When ‘She’ll Be Right’ Becomes a Life Skill Attitude

I come from a long line of ‘She’ll be right’. Hey, I’m an Aussie, we practically come out of the lady flower screeching it.

Over many generations, because of our heritage and hardship, we’ve learned to pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off regardless of adversity and say ‘She’ll be right’.

She’ll be right (often followed by a friendly term of address such as mate) is a frequently used idiom in Australian and New Zealand culture that expresses the belief that “whatever is wrong will right itself with time”, which is considered to be either an optimistic or apathetic outlook.[1][2][3] The term can also be used to refer to a situation or object which is not perfect but is good enough to fulfil its purpose.
In this usage, “she” represents everything, allowing the phrase to be used both in circumstances of extreme hardship and in casual speech referring to everyday events. Related terms also used with the same meaning include She’ll be apples (Australia) and She’s good (New Zealand).
In recent years, the term has taken on a less than flattering connotation, with “a she’ll-be-right attitude” referring to a willingness to accept a low-quality or makeshift situation rather than seek a more desirable solution.[4]

And it comes through in our parenting….. well my age group parenting, ok maybe just mine?

I’m a firm believer in tough love, my kids know that to enlist the swift action of mum or any type of sympathy, you better be bleeding, have bones sticking out or be dead. Harsh? I don’t believe so. My kids are pretty grounded, practical,thoughtful  realistic thinkers.

We don’t make a big deal out of too much, you’re sick? Ok let’s get the stuff to fix that and get on with our day/evening/whatever. There’s plenty of love thrown in, don’t fret, my children aren’t left to fend for themselves, sure if they vomit in the night on their beds, I’ll get a towel to cover it and we’ll deal in the morning…blood nose? no problem, let’s get the tissue box and some ice for that. I’m not panicky nor am I a helicopter/hover parent. I do my parenting the relaxed way 🙂

Kids fall down, they hurt themselves, scrape knees, cut themselves and break bones. Following along to stop those things happening, so they don’t get hurt, doesn’t teach them anything and they don’t learn how to problem solve. You need to be able to problem solve and the sooner you learn it the better off you are.

When I was about Miss Gremlin’s age (8), I was hanging posters in my room, now it was an old house and we had 14′ ceilings, so to get the desired height and effect, I needed to use a ladder. That’s cool, I could swing a ladder like anyone…8′ step ladder, hammer, pins, posters …. and go…..Things were going along well, the ABBA and Bay City Rollers posters were really making my room look awesome. I closed the ladder to move to a new position, as I’d done a squillion times that afternoon…but this time I forgot to take the hammer off the top ……tip, drag, clunk, ARGHHHHH.

Of course the hammer fell off the top of the ladder and clonked me on the head, claw end first. I wasn’t knocked out but it hurt like a mother fucker! There was blood, I was 8……

I don’t remember crying but I probably did, as I went in search of mum. It was the summer holidays, in Australia, in the 70’s, where it’s hotter than the Devil’s living room and we didn’t have airconditioning. My mum was lying on the living room floor trying desperately to stay cool and not kill us because to add to her woes, it was her lady time.

All of this I found out later, of course. My mum wasn’t into sharing her cycles with her 8 yo daughter or anything weird like that……….. so I found her, lying on the living room floor.

I’m holding my head….

me: mum, mum, MUuummmmmm!

mum: WHAT!. totally through gritted teeth, you know what I’m talking about ladies..

me: the hammer fell off the ladder and hit me on the head!…

mum: You’ll be right…..(like, what the fuck do you want me to do, I’m lying on the floor bleeding from places you don’t even want to know about and it’s hot, damn HOT…. fuck off)

me: I’m bleeding…

mum: Oh…

After that I have no idea what happened, I really can’t remember. I think I just wiped the blood off a bit and went back to hanging my posters.

What did I learn? well 2 things…. 1. don’t leave a hammer on top of a ladder when you move it and 2. My mother wasn’t a panicker….

But to this day I remember that incident in my childhood. I also never leave hammers on top of ladders. If I had been told this or watched over incessantly, I may not have learned because mum would have just grabbed the hammer and told me not to leave it….. but by having it crash into my skull, I learned that was a dumb thing to do.

You have to allow your kids to fall, make mistakes, learn the hard way, be disappointed, lose, experience loss of pets or relatives. It’s what shapes their lives and teaches them things far beyond you telling them.

In the process of course, you must teach them safety and awareness and protect them fiercely when necessary but experience is often the best teacher. If you can get them through childhood, without serious injury but still let them learn valuable lessons, then I believe you are well on the way to growing successful adult children.

This adult gig is hard, teaching our children how to navigate it on their own must be done by letting them experience everything, good and bad. It’s hard, we worry, but kids are resilient and if you allow them to do it, “They’ll Be Right” too.


Comments 2

  1. Great post! I find myself saying a similar “You’ll be fine” to my kids all the time. 95% of the time I’m right lol.

    Thanks for sharing with my NO RULES Weekend Blog Party!


  2. I am so with you on this one!! I completely let my kids wild, knowing that they will get hurt. I gave my 4 yr old a real pair of scissors, coz he couldn’t cut open his toy with his plastic one. I should have cut it for him, but I didn’t. He nicked his finger. Lesson learned, was what I told him!

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