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Give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach him to fish and he eats for a life time –  Dan 8 learns to cook!

Dan turned 8 a few weeks ago then we moved house. So tonight he was eager to have his first night cooking. In our home once you turn 8 you learn to cook. Obviously kids don’t know how to cook so we as parents teach them. Little by little each week they learn knew skills, new dishes to cook and then one day around 8.5 to 9 years old  they are all of a sudden able to plan their own menu, cook an entire meal and clean up from it. And this is how we raise responsible and independent teens and adults, by teaching, mentoring and role modelling to our kids early on.

Dan has been eagerly awaiting his first night of cooking for months. He chose a roast ages ago because, and I quote “Because I’ve watched you mum you just cut a few vegies up, put the meat in and then you get to go play til it’s cooked’. Smart boy!!!  We’ve decided Sunday nights is his night to cook and this week it coincided with the roast I decided we were having. Next week he will choose on Saturday what he’s cooking on Sunday night.

Part of cooking is you also do the dishes and cleaning up. Again that takes patience, teaching, mentoring, role modelling and doing the hard things for them until they’re able but allowing/making them do the things they can such as cups, plates, forks and spoons etc for now.

Below is a simplified step by step guide of how I taught Dan to cook his first roast. When we have another roast I will reiterate the steps and this will happen for some time until he’s capable all on his own. I have no idea how long that will take, it will take as long as it takes for him to do it safely and confidently :) 

(So all these steps Dan did himself unless stated otherwise with me instructing each step).

Step 1. Choose the meal the day before and ensure you have all ingredients.
Step 2. Get the meat out of the freezer the night before.
Step 3. Wash hands and turn oven on to 180.
Step 4. Take the vegies out of the crisper.
Step 5. Get your utensils – cutting board, knife, coconut oil, roasting pan.
Step 6. Wash potatoes with a scourer.
Step 7. Safely using a sharp knife cut the potato in half, then half again and again. (For the bigger potatoes I had to do the first cut as they were too tough for him).
Step 8. Place the pieces in the pan with the chicken.
Step 9. Mum cuts the pumpkin because it’s super tough.
Step 10. Show Dan how to slice sweet potato and let him do it.
Step 11. Mum opens the oven and Dan passes her the roasting tray.
Step 12. Once it’s cooked Mum takes it out of the oven and Dan helps serve it up.
Step 13. Together we do the dishes with him doing the bulk of it.

On his way to being an independent young man.

Teaching kids takes patience. It takes knowing their limitations and capabilities but pushing them to realise how much they can do. It takes knowing their fears. It takes patience. It takes role modelling by breaking down every step along the way. It takes muchhhhhhh longer than it would take you to do it yourself NOW, however in a few months they will be doing it all themselves. A little time and patience invested now pays dividends for a lifetime.

Happy cooking guys. If you’re teaching your kids to cook please send me a photo via Facebook or Instagram and we’ll feature you and your budding independent cook on our page.

Dan has asked me to tell you to tell your kids “it’s really fun and makes you feel like a grown up but let the grown ups help because some of it’s really hard now but if you eat your protein your muscles will grow and soon you will be able to do it all yourself but not yet, soon”. (lol wise boy).

1 minute video of Dan cooking on Mentor Mumma’s Youtube channel:

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Mentor Mumma


(Bachelor Psych Science Hons) and mum to 3 + 1.

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How can I afford that Vs I can’t afford that… teaching your kids and teens goal setting and budgeting for a life of financial success, not a lifetime of slavery to others.


With or without  a goal, you hit it every time!

Teaching kids and teens to budget is vital in their financial success, however, part of  budgeting is helping them to set goals and achieve them. Whether it’s saving for a new custom made skateboard or concert tickets or their first solo backpacking trip when they finish highschool or even their first car or first home. All very important in a teens or kids eyes and fantastic goals for teaching budgeting and goal setting.  

