Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Parenting advice from my friend, Se7en, a mom of EIGHT!

EDITED to add all the red!

oh my gosh, people!

I only discovered after Sam's comment on this post today (Tues 10th) that blogger ate the first half of my post last week...and I am MORTIFIED!

Must have been some anti-reading gremlins because I also wrote about taking some of your latte money (or whatever it is for you - nail polish, Kindle books (*blush*) money) to buy a book or two for the library project.

So let's try to do this again:

You all know I met Se7en in real life last year after being online friends for about 4 years or so. She and her entire family are amazing. Such hearts for hospitality it is beautiful to see.

I saw her (their) parenting in action in those kids and here is a woman who knows, lives, breathes and walks her talk. I keep telling her to write a book and I'm not even joking :o

Anyway, enough blathering from me. Here are my favourite 3 tips from my friend, Se7en. I still can't believe no-one TOLD me. Clear no-one's reading :(

1. Your Kids Need You, Not Stuff:

We live in the world of marketers and child rearing has become, just like sport, a marketers dream... without a million products you cannot raise a child. Don't believe it for a second. There are millions and bazillions of perfectly fine kids all over the world who didn't have a special wedge in their cot, in fact they didn't have a cot... they didn't have special educational mobiles that rocked them to sleep while singing Mozart, and still those kids grow up to be fine. The one advantage that you can really give your kids is just being there alongside them. This will be far more key to your kids "getting ahead" than any extra mural or any multi-sensory toy ever. And your kids don't need you to be doing special crafts, special dates, special activities, special anything. You there lying on the couch on a lazy afternoon asking about the game they are playing or their walk earlier counts for so much more than you think. And no marketer is ever going to tell you that - EVER.   

2. Set Your Kids up to Succeed:
I have said this before and I will say it again, kids need three things to survive... lots of sleep, nutritious food and plenty of fresh air. Their parents need the same. Those three things together. The child that is sleep deprived isn't going to eat well and will hate fresh air; the child that is never hungry, won't sleep comfortably and just can't run around outdoors; and woe to the poor child that never gets to be in the great outdoors, because they will never feel the fatigue of a good days play and they will never stimulate their senses enough to enjoy tasty food. When you see a parent-child couple melting down anywhere, then usually one of those factors is not in play. When you have crying baby and they have cried for hours... wrapping them up and going for a walk is often the best medicine for everyone. Often when I am gathered with mums of little people they just seem to feed and feed and feed them. The snack industry sure is making millions out of moms of tots. When these kids say they are hungry, they are really just bored and a walk in the park, or races in the garden would be equally satisfying.

3. Children are Short, Not Stupid:
Adults so often make this mistake and think that they can talk down to children or worse, be sickly sweet with children, when actually those adults would rather be doing anything else. Try it, talk to a child like a person and you will be strangely surprised how eloquently they respond. Kids see right through our fake voices, we call it the gym voice... When you are at gym and you hear mums saying, "Darling, just get out of the shower will you, just pick up your towel, just get dressed for the ten millionth time." That mum is about to pop and everyone knows it, even the kid. You can be true to yourself and respectful at the same time, while I am polite to my children, "please and thank yous" flow freely, children understand grumpy days and moody moments a whole lot better than we think. We want them to know that we love them no matter what, so let's give them the chance to love us, no matter what.

Hoods 2 and 8
I nearly forgot to write about Se7en's parenting superpowers:

1. She's raising those kids to be such well-adjusted and genuinely nice people. I'm really not surprised because they have great role models.
2. She's equipping them with all sorts of practical skills too - the boys' future wives are going to love their MIL for teaching them to cook and clean!
3. She really parents with the end in mind. She is great at asking herself, "what is the most important thing to focus on right now?" and not worrying about things that won't matter even a year from now.

(not forgetting Mr Se7en, of course :))

Don't you love those tips?

My favourite tip is probably the one about setting your kids up to succeed. I actually say this in all my workshops and it's probably the reason I like MBTI and the love languages so much - those tools help us to set ourselves up for success.

Also, I'm forever going to listen out for my gym voice now :) People do give me looks but I thought it's because I call the kids Pumpkin and Sweet Cheeks :) :)

Which was your favourite tip?
Do you have a gym voice?

Did you see I'm selling a beautiful green camera bag and the cutest pink camera ever? ;)

If you're interested, let me know.


  1. I totally admire her!

  2. I was one of six children...so I have great admiration for parents of big families.

  3. Hay Marcia, you say the sweetest things, you are a great... here's a link to the parenting tip post I wrote with your request in mind: http://www.se7en.org.za/2015/03/04/parenting-tips-by-the-dozen-for-raising-se7en1-kids

    Thanks Cat, you guys are too kind. And Lynette, it is always good to hear that kids from a gang survive and make it to the other side, so to speak. Hope you all have a lovely day!!!

  4. I don't see her tips on this post?

  5. I very much have a gym post. Tom was one of eight kids in his family and we raise them very similar. I don't like the marketing mindset. And yes - kids need love, healthy food and fresh air! Love it. I also know children love boundaries. That is one thing I'd like to add. I believe in raising our kids with certain boundaries, especially Phoebe as she becomes a teenager. No electronics at the dinner table or when we are visiting or have company. I take electronics before bedtimes so they don't play with them in bed. Do I seem to have issues with electronics? LOL

  6. I actually ready se7en post of course and in my mind the two must have merged!

  7. You so don't have a gym voice! I also call kids "pet names" and wonder now if I have a gym voice with kids? Hmmmm...

    Seven's tips are all great - very practical and its clear she has a LOT of experience :)


    Ps - thanks for fixing so I could read them

  8. Thanks for shared this quality post, some good points are mentioned, I am also sharing some kids of Parent Wishes tips may be helpful...


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