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"I want them to talk to me about anything." Alex Fevola shares her Five Golden Rules for parenting.

Mamamia's Five Golden Rules series takes a pervy look into the lives of Australian families. From parents of toddlers to parents of teenagers, the series asks parents to share their golden parenting rules, including the rules for their kids, and rules to just get through each day.

This week, we hear from Silver Linings author and founder of Runway Room Cosmetics, Alex Fevola. Alex shares four daughters - Mia, 22, Leni, 15, Lulu, 12, and three-year-old Tobi - with former AFL star and radio host, Brendan Fevola.

With packed lunches to be made and school uniforms readied, the Fevola house is busy most mornings. 

"A typical morning at our place is chaos," Alex tells Mamamia.

"There’s a lot to do before we can get out the door. Thankfully, my two middle daughters Leni and Lulu are at the same school so they share uniforms. It can be stressful, but we always get there!"

While Alex works a typical eight-hour day when three-year-old Tobi is at daycare, Brendan works in breakfast radio for Fox FM, meaning he is home most afternoons.

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"We’re a great team. I do the busy morning parenting shift while Brendan does afternoons which includes all the pick-ups and sport drop-offs and he does most of the cooking. I know we are very lucky to have this set-up and spend time with our kids and do work that we love." 

Speaking to Mamamia, Alex admits that their parenting style is pretty relaxed and that her five golden rules for parenting are less about 'rules' and more about providing guidance and emotional support.

1. "Honesty and telling the truth."

"I have a very open and honest relationship with the kids. I want them to talk to me about anything and tell me anything. It’s so important to know they are being truthful. 

"Equally, I want to share with them but it’s always got to be age appropriate. I don’t burden them with things from my past that would upset them as I want them to keep their childlike innocence for as long as possible. 

"However, I have not been honest about Santa Claus!"

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2. "To know how lucky they are."

"A sense of gratitude has always been important in our house. Not only about our good health and mobility but also because we have a warm home with food on the table. It sounds really old-fashioned, but I have tried to instil in the kids how lucky they are. Particularly now with what’s going on in the world with war and floods.

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"It's easy to get wrapped up in our first world problems, so I am constantly reminding them of their privilege while also trying to validate their feelings and teach them some independence.

"I also encourage them to respect their things and look after their phones - they’re pretty good on the whole!"

3. "Empathy and kindness first."

"I want to help my kids understand their feelings and how their feelings can impact others. I think if my kids grow up to be kind and happy, everything else will fall into place.

"It can be hard though - especially with social media and trolling. My eldest daughter Mia has experienced the nastiness of social media. As a parent it is so challenging because of course you want to jump in and respond to the bullies. 

"A lot of the time the comments are made by people who don’t understand what she has been through. For example, nasty comments about her weight hurt, as Mia is a celiac and has struggled for years wanting to gain weight and feel better.

"What I say to her though is that you need empathy for the people who make nasty comments who are probably very unhappy in their lives. The comments don’t have meaning when the people commenting know nothing about you, so I say it’s best to take them with a pinch of salt and try to be understanding and empathic. It’s tough though!"

4. "Authenticity and personal strength."

"As a mum to four daughters, I am really passionate about raising strong, powerful women. I don’t want them to feel persuaded, influenced or bullied into doing anything they don’t want to. 

"I want them to always stand their ground and always do what feels right to them and their authentic selves.

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"I like to think that Brendan and I are role models for them with this. They see me as an independent mum, making decisions for the family, while as a couple we support each other with our professional lives while sharing the parental responsibilities.

"We’re a team and I know they see that and I hope it informs their future relationships so they remain strong, independent women in equal relationships."

Alex Fevola and her four daughters: Leni, Lulu, Mia and Tobi. 

5. "To be happy and follow their dreams."

"This is the last and most important one - happiness. We’ll encourage them to do things like play team sport, but we don’t put pressure on them or force them to do things they don’t want to do. 

"For example, Leni is not sporty at all. She is an avid reader and loves art and craft and while she played a couple of years of footy to please her dad, we didn’t force her to carry on.

"We just want our kids to be happy. They could grow up to be a lawyer, a professor, or a homemaker and have a family. We don’t have any particular expectations of them, just that they have a good and happy life."

Alex Fevola’s book Silver Linings is out now in store and online where all good books are sold.

Over to you, do you have five rules that you won’t bend on? 

To share your Five Golden Rules, email [email protected] with 'Five Golden Rules' in the subject line.  

Did you know we have a whole family focussed community you can join on Facebook for more discussions like this? Join the Mamamia Parents Facebook group and follow Mamamia Parents on Instagram and tell us what #parentinglookslike for you!

Feature Image: Supplied / @alexfevolamakeup.

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