What are we teaching our kids?

23.06.10 | Posted in Parenting

I had a consultation with a naturopath this week and he struck me as a really wise old soul. Amongst all the good advice and knowledge he imparted, one thing stood out for me.

Happy mumWe were talking about the demands of a busy lifestyle and how it’s all compounded when a child comes into the picture. We talked about how children are so easily influenced, particularly when the child is young. Children watch their parents and form their patterns and behaviour from this.

I went to hear Marcus Buckingham speak this morning and he agreed. He’s written a book called Find Your Strongest Life: What the Happiest and Most Successful Women Do Differently. Whilst researching the book, he asked the question ‘What is the one thing that kids want from their parents?’ The audience all said the same thing – more time with them.

And the answer was incorrect. What kids want is for their parents to be less stressed and tired.

I had coffee with Jane Caro yesterday (she’s a writer, advertising expert and social commentator) and our conversation had the same theme. She said to me “The best thing women can teach their kids is how to look after themselves”. As in, the mums need to take care of themselves, and show their kids how important that is. She said when her kids were young, they had a ritual where they’d be put to bed at 7pm every night and after that time she was very clear with them – this is mummy’s time. After 7pm she was off duty and enjoying time to herself.

As a relatively inexperienced mum, I’m finding this challenging but I’ve planted these three wise people firmly in my thoughts and am working really hard at it!

Are you? What have you done to ensure you look after yourself so your kids will do the same?


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  1. Keri Norley

    Hi Em-
    My hubby and I were talking about this yesterday. I get so filled with joy when I bring Robbie to exercise with me everyday. Hugh being a personal trainer, we have a studio set up in our house and I train with him 3-4 times a week. Robbie comes with us and he does warm ups with me. It’s gorgeous! He does squats, working on push ups, etc… He moves the weights around and loves being in the gym. We also take him for walks a couple times a week.

    We love that he’s growing up with such a healthy attitude to exercise. On top of that… generally speaking we don’t eat grains, so you don’t often find them in our house. This means he doesn’t eat them either. We don’t watch television, so he’s learned to be creative with what he has to play with and we read books, he helps me cook and clean…

    We were saying we are so blessed to have realized this notion and that our health is such a high priority in our lives, so it’s easy to show him this daily.

    AND FINALLY… Now that he’s not breast feeding at nearly 18months, I’m starting to be able to go out and do things for myself (like a weekend in the Hunter with the girls, etc) It is making all the difference. I’m getting happier taking care of me and so he’s happy. It’s a win all around.

    Anyway… good thinking on the post and I’ve rambled enough. XO