Jump to content

Gifted children Parliamentary Enquiry


  • Please log in to reply
93 replies to this topic

#1 kadoodle

Posted 20 December 2012 - 04:30 PM

http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/...1219-2bn68.html

I'm torn between shouting "well, der!" at the computer and crying.  I always hoped that the education of gifted children was less of a desert than when I was a kid.  Obviously not.  sad.gif

#2 IsolaBella

Posted 20 December 2012 - 04:33 PM

Derr was my thought too.

#3 PrincessPeach

Posted 20 December 2012 - 04:37 PM

They've only just now thought to study this???

Remind me however not to show my mum - she will loose the plot, she has been pushing for this for years.

#4 JustBeige

Posted 20 December 2012 - 04:59 PM

...and they needed a parliamentary enquiry to find this out.

I think this is appropriate wacko.gif

#5 somila

Posted 20 December 2012 - 04:59 PM

There have been parliamentary enquiries into giftedness in Qld before but I haven't seen big changes "on the ground".  Differentiation within classes seems to be flavour-of-the-month ATM.  Having said that our local state school is allocating spelling books according to tested levels rather than age/year level, so I guess that's a start.
Highly/exceptionally/profoundly gifted children are always going to need an individualised program and will have trouble finding like-minded peers in a mainstream school.  I suspect most of the children in selective schools are not in these categories.


#6 leisamd

Posted 20 December 2012 - 05:00 PM

Thanks for posting, very interesting!  

Here's the report if anyone's interested:

http://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/images/st...inal_Report.pdf

#7 BlondieUK

Posted 20 December 2012 - 11:36 PM

I fully support the need for schools to do a better job with gifted students. However, the hyperbole that says they need the support as much as disabled children" I find that very hard to stomach. Their ability to learn is not compromised - they do have the ability to gain something, however small from the education system as it stands. Children whose ability to learn is even moderately impaired have extreme difficulty functioning in a mainstream school. The needs are entirely different, but extending a gifted child is much easier than accessing any kind of decent education for disabled children.

I'm sure others will disagree, but that's my experience as a parent of a disabled child, and as a teacher of both ends of the spectrum.

#8 TheMuriels

Posted 20 December 2012 - 11:43 PM

Actually, gifted children quite often have their learning ability impaired... due to many factors.



#9 jojonbeanie

Posted 20 December 2012 - 11:54 PM

I have one extremely gifted child and one extremely disabled child. Trust me there is no comparison. I know which side of the bell curve I would rather be.

#10 minus

Posted 21 December 2012 - 12:23 AM

no longer want to comment

Edited by minus, 21 December 2012 - 12:42 AM.


#11 BlondieUK

Posted 21 December 2012 - 03:31 AM

QUOTE (TheMuriels @ 20/12/2012, 10:43 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Actually, gifted children quite often have their learning ability impaired... due to many factors.


I am aware of this - and the needs of a such children are even more individual (if that is not a complete oxymoron!). Gifted children, too, suffer from the social isolation that the other end of the spectrum brings - however, their ability to function in everyday tasks and lifeskills does not tend to be so impaired. Yes, I am talking in generalisations, but so is the report.

Don't get me wrong - fully support the need for all teachers and schools to do more than teach to one level. Differentiation is the key and it's a skill that not enough schools place enough emphasis on.


#12 kadoodle

Posted 21 December 2012 - 07:30 AM

As someone who has worked primarily with students at the PMLD end of the scale, the notion that students with disabilities get funding thrown at them left, right and centre is just demented and ignorant.

Rather than drawing comparisons, I think that funding and training for it's own sake - to allow the greatest possible outcomes for gifted children - is a better argument to make.  The "you get so much, we get nuffin" argument does both sets of learners a disservice and shows a massive lack of empathy and lack of knowledge by teachers and parents of gifted students.

I was a gifted child.  My school years were a misery.  But I would never have wanted my betterment to come at the expense of someone else's  loss.

#13 Beancat

Posted 21 December 2012 - 07:46 AM

Hi is there a gifted thread on EB or a good online forum for parents of gifted children?  After a very interesting year at 3 yo kinder my son has had a preliminary diagnosis of gifted and will be doing an individual program at 4 yo kinder next  year.  One of my questions is how were other people's children diagnosed as gifted?  We have been told he cannot formally be diagnosed until 5 when he will undergo an IQ test.

