Amanda | Te Atatū Peninsula

We had a lot of freedom as children. My parents had a bach in a beach that had very few houses on it back then, and we were able to roam and explore quite a natural environment, something that I think children don’t often get to do nowadays; it was a fantastic childhood.

I think looking at the way my parents raised us, versus what we’re doing with our children, we try and be quite a bit more aware of a strategy around raising our children. My mum’s commented that she thinks it’s really interesting, the differences between raising kids in the ‘70s and ‘80s, and nowadays. Thinking forward a lot more, in what things might mean for the future for our children, with the values we teach them around things like bullying and kindness, and really explaining that to quite young children. Things that we valued from our childhood, like the freedom that I said, we really try and get out into nature with our children, even though they probably don’t have the freedom to roam we did, we try and get out there and experience it with them.

I remember going to the beach with my mum. I love the water. My little brother hated the feeling of sand on his feet, so my poor mother had these two children who just headed in opposite directions. One for the reserve and the accompanying road, and one for the beach and the accompanying dangerous water, and I can just remember. As an adult now, I look back and I just admire her for managing to balance two very different children, and look after both of us, but yeah, I can remember that often as a child, mum, no matter how hard it was, taking us out, taking us to places we loved to go.

I was born in Auckland, not far from here, Mt Albert. So, I haven’t gone very far, but I spent a lot of time living overseas, outside of New Zealand, principally in Europe, and so has my husband, who lived in the States for a long time. On my mum’s side, I’m first generation New Zealander, and on my dad’s side, lots of New Zealand background and history. My parents had pretty core values of family and working hard, and earning your way, I guess, quite strong 1950s and ‘60s values. Work hard, good things will come. We’re trying to instil those in our children. They’re really working hard for what, where you want to go, is a good strategy, but also a lot more about empathy and kindness, and other people, and thinking about the effects of what you do today on the environment or the people around you, as you grow up is something we’re really wanting to instil in our children.

Good times and bad times. I’d sometimes give my left arm for some sleep. We, I became a parent quite late. I was in my very late 30s, so it was a bit unexpected, but it’s fantastic. It’s so rewarding being a parent, and terrifying, and just really joyous, and a lot more than I ever expected it would be.”

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