If you’ve never been particularly good at budgeting and goal setting yourself then this is a great time for you to learn, and then in turn mentor your teen. Or, even better learn together. Admitting we don’t know something or have a weakness is not a bad thing. It shows our kids we are human. That there is ALWAYS something new we can learn, and by admitting our weaknesses we can get help in those areas.

On top of actual budgeting is the mindset training, teaching kids, and ourselves not to go to the default of ‘we can’t afford that’ but retrain ourselves to ask ‘HOW can I afford that‘. It gets the brain thinking differently. (Thanks Robert Kiyosaki for that brilliant insight – that’s him in the image above). It really does work.

When budgeting always remember that anything that puts money INTO your pocket is an asset and anything that takes money OUT of your pocket is a liability.

Some wise words on budgeting: 

 “Creating a budget and living within its limitations is crucial for achieving financial freedom in your life. A budget gives you the input you need to manage your income and control your expenses. In short, a budget gives you a sense of accountability. If you want to secure your personal finances, then a budget will provide you with tools to achieve just that. Robert Kiyosaki 

One of the key fundamental practices to achieve financial freedom is to work for yourself, rather than work for a bank or a credit card company. Learn to pay yourself first before you pay someone else. By doing this you achieve two things: you make yourself richer, and you stop getting poorer. Only when you save money today can you invest it tomorrow, ensuring your financial freedom in the process. Robert Kiyosaki

I quote Robert a lot because I have read all his Rich Dad Poor Dad books and learnt a lot from him, I think you and your kids/teens would too. They’re available in most libraries and in audiobook format too. 

If you yourself aren’t sure how to budget there are many apps, websites and books that can teach you or please feel free to drop me an email at and I’d be happy to help.

One of the key’s to financial success is learning to pay yourself first. ‘They’ (the rich) say pay yourself 10% out of anything you ever earn and with that 10% buy investments. It’s something I’ve known for a long time but have only recently started doing and boy it sure does start to change your mindset. It’s something we can easily teach our children too. Always include in the budget room for generosity and giving to charity – these are life lessons and character building values.

Exciting times when a teen conquers a budget and takes control of their money, rather than the other way around. Teaching your children to manage their money, set goals, and only ever paying cash for what they want and avoiding debt except for primary residence (or when they’re financially literate enough to understand asset debt and tax relief) will save them a life time of slavery to others.

What a great way to put #mentorparenting into action. Maybe you can get your teens mates around and they can all do their budgets. Even those on pocket money can do one.

Save and prosper.


Jodie-Anne Harlow (Bachelor Psychological Science (Honours) and mum of 3.

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Pokemon – Have fun and stay safe


​So while I’ve been preoccupied over the past few days Pokemon has taken over the world, including my house, it seems. Miss 14, miss 13 are onto it as they have Apple products and Master 7 who has about  a 6 year old cracked discarded android is TRYING to get in on it.

I enter competitions for fun and a few years ago there was a similar game to win prizes called Game of Phones. My son described Pokemon like that, only no prizes! 

Geez we had fun during that time. The adventures we, as grown women had, the stories we still tell and share. The laughs. omg the laughs. Still! I hope my kids get to have similar … only safer. No hiding Pokemon in the mangroves off Deception Bay at 5am in the morning thanks kids, that was rather silly on mummy’s part, AND I lost a very good pair of shoes. But what a story I now have 😉

So there’s no stopping the fun and adventures and nor should we as parents. It gets them outside, it gets them involved with others and it helps them build their own adventure stories. And we want them to have fun. We want them to explore. We want them to have adventures.


we do need to put security measures in place. Yep, the voice of reason.

Children wandering around
with their heads in expensive devices
into unknown areas
has red flags written all over it.

I’m sure you will  come up with your own security measures for your house but I’ve had this conversation with miss 13 and we’ve agreed on the following (If Master 7 wants to do it he WILL have a parent with him, ME!)

1. BUDDIES:   We ALWAYS go in pairs and if we are in a group there are buddies asssigned. Who is your buddy? who has your back? Who are you responsible for? This is not only a safety measure it also teaches them responsibility, accountability and having a friend’s back and we have buddies because it’s easy to get lost in groups!