#14 kwiggle

Posted 21 December 2012 - 07:57 AM

What a good reply Kadoodle - so true.

I went to a big government school and spent most of high school roaming the corridors because I was too disruptive in class and the teachers had no idea what to do with me.  The first time anyone ever addressed my learning needs was year 11, when a new English teacher arrived and worked out that I had learned nothing in 4 years.  She showed me that having read every book in the storeroom meant I was a good reader, not a good scholar.  She ensured I could function at uni by the time I left, didn't compare me to other students and taught me to strive to be "the best version of me I could be". What an educator.

The sad reality is that if I hadn't come across a wonderful teacher my life may have been very different & less successful.  If there are any programs that don't rely on such a random encounter to address the needs of kids who aren't average learners they should be encouraged.

After my haphazard education I am very worried that my state has introduced a blanket rule about school starting age and DS will be in the older cohort for his year.  Why hasn't the education system worked out that rigid rules don't meet the needs of individual students?

#15 baddmammajamma

Posted 21 December 2012 - 08:22 AM

QUOTE (Beancat @ 21/12/2012, 08:46 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi is there a gifted thread on EB or a good online forum for parents of gifted children?  After a very interesting year at 3 yo kinder my son has had a preliminary diagnosis of gifted and will be doing an individual program at 4 yo kinder next  year.  One of my questions is how were other people's children diagnosed as gifted?  We have been told he cannot formally be diagnosed until 5 when he will undergo an IQ test.


Yes there is a G&T group for parents of kids in primary, but often, parents of younger kids take part:
http://www.essentialbaby.com.au/forums/ind...howtopic=981014

Also, try the Davidson Gifted Forums for age specific discussion (here's the preschool one):
http://giftedissues.davidsongifted.org/BB/...Pre_school.html

Beancat, although it's unusual to test a 2 or 3 year old, it can be done. My daughter was first tested shortly after her 4th birthday (with the WPPSI-III, which I believe targets kids in the 2.5 to 7+ range) and then again with the SB-V when she was just under the age of 6.






#16 whatnamenow

Posted 21 December 2012 - 08:36 AM

Try having a gifted child with a physical impairment!  That blows their mind and they are never sure what to do with her.  As a result they dont do anything.  I thank God in a way that her disability means she is eligible for a program in high school that combines standard high school with distance ed.  She can accelerate where she wants to.  Yippee!

Although i will agree with PP. The barriers to a disabled child learning are incomparible to the barriers facing a gifted child.  At the very least a gifted child doesnt have to worry about getting into the classroom.  2 years ago my DD's school put her in a classroom with stairs.  Then scratched their heads the first day she had to come to school in her wheelchair.

#17 PrincessPeach

Posted 21 December 2012 - 08:40 AM

QUOTE (Beancat @ 21/12/2012, 07:46 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi is there a gifted thread on EB or a good online forum for parents of gifted children?  After a very interesting year at 3 yo kinder my son has had a preliminary diagnosis of gifted and will be doing an individual program at 4 yo kinder next  year.  One of my questions is how were other people's children diagnosed as gifted?  We have been told he cannot formally be diagnosed until 5 when he will undergo an IQ test.


My brother, cousins & myself were all diagnosed with an IQ test after we turned 5. The only time any of us were extended at school was in either instrumental music programs or sports programs & myself in mathematics in highschool.

The biggest problem at school I found is that because you are not extended, you never have to study because everything comes soo easily, so when you finally come accross something that is a challenge & requires study (in my case, university), you don't have the skills that a non-academically gifted student has learnt in primary school or high school to fall back on.

If you also look at my brother's grades at school you would never know his IQ is over 150 - he was just so board out of his brains he tuned out & as a result never reached his full potential.

#18 baddmammajamma

Posted 21 December 2012 - 08:43 AM

QUOTE (BlondieUK @ 21/12/2012, 12:36 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I fully support the need for schools to do a better job with gifted students. However, the hyperbole that says they need the support as much as disabled children" I find that very hard to stomach. Their ability to learn is not compromised - they do have the ability to gain something, however small from the education system as it stands. Children whose ability to learn is even moderately impaired have extreme difficulty functioning in a mainstream school. The needs are entirely different, but extending a gifted child is much easier than accessing any kind of decent education for disabled children.

I'm sure others will disagree, but that's my experience as a parent of a disabled child, and as a teacher of both ends of the spectrum.



