Head. Heart. Butterflies. (And 4 other things I learnt at the Family Life Forums)

This is a sponsored post for Lend Lease






This week I’ve been having Paula Joye withdrawals. I’ve spent the last seven weeks travelling around the country with the delightful Ms Joye as part of the Family Life Forums – a series of events held in 13 regional and metropolitan Lend Lease shopping centres across the country.  While Mia teamed up with psychologist Dr Jo Lamble, I was paired with the fabulous Ms Paula and we travelled from Port Macquarie to Mackay to Cairns to Sydney to Melbourne to Perth offering our best tips and advice on everything from bullying and friendships to knowing how soon is too soon for your kids to do pretty much everything.  And let me tell you Paula and I had a ball – on and off stage.

(For starters that woman can shop. When we found ourselves in Rowville, Victoria with 20 minutes to spare, Paula dragged me into Kmart to go shopping for clothes. Not basics. CLOTHES.  Twenty minutes later – and thanks to Paula’s genius eye  – I left with three rather fabulous items for the sum total of $39.  Oh yes, $39. Including a trench coat, which cost me what you’d pay for a gourmet sandwich. Jealousy is a curse people. Just sayin’.)

Back to the Family Life Forums … they were a big success – so much so that Lend Lease is planning to do it all over again next year. But more than that even though I was one of the speakers, I still found myself learning great new tips both from Paula and Joanna McMillan (who joined us in Melbourne) and from the audience.

Here are a few of the gems that will stay with me:

  1. Childhood is short but life is really long. How soon is too soon? Today is too soon if you feel in your heart that it’s not right.
  2. How did Paula’s mum deter her daughters from having sex when they were teenagers? She said, “Teenage boys have no clue what they’re doing. Don’t let them practise on you!”
  3. Children don’t listen because they’re too busy watching everything you do.  You can tell them to love how they look or to have confidence but if you’re not modelling that yourself – it means nothing.
  4. As parents we can create ‘elastic boundaries’ … give your child some freedom and if they can’t handle it, you can reign them back in.

And here’s a piece of advice that was shared by an audience member in Port Macquarie. She said her husband (who is the step-father to her five children aged from five to 22) says to them before they make any big decision: “Head. Heart. Butterflies.  What is your head saying? What is your heart saying? And do you have good or bad butterflies?”


I think that piece of wisdom will stay with me for the rest of my life.

Mia spoke about role models, teens and technology.

But if you didn’t get to attend one of the forums, me telling you all this is a bit like telling you about a great party that you didn’t go to. So here’s the good news, all of our talks (Mia’s, Jo’s, Paula’s, Joanna’s and mine) were filmed and have been put up on the Lend Lease centre Facebook pages here.  Go there to hear Jo Lamble talk about communicating with your children; Mia talk about role models and teens and technology, Dr Joanna McMillan talk about food battles with your kids; Paula talk about how soon is too soon. And I’m there talking about friendships, cyber-bullying and the importance of paying attention to the red flags you get in life.

And if you have any suggestions for topics you’d like covered next year – leave them below.

The Family Life Forums are a series of events that were held in 13 regional and metropolitan Lend Lease shopping centres across NSW, QLD, VIC and WA.  The Forums were proudly brought to you by Lend Lease Shopping Centres.

Please visit your closest Lend Lease shopping centre Facebook page, where forum videos will be uploaded over the next 3 weeks…

NSW- Macarthur Square, Erina Fair, Settlement City, Menai Marketplace

QLD – Sunshine Plaza, Caneland Central, Cairns Central

VIC – Greensborough Plaza, CSS Square, Stud Park

WA – Lakeside Joondalup, Southlands Boulevarde, Armadale Shopping City

When you make big decisions do you think about what your head is saying or what your heart is saying?

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