WHAT THE KARDASHIANS CAN TEACH US ABOUT PARENTING
'People used to have babies in caves, it's going to be okay'
What do you know about the Kardashians? That they have a strangely absorbing reality show called Keeping Up With the Kardashians? That, if you combine all family members (Kim, Kourtney, Khloe, Kendall, Kylie, Kris and Rob), they have a whopping total of 344 million Instagram followers? That their business empire takes in kidswear, eyewear, fragrances and more, and that momager Kris has a bunch of non-disclosure agreements in her house for people to sign before they are allowed in?
But what do we know about their parenting skills? And what can we learn? Elizabeth Adetula rounds it up for us below...
Kim has two children with husband Kanye West: three-year-old daughter North and 9-month-old son Saint. And this is what she can teach us:
1) If you have an incredibly expensive item in your wardrobe, let’s say a $20,000 Hermes handbag, keep it out of reach of your children at all times. Otherwise you risk them ‘decorating’ it with paints like North did, and you’ll have to pretend you like it and that you totally let it happen, and that it’s really important to let your kids express themselves and that you didn’t like it that much before anyway.
2) Invited to an important industry do? Take your child. Go on. I dare you. They may have an epic tantrum like North West on the front row at New York Fashion Week, and it might get a filthy look from your sector’s equivalent of Anna Wintour, but you’ll be able to taunt them about it until you die/get disowned by them (whichever happens first).
3) According to Kim, to juggle parenting, family life and your work life, you have to ‘be organised’, ‘prioritise’ and ‘make time for yourself’. If all else fails and you need a few minutes alone, just hide in your kid's wardrobe, like Kim does.
The eldest of the Kardashian brood has three children with ex-partner Scott Disick: Mason, 6, Penelope, 4, and Reign, one. Being a mum is hands-down Kourtney’s ‘favourite role in life’. So what can we learn from her?
1) When you’re pregnant and everyone is fussing about your unassembled flat-pack cot and unpainted nursery, silence them with the classic line used by Kourt while pregnant with Mason: ‘People used to have babies in caves; it’s going to be okay’.
2) She also has some wise words for those of us who like to pack a gazillion things for our babies even if we’re just taking a trip to the office: ‘I would bring the essentials or just throw a couple things in my purse instead of this huge thing, with blankets and extra sweaters,’ says the Wise One.
3) Different children require different approaches. A self-described attachment parent, Kourtney believes that ‘each kid needs something different.’ And she’s right: one child might need fish fingers while the other needs chicken nuggets. No wonder her kids are always so pleased to see her.
Khloe is the cool aunt. She gets the fun job of playing dress-up and causing chaos with the kids before giving them back when the temper tantrums start. What can we learn from dear ‘Auntie Koko’?
1) When it comes to children’s clothes, buy little and buy well. ‘Don't buy really fancy clothes for all the time! That's not realistic,’ she told parents.com. ‘Babies throw up, and also shoes fall off, so just be aware of what you're putting your money into.’ If someone sitting on a million-dollar fortune can say that, then so can we.
2) Don’t have favourites. Or if you do, just don’t make it obvious. ‘I do not have a favourite and would never dare! Well, it depends what day it is,’ Khloe has said, and it’s that kind of humour that her nieces and nephews will love her for when they’re older.
And finally, Kris Jenner. The matriarch, ‘momager’ and mastermind behind the Kardashian/Jenner empire is a mother-of-six and soon to be grandmother-of-six (son Rob Kardashian is expecting a baby with Blac Chyna). She certainly knows about how to turn being a pushy mum into a showbiz career, but what can she tell us about parenting?
1) Think carefully before you leap from one child to two. In Kris’s opinion, ‘One is like one, and two are like 20’. So we’re guessing that having six kids is like having 60? *gulps*
2) Defend your children at all costs, even if it means giving the President of the United States a dressing-down on national television. As Kris taught us when she used her chat show ‘Kris’ to smack down Barack Obama’s comments about Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. Note her impressive use of her daughter and son-in-law’s full names too.
3) You don’t have to sacrifice youth for children and grandchildren. Kris asks her children’s children to call her ‘Lovey’ rather than ‘Granny’ or ‘Grandma’, because it helps her feel young. Cosmetic procedures probably help too.