Parenting teenagers: Elle MacPherson has some solid advice on raising teen sons
"I'm not here to be popular."
She is a hugely successful supermodel and businesswoman.
But make no mistake, when it comes to what matters most to Elle MacPherson, the modelling and movie roles and running her own wellness empire pales in comparison to raising her two sons, Flynn, who recently turned 21, and Cy, 16 (both from her previous relationship with French financier Arpad Busson).
Speaking to Red magazine a while back, the 55-year-old explained that she is most definitively the boys' mum, not their 'pal.'
"I often say to them, "I'm not here to be popular, I'm here to guide you and if I say there's something you need to do, it's because I'm trying to help".'
In other words, MacPherson doesn't shy away from being tough when necessary.
The mum-of-two, who these days is busy running her company wellness WelleCo (a range of plant-based nutri-cosmetics that aim to increase energy levels and give a supermodel glow), has always been very private about her family life, and to a large extent opted to raise her sons away from the media glare. However, these days the boys are pretty much grown up, and recently, the trio posed for a fashionable family spread in Vogue Australia, where Elle spoke of life now, and how her priority as a mother is to make sure her boys are grounded, especially in light of the privileged upbringing they have had.
"It’s a delicate line, and we certainly have opportunities as a family that I didn’t have as a child," she explains. "There’s no use pretending we don’t live like that. You know, the kids fly to Europe regularly, they went to good schools in England. We are an international family … but I have to say the most beautiful moments really are the simplest times when we’ve been brought together, things like road trips."
Now at 55, she explains, what really matters to her is the simple, happy things in life.
"I’m the mother of two young men. But I am definitely someone who feels comfortable in nature, and being with my children and friends is what’s important to me now."
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What an incredible month it’s been ! Thanks to the team @vogueaustralia for this fabulous reminder of our cover story out now and Thankyou to my incredible boys Flynn and Cy @cyfly08 @cybusson - and ? @nicolebentleyphoto and all the cool people who helped pull this shoot together for us including our wonderful team @welleco
Today, Macpherson defines success as “being able to navigate the ups and downs of life with grace and humour, and learn from the experience, and apply what you’ve learnt”. She admits she also tries to instil a spirit of adventure into her sons, but also to allow them to find their own way.
“My aim is to guide them so that they recognise the importance of being self-responsible and self-reliable; I don’t want them to be dependent on me. I feel like the best gift I could give them is the freedom to grow and learn.”