Children are all born with wisdom and genius but it is gradually eroded by time and society, author Dr Yvonne Sum believes.
Children are all born with wisdom and genius but it is gradually eroded by time and society, author Dr Yvonne Sum believes. Wavebreakmedia Ltd - Getty Images

Inspire your children and see where it leads

THE notion of intentional parenting seems a little strange to someone whose parenthood journey has been accidental from the moment of conception.

Intentional parenting is what Doctor Yvonne Sum calls her leadership-style approach to parenting.

The Sydney-based author's career has spanned dentistry, the RAAF, executive coaching, leadership facilitation, professional speaking and she believes that has put the leadership knowledge she has gleaned during her working life to use in her home life as the mother of two children.

Dr Sum's approach to parenthood would probably be best described as leading from the front - child guiding rather than child-raising or rearing.

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She decided early on that she wanted to inspire her children to achieve their full potential rather than be the "perfect parent" and try and clone herself.

She describes her son, Jett, as her greatest teacher in life and parenting.

When he was born, she imagined him saying to her, "I have a destiny you cannot change. Relax and enjoy the ride.

"Nothing you can do - good or bad - will stop me from getting there.

"It can challenge or support me, though. Just love me, Mum."

Wise words from a newborn, but Dr Sum believes we are all born that way.

"I realised Jett was demonstrating wisdom and genius that we are all born with but which is gradually eroded by time and society," she writes.

Dr Sum believes that her job as a parent has been to learn to read Jett and his sister like books and inspire them on their way in life.

She has borrowed from the business world to come up with seven Rs to good parenting - role modelling, respect, rules, routine, review and reflect, re-organise and response-ability.

Intentional parenting, how to get results for both you and your kids by Dr Yvonne Sum, Doubleday, $29.95.


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