If you are a business traveller you will like what I am going to say: all children should be ordered to stay at home. No passports until you're 18. Really.

I am writing this in Melbourne. On the flight over I watched a documentary about the Rolling Stones in exile in the south of France in 1970. At that stage, Mick had just married Bianca and she was pregnant while Keef and Anita Pallenberg had a tribe of barefoot skippies gambolling around. Life was one louche pose with guitars and joints. It's where Kate Moss got all her ideas, basically.

The film captured the kind of bohemian fantasy middle-class pseudo-intellectuals such as myself secretly aspire to, in which children simply fit into the life of their parents. No need to stop the long lunches and globetrotting. Trust me, I have tried valiantly to do this. My daughter is 5 and is already on to her second passport. Baby food was the special pumpkin mash at the Chateau Marmont. She always turned left when she got in the plane and keeps asking when we are going back to Rio. Not any time soon, luvvy.

I can now say I have given up on this rock 'n' roll family idea. It is indulgent bollocks. What's more, I have an ominous feeling that we would be better off just keeping our kids at home doing boring kid stuff.

Don't tell me you haven't seen the string of stories of privileged New Zealand kids getting into trouble? Seventeen-year-old Ross Kimpton died after a mishap on a Howick College rugby trip to London. Do children and teenagers really need to see the world? I'm not sure they do. In fact, I think it might be bad for them. If before you leave school you have already seen all the world has to offer, what is left to aspire to? Where is the adventure? You may as well try drugs. Kids can quite safely wait until they are grown up to see the world.

Of course, travelling with the children was just part of a general determination that Cyril Connolly's famous "pram in the hall" wasn't going to inhibit one's creativity. When I had children as a fairly geriatric mother, I was determined I could carry on as before with kids in tow. I wasn't going to become mumsy. I read the Economist while breastfeeding. I sneered at mothers who fussed. My children were going to be free spirits. I still love the idea but the reality is, you can't be cool once you have kids. The Rolling Stones might have tried, but I am not sure that was an unmitigated success. Children want their parents to be parents, not rock stars.

Given the choice, they would prefer the Wiggles to Mahler. And they would rather eat home-made waffles with their friends than have gourmet fries from room service in one of the Leading Hotels of the World.

These days I get quite a few "it takes a village" moments when I walk my children to school and I know their classmates and our neighbours. It gives me more of a glow that my kids have playdates with their friends than I would get from visiting the spa at the Crown Casino. I might worry occasionally that they are missing out with not travelling. But then I just tell myself if they need to see how the other half lives, it would probably be more eye-opening to take them to live in the more deprived parts of Manurewa for a week. You don't need a passport to visit there, do you?

dhc@deborahhillcone.com