It would be interesting to ask Barbara Bush if she cringed at her son’s verbal blunders or whether she took pride in George W’s contribution to a new English vocabulary. Did she bother to correct him? Buy him a dictionary for Christmas? Admonish him?

Unlike his dad, George Senior, Junior did not always “resignate with the people”, and believed “they misunderestimated me”. Ooops.

So when I came across a speech she gave to university graduates I was intrigued by her compassion and insight for young and eager souls to consider choice and change.

I appreciate the greater picture is not always foremost on your mind when you’re in the thick of late night feeds or dealing with a moody teen, however, the guidance and opportunities you offer your children will be based on your beliefs and what they see you do. So consider the following concepts when deciding the how and why of behaviour management.

“Decisions are not irrevocable. Choices do come back”. You make a mistake, so try and fix it or at least learn from it. Teaching children about success and failure is an early life lesson to hopefully stop repeating unhealthy behaviour patterns. We can’t be perfect all the time but showing children that even adults are infallible is a positive example for their development.

“Cherish your human connections: your relationships with friends and family”. Loving your children is the easy part, liking them enough to spend time, instil family routines, and create memories, is the part you may forget is as important. Work, household chores, and all life’s demands do leave you exhausted and distracted, but giving your babies YOU is the best present. Play a game, go for a walk, cook together, and turn off your mobile.

“Find the joy in life, because as Ferris Beuller said on his day off … “Life moves pretty fast. Ya don’t stop and look around once in a while, ya gonna miss it!” Laugh, play and laugh some more. Or as George W often said, “work toward embitterment”.

Raising children is not rocket science. It’s much harder than that. It takes all the love and energy and more, and it can be lots of fun too. I’d say more satisfying than flying to the moon.

If you’d like to read Barbara Bush’s entire speech, here’s the link, http://gos.sbc.edu/b/bush.html