2. LOCATION: At all times your parent will know the area you are in and if you move from that area BEFORE you start running down the street, text or call your parent/caregiver.

3. Only during daylight hours.

4. Only public places. If a Pokemon is hidden where you would need to trespass, then it’s a no go. We do not enter private property, we do not jump fences into people’s homes, if you can grab the pokemon from the road, then grab and run, if not too bad move on.

5. Have fun and hide your pokemon well. Have adventures, have fun but be vigilant and alert. And remember what your mumma taught you about being observant.

Have the conversation with your kids, let them know in life it’s always about having fun and building adventures but we are always vigilant, we are always aware and we always have a friend’s back and they have ours. 

Game on!

Mentor Mumma

(Jodie-Anne Harlow – Bachelor Psychological Science (Hons) and mum to 3 + 1  .. and most recently referred to as ‘your mum is goals’ – yep I”m claiming that one!)

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One Solution to One Punch – Mentor Parenting

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

It has to stop. This one punch crap. It really does. But will changing drinking times change a culture? Will slogans change a culture? Will billboards and advertising change a culture? I highly doubt it.

What’s needed is deep rooted change in society. Starting with these kids when they’re in their preteens. Mentor Parenting them. 

Mentor them on how human’s act in society, how humans treat each other, how to go out and have a good night without it ending in loss of life and you in prison for homicide!

Surely it’s not that hard!

Role modelling needs to step up its game and where parents fail is where Mentor Parents step in and make it the norm to mentor preteens and teens on the way to behave, interact and live a successful life. 

The age of Australian ferals has passed. It’s time for us as a society to step up for our own kids but in most instances in the lives of our kid’s friends whose parents just don’t have the knowledge, know how or care factor. And that’s what mentor parenting is for .. not the parents who already have it together who have had great role models or figured it out for themselves but for those parents to mentor other parents who didn’t have those positive influences and to help in the mentoring of those people’s kids. Together, we can change our society.

Join in the Mentor Parenting movement … Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest and Youtube ( a platform for everyone’s tastes and preferences).

Receive your FREE welcome pack by signing up for our monthly newsletter on the home page or to the right on this page.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

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Mentor Parenting – a job for all parents


Mentor Parenting is a two fold concept, that is constantly evolving and changing (and that’s a woman’s prerogative, right 😉 ).

The first part of Mentor Parenting is that we are our children’s mentors, their life coaches. No more helicopters, no more creating co-dependent useless kids that turn into co-dependent lazy teens who can’t fend for themselves. And we mentor  their friends too because not all parents get it or have the resources to do that for their own kids, usually because they don’t have the know how (there’s a host of other reasons and mental illness, addictions etc are all part of that). So that’s where the rest of us step up – helping break that cycle!

The other side to Mentor Parenting is the learning from each other. No parent has all the answers, and if they do they’re obviously not parents! I have been absolutely blessed in my own life to have women my age who have children older than mine (yep, I was a later starter..first child at 31). Huge shout out to especially Donna W and Rhonda. They have been my major two influences. I got so much out of Rhonda’s budgeting and how she worked chores for her kids, Donna’s too. Mine were only really little when Donna took her two daughters for a mother daughter memory making weekend to Sydney.

There have been many many other amazing mums I’ve learnt from over the years, from their successes but also their failures. It’s all trial and error and learning from others who have trail blazed and then amending because every kid is different, every family unique.

I was so excited today to come across the New York Times best selling book How to Raise Adults. Although my first book is the practical things teens need to know for a successful transition to adulthood, my second book which is well under way is very much along the same lines as her book only for Australians and a bit more on the teaching responsibility and independence for successful, and much easier teen years.

There is movement people and it’s in the right direction. Who are your mentors and who are you mentoring? You should always have at least one of each.

Have an amazing week, see you Sunday night when my baby girl turns into a teenager!!!

