Creating Happier Children from a Younger Age

As a parent there are times when you long for the time that you can go to dinner on your own as a couple, to sit quietly without the noise, the food flying around the table, the knives and forks hitting the floor and what about the whole, ‘when is the food arriving?’

Last night, Rob and I decided to go to one of our favs for a bowl of pasta and a glass of red. Just the two of us. One of those spur of the moment decisions. We sat in our regular spot, out the back in the cellar, air-conditioned, surrounded by bottles of wine, you know, the wine we dream about purchasing one day. Yes, we dream of buying $1,000+ bottles of wine and sharing it with our friends.

A family of 2 children and 3 adults were in the room with us and it was already a little noisy. “This should be fun”, I remember thinking to myself.

Rob had a big smile on his face, he was ready for a big feed of pasta. We had a gorgeous lady serving us, she had recently relocated from Melbourne and was so grateful to have work. We enjoyed getting to know her a little, while she ran through the specials board.

As she walked away to get our bottle of Chianti, a young family entered the room. A gorgeous young mum, her new husband of 2 weeks and their 18-month-old little girl. My world lit up and my heart was singing. The connection was immediate. The energy in the room became very exciting. The other family immediately wanted to know who they were too.

The little person in the highchair has been on this earth before, her mum said these exact words, she commanded an audience, not negatively, it was as if we were all drawn to her beauty, both inside and out. Wide-eyed, looking around, taking in every last inch of the room. Her mum and dad did everything they could to keep her entertained. We helped too of course.

To my disbelief, one of the parents on the other table proclaimed, “enjoy her cuteness now because when she turns 14 or 15 she will be a horror!” This disturbed me. The lady went on to say, “We would know, we are teachers!” Silence came over the room for a little while and then we all went back to being entertained by the angel in the room.

Rob and I discussed this on the way home as we both felt this was how many people think and speak about our future leaders. What if the young boys at the table took that information and believed it to be true about all teenage girls in their community? Would they treat them a certain way? Would the teenage girls be understood by them? What impact would this type of language or thought have on the children these teachers influence daily? How can their minds be changed; how does this affect their behaviours around 14- or 15-year-old girls in their care?

Why is it that an influencer or authority figure such as a teacher feels the need to tag or generalise all 14-15 old girls to be “horrors”? Imagine saying this to the new mum about her 18-month-old daughter. This new mum is learning so much in the now, thinking into the future, some 14 years is a little too far, don’t you think?

For me, my daughter and I were the closest at that age. Instead of saying this age will be the worst time for parents, maybe these teachers could start saying it will be the best time and begin to embrace the change that will come.

Making a conscious effort to understand the amount of connection and communication that will be needed to engage a teenager, to know they are loved and understood. Perhaps some parents fear their little girls growing up, maybe they would prefer they stay those little baby girls? A very big topic of discussion, maybe we can take up one day.

We would love to see people stop this kind of talk and focus on creating happier children from a younger age and developing a better understanding of our future leaders, giving them a voice to express themselves, being 100% responsible for their own lives, not being blamed or confused by the opinions of others.

Between the main course and dessert, another family entered the room and now there were 4 families in the cellar. We were in Creating Happy Families utopia. Fancy going to dinner as a couple and all of a sudden being in a room with all these families. This was our opportunity to start sharing our love for our work.

Earlier that day I had watched a TED talk presented by a 7-year-old Molly Wright – How every child can thrive by five. I just knew this young family would appreciate knowing about it. After exchanging this information, we became closer in an instant.

It is times like these that we reflect and remember that it is the most successful people in the world that are always in the right place at the right time.

They ALWAYS know they are in the right place at the right time.

And they ALWAYS act when they are in the right place at the right time.

We know we were in the right place last night to meet these families and we made the most of the situation by connecting and feeding off their energy, learning that we love creating happy families and that we have so much to offer the communities we live in.

We made friends for life last night and look forward to making many more in the days, weeks and years to come.

Happy Christmas everyone, have fun and remember it is okay to say hello and connect with new people.


Much love and joy,

Lisa and Rob Fogarty