Amanda Owen discusses her parenting skills with Ben Fogle
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Amanda, 47, and her husband Clive, 66, are proud parents of nine children who they raise on the picturesque Ravenseat Farm. While the couple may have more children than the average Yorkshire family, Amanda firmly believes growing up on a farm has made them all fiercely independent.
Amanda opened up to Sophie Ellis Bextor on her Spinning Plates podcast about raising her large brood on her 2,000-acre far
During the unearthed episode, Amanda explained how some parents perceive her family to be unconventional.
Reflecting on raising her children on their family farm, Amanda said: “You know what, we live in a place where the water comes from a spring and sometimes the electricity doesn’t work.
“Those are the basics, not the internet, sometimes people’s ideas have gone a bit skewiff.”
Sophie, who is also a mother, agreed that life should be all about “learning the basics” and not phone signal issues.
Amanda continued: “Well exactly, they [my children] are getting really good life lessons they can translate and take to any other life wherever that should be – whether it’s in the countryside or in the city.
“Because people say [to me], ‘Oh they are not growing up in the real world, they’ll never be able to cope with real life’.
“But they are actually learning lessons, that will set them up really well to be people who are hands-on and people who’ve got a degree of common sense and can do things.
“So they have a sense of being independent you see.”
Sophie replied: “Yeah, absolutely. So with each increasing member of your brood, do you find the independence strikes quicker?”
Amanda laughed and added: “Yes, definitely, by the time we got to Nancy, who is number nine, she was using a knife and fork and feeding herself.”
She explained that one of her children even learned how to ride a bike without her – a skill which they probably picked up from one of their older siblings.
Amanda explained: “It’s a great feeling. You might think you are missing out on the milestones, but you are not at all. It’s kind of more of a gradual kind of thing.
“For some parents, they can tell you the exact age they have walked and talked, I can’t do that.”
She added: “Things have got so bad at our house we have an accumulated en mass visit of the tooth fairy.”
Sophie told Amanda carving out her own narrative as a parent of a large family is more important than following guidelines.
Amanda first met her husband Clive in 1995 when she was 21 and he was 42 running his own farm.
As she was in training to become a shepherdess she went knocking on his door to ask for a male sheep.
Amanda previously admitted the relationship was a ‘slow burn’ as they were friends before any romantic feelings and despite the age gap the pair fell in love and got married five years later.
The couple went on to give birth nine times to their children – Raven, 20, Reuben, 17, Miles, 15, Edith, 12, Violet, ten, Sidney, nine, Anna, seven, Clemmie, five, and Nancy, four.
Spinning Plates with Sophie Ellis-Bextor is available on Spotify and iTunes, and Our Yorkshire Farm episodes are available on My5.
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