Don’t forget to register for your free parenting resources on the home page, and follow us on social media (your preferred platform) for every day updates, tips, tricks, helps and our Facebook Group: Mentor Mumma’s Parent Meeting Place for more in depth conversations.

Happy mentoring,


Jodie-Anne Harlow (Bachelor Psychological Science (Honours)) and mum to 3 + 1.

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Self Love


“Low self-esteem is like driving through life with your hand-break on.”
Maxwell Maltz

What you believe and what you say to yourself has a tremendous impact on what happens to you and what kind of life you’ll lead. You are the creator of your own destiny. You write the script of your life with every thought. The more self-worth and love you have for yourself, the more prosperity and success you will achieve. Dr John Demartini

Years ago it was considered a bad thing to love yourself. If you thought highly of yourself, you were ‘up yourself’. I”m sure that’s still used at times. The reality is, those with healthy self esteems are the ones who succeed in life.  I’m not talking about self centredness and arrogance, I’m talking about genuine self care and love. The trait that helps you respect yourself (and others), the deep seated knowledge that you are worthy of the best in life. The knowing that you are to be honoured (and to honour others). Imagine the world we’d live in.

Sure some successful people are utter dicks, but so are a lot of unsuccessful people – that’s just a genetic weak link some have! 
In an age where selfies are taking over the world and ‘we’ are becoming the centres of our universe, teen suicides are up, depression and anxiety levels are through the roof and true self love has become almost non extinct and its place a self centredness based on fears, insecurities and many layers of issues.
I’m talking about the kind of self-love where you think highly of yourself, where you love and respect yourself, and others. The kind of self love that promotes your own self confidence and self esteem.

We live in a society where people change who they are daily, and where editors change what people look like so as to deceive the population. A media that says what others think about you is very important. STOP!!! Nope!!!! What others think of you is none of your business, and the sooner you realise this the happier you will be.  Unless you’re being a dick, in which case, stop that shiz! What people’s perceptions of you are, are them judging you from their own perspectives and agendas. Seeing you through their eyes. Their perception and their expectations. Learn to truly not care what other people think of you. Because most of the time they’re not thinking about you at all, it’s your own insecurities and fears. Love yourself then what other people think and do no longer matters. And when you reach that place in your life (and it takes some people decades), when you do get to that place you will be liberated. You’ll be free to be who YOU want to be. Life’s too short to be anything else.

Know that you are worthy of great love, great achievements and a great life. You are. Forgive yourself of past mistakes and move on. You are worthy of love, your own. Be your own best friend. Learn to love your own company. You’re amazing to be around, you really are. What you think about you become. If you think you are worthy and important, you will become worthy and important, if you think you are worthless then in your eyes you become so and that’s what you project out into the world. See yourself as amazing human being with much to offer the world and you become an amazing human being changing the world for the better. And then teach these amazing life skills to your kids and their friends.

If you can’t get your head around the concept try these tips:
1. Stick a sign to your mirror that says “I love you”. And repeat it to yourself, looking yourself in the eye, every morning and night. This is not easy for some people.
2. Find an affirmation or two that says something like “I am grateful I am *insert 1 or two of your strengths* such as friendly, polite, intelligent, a good reader, resourceful, artistic, whatever your ‘thing’ is.

Get your kids to do the same. Help them find their strengths, and to focus on those. Help them identify their weaknesses and know that it’s okay to be bad at some things, we acknowledge them and move on to working on our strengths even more. Praise them more than you criticise but teach them to take constructive criticism as well as praise. Accepting praise doesn’t come easy.. role model saying thank you when someone praises or compliments and own it.

Practise self-love and self care, you’re worth it. 

Join other like minded parents on the Facebook group Mentor Mumma’s Parent Meeting Place where we share the good, the bad, the ugly, the indifferent, the struggles, the successes, tips, tricks, helps and what not on this journey to mentor responsible, independent amazing human beings (our kids, and their friends).

Have you signed up for our monthly newsletter and your FREE welcome book? If not go to the home page and do that now. 

Jo xo

Jodie-Anne Harlow (Bachelor Psychological Science (Honours)).