Victoria Beckham's Best Advice for Happy Parenting
We know her as the polished and professional brains (and beauty) behind her multimillion-dollar eponymous fashion brand, but behind closed doors, Victoria Beckham is a devoted mother who loves spending the weekend “doing normal things” with her four children, Brooklyn, 16; Romeo, 13; Cruz, 10; and Harper, 4. The successful entrepreneur strives to find a balance between her working life and motherhood, often feeling the mom guilt like the rest of us, but she doesn’t do it alone. “I wouldn’t be where I am without David,” she told Vogue last year. “He gives me the security and encouragement to do what I do. I do the same for him.” We are in awe of her passion and devotion to not only lead a fulfilling career but also being a parent who is “very, very present” in her children’s lives. Scroll down to discover some of Victoria’s best parenting advice.
Crowned Britain’s most successful entrepreneur of 2014, Victoria Beckham proved her critics wrong by transforming her polarizing pop star image into an internationally renowned and respected fashion brand. Making that transition successfully required long hours at the office, especially during fashion season. Beckham says she tries to get home from work every day before the kids go to bed, but sometimes she is there really late, especially if it’s the lead-up to a runway show. But mommy guilt isn’t something she tolerates anymore, at least after quizzing fellow designer and mom Diane von Furstenberg about it over dinner. “I said ‘Diane, you know, you’ve always worked and you’ve had children, did you feel guilty?’” she told The New York Times. “And she said ‘never’ and I thought God you’re right actually. And she said ‘I’m a great mom, but I go to work, end of.’”
In addition to that advice, the veteran fashion designer told Beckham that worrying about it doesn’t help your health either. “It’s aging,” Furstenberg told her. “Actually, you’re setting a good example in the fact that you’re a woman and you’re going to work.”
The takeaway: Know that your creative fulfillment makes you a better mother.
We all lead pretty busy lives—there’s no escaping it—but we should never be too engrossed in work (or otherwise) that we miss the small things and stop appreciating the blessings that our children truly are. With a huge company to run, Victoria certainly doesn’t let the opportunity to praise them pass her by. After her eldest, 16-year-old Brooklyn, covered Teen Vogue, she could barely contain her joy at his big achievement. “I was so proud,” she said. “I mean, imagine, my baby on the cover of Vogue! Very exciting,” she told British Vogue. And she didn’t stop there. In a chat with Suzy Menkes, international fashion editor at Vogue, she praised Brooklyn for his many creative talents outside of his football skills. “Brooklyn is an incredible photographer, he is really talented, he has a really great eye,” she said. “As well as being great at football he’s very good at photography and art so I would imagine that he would do something creative. But what a lot of people don’t know about David is how creative he is, he is a great photographer, he is a great at art, and he has a great business sense, too.”
The takeaway: Give praise where praise is due, but not too much—science says that can create narcissism in kids.
Science says the next generation of kids will be more successful in their careers, earn more money, and close the gender gap once and for all, thanks to the new breed of working moms. Leading by example and showing your children the right path via your actions is one of the best ways to teach them and incite positive change in their lives. Beckham knows how important it is to instill a strong work ethic in her children and to raise their awareness of the incredible privilege they’re born into. “David and I both have a strong work ethic and I believe that’s a good example to set our children,” she told Grazia UK. “David and I explain to the children what privileged lives they lead. We tell them that in many places in the world children are hungry, homeless and sick. They all understand how important it is to help others. Romeo ran the children’s marathon earlier this year and raised an amazing amount of money through sponsorship, which he divided between David’s charity and UNAIDS.”
Despite being one of the world’s wealthiest families, Victoria’s eldest, Brooklyn, was encouraged to take a Saturday job at a West London coffee shop. According to The Huffington Post, the Beckhams want to teach their children about the value of money and working hard. “We try to lead by example, by showing them it’s important to work hard,” said David. "That’s one of the key things me and my wife have always done, (both) before we had children, and now we have four children.” He continued, “We juggle everything around the family because our main priority is the children, simple as that, and it always will be, but being hardworking is the best thing you can show children.”
While Victoria would love for one of her children to follow in her footsteps, she doesn’t mind what they choose to do, “as long as they are happy,” but “they will definitely work though,” she told Vogue. “They won’t be these children that stay at home and don’t do anything. They will definitely work.”
The takeaway: It doesn’t matter how much money or privilege you have; let your kids work and earn their own money so they truly discover its value.
Being well-behaved and having good manners are both extremely important attributes for Victoria and David, and this often means being firm and disciplined with the children. “We’ve always been strict parents,” she told Good Morning Britain. “It was very important to me and David that our kids had manners, but while having good manners, our children are also a lot of fun.” Even their 4-year-old daughter, Harper, knows to say please and thank you.
The takeaway: Money can’t buy good manners, and good manners will open doors.
Despite a glowing career and achieving phenomenal success in the fashion industry with her eponymous label, Victoria admits she and David spend their weekends “doing normal things” like running around after their children, not unlike most families. “I like doing those kinds of things,” she told Vogue Australia. “That’s how our entire weekends are taken up, really. For me and David, we work a lot but the kids are everything to us and we’re very, very present.”
Sometimes this includes taking them to places they wouldn’t usually go, like visiting the art museum, even if all they want to do is “jump on their skateboards." But the quality family time and educational value are worth it. “I took all of them to the Tracey Emin exhibition not too long ago, which they loved, for about 10 minutes, then they wanted to go jump on their skateboards,” she told Vogue. “But David and I do love to take the children to see exhibitions.”
The takeaway: Spending time as a family will ensure a bright and healthy future for your child. Just remember, it's about quality, not quantity.
As a working mom, I’m the first to admit I can’t do everything, but I don’t have a multimillion-dollar international company to run. Turns out the principle is the same, though, and sharing the load with your partner and support network of family and friends is key to perfecting the work/life juggle. “I wouldn’t be where I am without David,” she told Vogue last year. “He gives me the security and encouragement to do what I do. I do the same for him.” And while Victoria's children are “very supportive of what I do,” she is mindful of spending too much time away and they make sure at least one parent is with the kids at all times. But even still, they couldn't do it without help. “I don’t really go away that much,” she told The Telegraph. “David and I work it out so that we’re not away at the same time, so one of us is always here. The other day we were at Harper’s school as she had won a prize, and we were both there. It’s a juggling act, but we have great people around us to make sure it all works.”
Even with help, Victoria endures the daily challenges of motherhood, just like the rest of us. “Of course it’s hard,” she admits to Grazia. “But I’m like any working mum, albeit with a bit of extra help. Every mother is rushing around on a Sunday night looking for homework and school uniform, juggling ballet lessons and football practice with work meetings and travel.”
The takeaway: Don’t be afraid to ask for help and share the load with your partner. The old adage still rings true: “It takes a village to raise a child.”
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