QUOTE (jojonbeanie @ 21/12/2012, 12:54 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have one extremely gifted child and one extremely disabled child. Trust me there is no comparison. I know which side of the bell curve I would rather be.



QUOTE (kadoodle @ 21/12/2012, 08:30 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
As someone who has worked primarily with students at the PMLD end of the scale, the notion that students with disabilities get funding thrown at them left, right and centre is just demented and ignorant.

Rather than drawing comparisons, I think that funding and training for it's own sake - to allow the greatest possible outcomes for gifted children - is a better argument to make.  The "you get so much, we get nuffin" argument does both sets of learners a disservice and shows a massive lack of empathy and lack of knowledge by teachers and parents of gifted students.


As a gifted person and a the mother of a gifted child (who also has special needs), I concur with all of the points above.

I used to be active in a bunch of gifted forums, and I've scaled back in part because of the underlying sentiment of "Special needs kids get everything" and the inappropriate attempts to draw a parallel between giftedness and special needs/disabiliities" (from the op-ed piece "There is not the understanding that they are at the other end of the normal curve and they need as much help as children at the other end.'')

I think kadoodle's approach is much more sensible.

Edited by baddmammajamma, 21 December 2012 - 09:29 AM.


#19 WinterIsComing

Posted 21 December 2012 - 09:07 AM

QUOTE (BlondieUK @ 21/12/2012, 12:36 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I fully support the need for schools to do a better job with gifted students. However, the hyperbole that says they need the support as much as disabled children" I find that very hard to stomach. Their ability to learn is not compromised - they do have the ability to gain something, however small from the education system as it stands. Children whose ability to learn is even moderately impaired have extreme difficulty functioning in a mainstream school. The needs are entirely different, but extending a gifted child is much easier than accessing any kind of decent education for disabled children.

I'm sure others will disagree, but that's my experience as a parent of a disabled child, and as a teacher of both ends of the spectrum.


I agree with this post.

I say it as a former gifted child, married to a highly gifted man. Due to a tangle of varied circumstances (mostly due to social/economic positions of our families during that stage), nothing much eventuated out of our giftedness during school years, but in the end, both of us ended up doing well in our professional lives. We are naturally smart and that smartness has carried us far in the corporate world. Surely, with certain support, we could have explored our respective potentials a bit further, but there is no research correlating giftedness with success in life. Rather, it is a combination of your birth circumstances and the effort that you have put in somewhere along the line.

Disabled people, I suspect, don't fare as well as cognitively gifted. They need 10x more support just to get to the even plane with the rest of the population. So what if a gifted child doesn't get the support they need to be extra special/successful? Parents of children with learning disabilities just hope for them to be average.

Now, in economic terms, perhaps putting that extra effort into gifted children could pay off - I am thinking raising our scientific and entrepreneurial profile as a country - however, I doubt that any part of our policy planning as strategic as that. If someone does think of that, the money should come from outside the education budget, possibly.

ETA: DH had a learning impairment, too, to go with his giftedness.

Edited by WinterIsComing, 21 December 2012 - 09:17 AM.


#20 baddmammajamma

Posted 21 December 2012 - 09:23 AM

WinterIsComing:

To expand upon your post, the Davidson Institute For Talent Development in the U.S. supports the needs of profoundly gifted kids -- including the establishment of an academy for the profoundly gifted. It is a non profit organization, initially founded and underwritten by a couple (Bob & Jan Davidson) who felt that the most gifted children in the U.S. were being underserved.

http://www.davidsongifted.org/Article/About_Us_318.aspx

They have a terrific support & mentorship program called the "Davidson Young Scholars," that provides support and mentorship and educational opportunities for kids up until age 18. If we were living back in the U.S., I definitely would want my daughter to take part.
http://www.davidsongifted.org/youngscholars/

They offer generous fellowships for children who have completed a significant piece of work in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Literature, Music, Philosophy and "Outside the Box" Thinking:
http://www.davidsongifted.org/fellows/

And they offer summer "think" programs, where high schoolers can earn college/uni credits:
http://www.davidsongifted.org/think/

Wouldn't it be fabulous if some of the mega-wealthy business people in AUSTRALIA could help fund something innovative like this in our country?




#21 Jane Jetson

Posted 21 December 2012 - 09:30 AM

QUOTE (kadoodle @ 21/12/2012, 08:30 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
As someone who has worked primarily with students at the PMLD end of the scale, the notion that students with disabilities get funding thrown at them left, right and centre is just demented and ignorant.

