Actor Teresa Palmer is married to fellow actor Mark Webber, and the pair have two little boys together. Teresa says that while a busy working mum schedule keeps her on her toes, there are some solid pillars this family builds their life around.
The “no-routine” routine
The couple are parents to four-year-old Bodhi and one-year-old Forest, and their efforts to give their boys a relaxed, creative yet safe childhood is top of mind, as are the generational differences.
“It’s like our lives are a constant flow of them, and that perhaps our routine is not having a routine at all! My life was so different as a kid. I went to school, came home, played and did the very same thing the next day.”
Writing on her blog, Your Zen Mama, the mum-of-two says her own childhood has provided perspective when it comes to raising her own children.
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1. Slow things down
Harking back to her early years, Teresa says life was as uncomplicated as choosing whether to run under the sprinkler or build jumps to ride over on her bike. As childhood has become more and more commodified, she points out that kids are often more over scheduled than their exhausted parents and asserts that winding things back at times is a good idea.
“It’s important to remember to slow down with our kids and not always provide them with things to do, allowing their brains to take them on wild journeys of the imagination,” she suggests.
2. Encourage (calculated) risks
Teresa’s 90’s childhood was fresh air and freedom filled. A much slower flow of news and information meant mums and dads were less fearful for their kids safety. Front doors were wide open and kids wandered to the park without helicopter parents in tow.
“It’s important to me that with the new emphasis on safety, that I still ensure that my boys feel confident to take risks,” she reveals.
That said, when they’re out and about, security is tightened up significantly.
“When it comes to leaving the house, things shift a lot. The kids are still able to take risks but always under my watchful eye. Whether we are at the park, a grocery store or any public place, I don’t take my eyes off of them.”
3. Talk things through
While Teresa recalls ye olden days, when kids were disciplined with threats of a smack or sent to their rooms, she says her own family’s approach to raising their kids involves avoiding threats, withdrawal of privileges and punishment. Instead, she and Mark prefer to get to the heart of behavioural challenges with open communication, rather than punitive measures.
“We set up boundaries and if they continuously push them, we sit down and talk it out together in a “time in” situation,” she explains.
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Date night with my hubby for the @gqaustralia Gentlemen’s Ball sat night. Dressed by @Harroldsaus wearing @the_attico. Clutch by @chanelofficial and jewels by @Tiffanyandco. Thanks to my gorgeous lady @chiaratripodi_make_up for giving up your Sat night to style my amazing braided hairdo & for painting my turquoise eyes using @artistryus products 👌💚 #Gqball
4. Allow exploration without judgement
Teresa’s own childhood was spent partly adhering to the Catholic faith, and fearing the wrath of God. Her belief system and view of spirituality has expanded since then, and she’s super keen to expose her children to lots of ideas about faith, and support their explorations of spirituality and meaning.
“I love allowing them to make up their own minds while being there to support them,” Teresa says, “and listening to what their thoughts are, without putting our opinion on them or correcting them in any way.”
Teresa is currently working on the film Ride Like A Girl, the story of jockey Michelle Payne alongside Rachel Griffiths, Jackie Weaver and Sam Neill.