Fisher-Price™ reveals new insight into Australian mums' hopes and wishes for their children. A new video, starring Aussie mum and TV presenter Jules Sebastian, will launch in the wake of the Fisher-Price™ Mums' Hopes and Wishes survey*, a global study revealing mums' approach to parenting from around the world. Watch the video here.
Question: What can you tell us about the Fisher-Price™ video?
Dr Katie Heathershaw: We've created a video all about Australian mums' hopes and wishes for their children. The video marks new research from Fisher-Price, which reveals mums' attitudes and approach to parenting from around the world. As a Fisher-Price expert I feature along with my colleague, midwife Natasha Boschetti and Australian mum and media personality Jules Sebastian, talking about how the survey findings relate to Australia and how as a nation we provide the best start for our kids.
Question: What do you hope parents take from the Fisher-Price™ Mums' Hopes and Wishes video?
Dr Katie Heathershaw: The video shows that Mums believe love is the most important thing for their child's development. We found that motherhood is ultimately a universal experience and mums, wherever they are in the world, are always looking for the best start for their baby.
Question: What surprised you most about the Fisher-Price™ survey?
Dr Katie Heathershaw: The surprise was that Mums around the world are more similar than they are different: today's mums seek a balance to development for their children, placing greater emphasis on a child's character over academic achievement. The study revealed that happiness, respectfulness, kindness, honesty and politeness were the words used, more than bright, intelligent and smart. The study also revealed that mums across the globe believed they were their child's first and best teacher and that they had a most important job to do.
Question: What are your hopes and wishes for your children's future?
Dr Katie Heathershaw: As a mum, I'm always thinking about how to give my children the best start in life. It's so important to me that they grow up to be happy, well-rounded, confident individuals. Lots of playtime, outdoor experiences and family time are top of my list for creating a bright future!
Question: How has this changed, over time?
Dr Katie Heathershaw: My long-term hopes and wishes for my children remains consistent, it's the aspirations which relate to their more immediate development that change. In my work I see how the aspirations Australian mums have for their children become more defined over time. For example, as our children develop their own specific interests and abilities, our aspirations will change to reflect what will make them happiest in life. For me, it's all about an individual approach and being reactive to my childrens' own path in life.
Question: Can you share the top traits you hope your children developed?
Dr Katie Heathershaw: Happiness above all; If children have the foundation of being happy, confident and secure then the other important things like relationships with peers and teachers, academic and leisure pursuits and eventually success in career and establishing their own family will usually follow!
Question: Can you talk about the daily activities that you believe will create a bright future for your family?
Dr Katie Heathershaw: Children learn and develop through play. Mums in the Hopes and Wishes Study understand the importance of play, with an overwhelming majority placing direct interaction and play as the most important things in their day. Let them play with toys and interact with their surroundings. Ensuring that you talk to your children every day, no matter what their age, is also a fantastic way to cultivate curiosity and learning.
Question: What advice do you have for new parents?
Dr Katie Heathershaw: I think it's important to let children be children and remember their development is a work in progress. Young children change every day, and we need to adapt our parenting style to suit their growing personalities and interests. I see many Australian children daily most of whom are happiest when they are playing with mum – engaging with mum in a natural and authentic way.
Interview by Brooke Hunter