Rather than drawing comparisons, I think that funding and training for it's own sake - to allow the greatest possible outcomes for gifted children - is a better argument to make.  The "you get so much, we get nuffin" argument does both sets of learners a disservice and shows a massive lack of empathy and lack of knowledge by teachers and parents of gifted students.


I agree - well said.

QUOTE (kadoodle @ 21/12/2012, 08:30 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I was a gifted child.  My school years were a misery.  But I would never have wanted my betterment to come at the expense of someone else's  loss.


Same here. And certainly my experience makes me wonder whether extra funding for gifted children is the best or only approach: I went to two primary schools, one large and progressive, and which extended me wonderfully; and one small and small-minded, with a culture of bullying anyone who didn't fit in.

I could never understand why, at my second school and later, high school, children who were exceptional were singled out and praised, and extended, and popular - if their ability lay in the direction of sport. If their ability was academic (and if, for example, they'd already done the Year Four work in Years Two and Three thanks to being extended, and were bored sh*tless) they were told they were no big deal, that they had to do the same duncework as the other kids, and that it was perfectly okay to bully them for wanting to learn.

I would like to see the same accolades and encouragement currently given to sporting ability given to children who are gifted in more academic areas. Sadly this would probably need to address some deep-seated issues in society, so it's probably about as realistic as getting mainstream schools to actually cater for both gifted children, and those with SN at the other end of the spectrum.

(I have no idea if my kids are gifted. I'm pretty sure one has ADHD, and our slow progression in diagnosis is looking that way.)

Edited because my gifts clearly deserted me at some point and I can no longer construct a valid sentence.

Edited by Jane Jetson, 21 December 2012 - 10:39 AM.


#22 WinterIsComing

Posted 21 December 2012 - 10:06 AM

QUOTE (baddmammajamma @ 21/12/2012, 10:23 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
WinterIsComing:

To expand upon your post, the Davidson Institute For Talent Development in the U.S. supports the needs of profoundly gifted kids -- including the establishment of an academy for the profoundly gifted. It is a non profit organization, initially founded and underwritten by a couple (Bob & Jan Davidson) who felt that the most gifted children in the U.S. were being underserved.

http://www.davidsongifted.org/Article/About_Us_318.aspx

They have a terrific support & mentorship program called the "Davidson Young Scholars," that provides support and mentorship and educational opportunities for kids up until age 18. If we were living back in the U.S., I definitely would want my daughter to take part.
http://www.davidsongifted.org/youngscholars/

They offer generous fellowships for children who have completed a significant piece of work in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Literature, Music, Philosophy and "Outside the Box" Thinking:
http://www.davidsongifted.org/fellows/

And they offer summer "think" programs, where high schoolers can earn college/uni credits:
http://www.davidsongifted.org/think/

Wouldn't it be fabulous if some of the mega-wealthy business people in AUSTRALIA could help fund something innovative like this in our country?


To be honest, I sincerely doubt it would happen. One needs to have a look at the very wealthy in our country, Gina Reinheart or Rupert Murdoch come to mind. Zero personal integrity, mega greed and would stop at nothing to get that little bit extra wealthy. For all its problems, US is still the hot bed of the progressive thinking and high profile philanthropists. I remember reading about one who was involved in projects in Australia!!



#23 WinterIsComing

Posted 21 December 2012 - 10:06 AM

QUOTE (baddmammajamma @ 21/12/2012, 10:23 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
WinterIsComing:

To expand upon your post, the Davidson Institute For Talent Development in the U.S. supports the needs of profoundly gifted kids -- including the establishment of an academy for the profoundly gifted. It is a non profit organization, initially founded and underwritten by a couple (Bob & Jan Davidson) who felt that the most gifted children in the U.S. were being underserved.

http://www.davidsongifted.org/Article/About_Us_318.aspx

They have a terrific support & mentorship program called the "Davidson Young Scholars," that provides support and mentorship and educational opportunities for kids up until age 18. If we were living back in the U.S., I definitely would want my daughter to take part.
http://www.davidsongifted.org/youngscholars/

They offer generous fellowships for children who have completed a significant piece of work in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Literature, Music, Philosophy and "Outside the Box" Thinking:
http://www.davidsongifted.org/fellows/

And they offer summer "think" programs, where high schoolers can earn college/uni credits:
http://www.davidsongifted.org/think/

Wouldn't it be fabulous if some of the mega-wealthy business people in AUSTRALIA could help fund something innovative like this in our country?


