.

There is no need to be troubled by the science unless you want to (see below) but a spell of boredom, according to the eggheads in this field, leads to an exploration of creativity with the youngsters having to work out how to solve the issue themselves.

First off, this probably means peeling them off whatever electronic device to which they have become attached limpet-like (in my house because someone has, er, accidentally turned off the wi-fi).

Dealing with boredom, they say, is an important life skill in the future and in a world where we are increasingly pressured into keeping up with technology it can also be a bonus.

Some might say that boredom is a luxury of the free mind, others that it should be used as a welcome break in which to reflect and even evolve.

One thing which may not be a bundle of fun you can consider doing, as far as life skills go, is teach them a little about personal finance.

For some time there has been pressure on the powers that be in education to bring money management into the school curriculum. Whatever the results of that it is simply good parenting to teach your kids how to manage their own resources.

One of these great skills and useful lessons for the future is, of course, saving.

And, ahem, given that’s our business, it would be remiss of the Family Building Society not to offer some help in this regard.

We have two stand-out savings products for children. One the Junior ISA is a total must for first off savings for the under 18s. 

It works in exactly the same way as any other ISA – with tax-free growth of your capital up to a limit of £4,128 a year (for the current 2017/18 tax year). It also has a tiered interest rate of up to 2.25 per cent per annum depending on your balance.

The big point of this one is that withdrawals or closure are not allowed until the holder reaches 18 – so a tidy little nest egg awaits the youngster’s majority and stops them splurging on, er, electronic devices.

And for those who want a bit more flexibility there’s our Junior Saver where up to 12 withdrawals can be made in a year without access charge.

So next time they say: “Are we there yet?” you can say: “No, but I have an idea…”.

That should solve the problem.

By Steve McDowell

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Surrey KT17 4NL
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