Heading into a new school year isn’t easy… for the parents.
From re-setting routines, rushing around picking up school supplies, to having to fork out for all the school fees, David Campbell knows all about it.
The Today Extra host is father to three; Leo, 12 and twins Billy and Betty, both seven, and as the 2023 school year was kicking off David spoke with AWW Online about how he manages not only the kids school needs, but their mental health needs too.
When asked how his three children (that he shares with wife and producer Lisa Campbell) tend to cope with having a famous dad and the exposure to being in the public eye, David’s quick to push any fame off himself and onto his legendary Australian musician father, Jimmy Barnes.
“We already have somebody extremely famous on an iconic level, so anything under that kind of pails. I sort of feel I encourage my kids – I’m not the famous one in the family,” said the ever-modest David.
This year the return to school has been taken to a whole new level for the Campbell family, as Leo is entering high school.
We asked David what he found to be the worst part of the kids returning to school, and obviously the stress of getting all the stationary, equipment, tablets etc etc was the first thought.
The father-of-three has teamed up with Officeworks to try and make that part of the school return more seamless.
“Prepping for (a kid beginning high school) is… interesting. You know using Officeworks for that has been great, you know to get my head around it,” he told us.
But touchingly, what he found to be the actual hardest part of the kids return to education was that he was going to miss spending time with his three offspring, “summer holidays, you know we were really close… you know we do love to be together as a family and then you go, ‘oh that’s all about to end!'”
But it’s not only the school stationary that the 49-year-old is making sure he’s all across – David has his kids mental health and wellbeing covered too.
As David’s been so open with his struggles with anxiety in the past, he’s been aware of any difficult emotions his eldest, Leo, may have as he enters high school.
“We’re so much better talking about these things now than when I was going to school.
“And I think that with Leo he has the natural sort of worries that any kid has coming into high school: ‘what am I going to do?’, ‘who are my friends going to be?’, ‘how am I going to cope with all this work?’
“But we’ve been pretty mindful of – you know he doesn’t have a phone, that’s been a big thing for us, we’ve sort of held back for one more year, to see if we can get him through the first year of high school without a phone… we trying to navigate that (social media), keeping him off that for as long as possible.”
If there’s anything we’ve realised from talking to David about his kids return to school, is that he really just gets his kids.
He understands what to say to put them at ease, whilst having a laugh; “I tell them horror stories of me as a kid, back in my day when we didn’t have a phone that wasn’t attached to the wall in the kitchen. You had to have all your conversations in front of everybody and I had a mullet and we had acne and nothing to fix it.
“I just tell them funny horror stories so they’re just like ‘oh ok, whatever, life is fine.'”
David Campbell, nailing fathering one horror story at a time.