To be honest, I sincerely doubt it would happen. One needs to have a look at the very wealthy in our country, Gina Reinheart or Rupert Murdoch come to mind. Zero personal integrity, mega greed and would stop at nothing to get that little bit extra wealthy. For all its problems, US is still the hot bed of the progressive thinking and high profile philanthropists. I remember reading about one who was involved in projects in Australia!!



#24 BlondieUK

Posted 21 December 2012 - 10:18 AM

QUOTE (Jane Jetson @ 21/12/2012, 08:30 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I would like to see the same accolades and encouragement currently given to sporting ability given to children who are gifted in more academic areas. Sadly this would probably need to address some deep-seated issues in society, so it's probably about as realistic as getting mainstream schools to actually cater for both gifted children, and those with SN at the other end of the spectrum.


As a (former) professional musician, I know that I got wonderful support from the music staff. Because I was non-sporting (although not non-athletic IYKWIM) some teachers would actively denigrate me in front of other students. It's cultural - it's deep seated and I have no idea what we can do to shift our values. Other than, as a teacher, promote and support excellence in all fields. Critical thinking, to me, is the key skill.


#25 *LucyE*

Posted 21 December 2012 - 11:22 AM

QUOTE
QUOTE
Wouldn't it be fabulous if some of the mega-wealthy business people in AUSTRALIA could help fund something innovative like this in our country?

To be honest, I sincerely doubt it would happen. One needs to have a look at the very wealthy in our country, Gina Reinheart or Rupert Murdoch come to mind. Zero personal integrity, mega greed and would stop at nothing to get that little bit extra wealthy.

That's not quite accurate. The Australian government hasn't always supported private philanthropic endeavors unlike the US. The assumption here is that the 'government' should do it whereas in the US it is more that the private sector should do it. Although I accept that it does take a certain amount of generosity to start, it is not always done with purely altruistic motives. There are perks for the benefactor too. When JH tried to bring in changes that would encourage private philanthropy in Australia, he was attacked for trying to weasel out of his governments responsibility. It doesn't have to be either or. It can be a mixture of both.




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

Teaching our son to say no to violence against women

Today, on White Ribbon Day - and every other day - we're teaching our son to say no to violence against women.

Mothers told to breastfeed in 'spacious' toilet

If there is one thing the owners of Tillings Cafe can be certain of, it is that the eatery won't win the award for Britain's best baby-friendly coffee shop any time soon.

Mother gives name to son dumped down drain

A woman who admitted to dumping her newborn baby down a Sydney drain has reportedly been allowed to give him a name.

Taking small steps to reduce stress

Are you feeling used up by life's stress, family problems and a demanding job you can't turn off? Many people are way beyond work-life exhaustion. They are functioning as robots.

Bad news: we're running out of chocolate

The world's biggest chocolate-maker says we're running out of chocolate.

Born at 23 weeks, 'Chopstick Baby' survives first week

A baby who was born at 23 weeks has survived her first week of life outside the womb.

Manic stations: the nesting instinct in pregnancy

It might sound like temporary insanity, but almost obsessive nesting as you near your due date isn’t uncommon – even if you’re not usually a particularly clean person.

How a baby can survive alone for days on end

The baby found abandoned in a Sydney drain may have been alone for up to six days without being fed, leaving many asking how he could have survived.

When it begins to look a lot like Christmas

A child's excitement at Christmas time is a beautiful thing, but one dad ponders whether his toddler daughter is getting into the festive mood a bit too soon.

Hospital lets dads the experience some of the pain of childbirth

A new experience is radically altering men's views of childbirth.

Italian doctors questioned over formula bribes

Italian police have placed 12 doctors under house arrest on suspicion of promoting baby milk formula over breastfeeding.

Heartwarming prank gives single mum the house she was hired to clean

Cara Simmons arrived at work to clean a large and beautiful house in time for a party planned for that evening. It was soon hers.

Those special moments of sibling bonding

Every now and then your child does or says something that is truly memorable.

Why we should stop telling new parents to 'enjoy every moment'

A few weeks ago, some dear friends of mine had their first baby. As the proud dad texted me a picture I had to fight the natural instinct to say “Enjoy every moment!”

Baby monitor footage posted online

Footage of Australian babies and children sleeping in their bedrooms are among the images on a Russian site showing live feeds from thousands of homes and businesses around the world.

Did this new dad really hit on his wife's midwife?

Was there really a man who was actually there by his wife’s side as she laboured and gave birth to his child, all while he was making what he perceived to be meaningful eye contact with a midwife?

Keep calm and ignore the Tantrum Trolls

Tantrum Trolls are a small but growing species of predatory bottom-feeders who delight in picking on parents at their most vulnerable.

It's okay to never 'get over' the death of a loved one

The death of children, siblings, and parents has long term impacts on the rest of our lives.

What Mark Latham needs to know about depression and motherhood

Love has nothing to do with mental illness. But love may drive a mother to do something about it.

'We're just trying to keep our child alive': life with FPIES

We have a beautiful seven-month-old son, and his allergy rules our life.

Transgender dad breastfeeds his babies

A transgender man who breastfed his first baby - despite having his breasts removed as part of his transformation from female to male - has now had a second child.

Couple face $1 million medical bill and bankruptcy after babymoon birth

A Canadian couple were slammed with a million dollar medical bill after their daughter was prematurely during their babymoon.

Cigarettes, junk food dominate supermarket sales growth

One in every five dollars spent at supermarkets goes on cigarettes or junk food, according to industry data.

Teacher under fire for breastfeeding in class

There is no doubt mums have a right to continue breastfeeding after they have returned to work, but one teacher in the US has taken it to the extreme.

Win a family pass to Disney Live!

We have 4 family passes to give away to see Disney Live! presents Three Classic Fairy Tales, touring Australia this December/January.

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Join PADDINGTON on the red carpet!

To celebrate the release of PADDINGTON, we are giving five lucky winners the chance to win a family pass to the exclusive Australian Premiere in Sydney on December 7!

The tragedy of losing a favourite teddy bear

We were green and uninitiated, perhaps a little naïve when it came to the favourite toy responsibility.

Video: Baby sniffs beardless dad to make sure it's him

She looks him up and down and then touches his chin, but baby Lindsey still isn't sure this clean-shaven man is her dad.

It's possible to workout while pregnant

Medical experts say intense fitness routines can be done safely during pregnancy - if the mums-to-be follow some guidelines.

What parents really want for their kids

Are our hopes, dreams and expectations for our children what they really need?

'I had a feeling something was seriously wrong'

Before even giving birth, Katie Myers' maternal instincts warned her something was wrong with her baby.

When your pregnancy causes a relationship rift

Some dads-to-be don't miss a beat when their partner is pregnant; others struggle with a range of issues and can become withdrawn, right when their support is needed most.

Couple uses group photo trick to announce pregnancy to loved ones

Katharine and Kris Camilli devised a clever trick to immortalise their family and friends' reactions to their exciting pregnancy news.

Why Tracey Spicer has given up make-up

"After 30 years on television, I had become what I despised: a painted doll who spent an hour a day and close to $200 a week putting on a mask."

Knowing you are one of the lucky ones

I am secure, confident and strong, but the responsibility of protecting my children can almost bring me undone.

Why I am so emotional now I have kids?

There are so many ways in which parenthood changes us as women, but one of the most noticeable, for me, has been the changing state of my emotions.

Baby survives despite sharing womb with 'foreign body'

Baby Maia was conceived against the odds, only to find she was sharing a womb with an ominous "foreign body".

Video: Baby shows dog how to jump - or vice versa

They say dog is man's best friend, but this playful pooch seems to have chosen a jumping baby as her number one buddy.

10 ways to soothe a crying baby

New paernts can get frustrated when their newborn gets fussy and can't settle down. When you're feeling overwhelmed, try some of these simple tips to help soothe your baby.

20 baby names that are becoming more popular every year

The data-lovers at nameberry.com have been at it again – this time, they’ve discovered the names that are continually rising up the ranks, ready to take out some top spots in the next few years.

10 great meals to make for new parents

Ideally, you want to give food that isn’t expensive to make, isn't too difficult to create, and freezes well; stews, bakes, soups and pasta sauces are perfect.

Weird pregnancy products

Some pregnancy products come to market and are just awesome. Others just leave you scratching your head.

Carers admit to force-feeding children

A mum and daughter will continue working in the industry despite admitting they mistreated kids in their care.

 

How many weeks til Christmas?

On your To-Do list

Get the "Santa" shopping done without the kids in tow.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.