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Overparenting


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#1 liveworkplay

Posted 20 January 2013 - 09:33 AM

Time to cut the cord

QUOTE
Psychologists warn that overparenting is helping produce a generation of anxious children who aren't resilient, have poor life skills, a strong sense of entitlement and little sense of responsibility.

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/national/time-to-...l#ixzz2IT2tXHOR


Does it really take a bunch of professionals to tell people this? Isn't it just common sence that if you do not give your children experience in conflict resolution, problem solving and allow them to take age appropriate risk then they will get to adult hood with no or little skills in those areas?

DH and I discuss this all the time (well more then once lol) We have come across many many examples of teens and older who find it hard to cope with criticism and hard to deal with things that do not go their way.
I think on of the most important things I can do as a parent it help my kids become self confident and resilient adults.

Edited by liveworkplay, 20 January 2013 - 09:34 AM.


#2 vanessa71

Posted 20 January 2013 - 09:38 AM

QUOTE (liveworkplay @ 20/01/2013, 10:33 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Does it really take a bunch of professionals to tell people this? Isn't it just common sence that if you do not give your children experience in conflict resolution, problem solving and allow them to take age appropriate risk then they will get to adult hood with no or little skills in those areas?


As evident in many threads on EB, common sense isn't that common. wink.gif




#3 flakyfish

Posted 20 January 2013 - 09:44 AM

I think it is a real problem out there, but i don't think it's as widespread as the researchers think. People tend to remember the really crazy parents, but not the 90% who are normal.

Also, i didn't think much of the researcher's random Gen-Y bashing:

QUOTE
''The result of overparenting is Gen Y: they're highly emotional and expect everything to go their way - and they were parented less than the current generation,'' QUT PhD researcher Judith Locke, who conducted the study, said.''You can't complain about Gen Y and then go home and indulge your child.''


Definitely makes me think less of her research skills overall, if she's willing to make such insulting statements without any evidence to back it up.

#4 liveworkplay

Posted 20 January 2013 - 10:04 AM

QUOTE
What teen isn't over sensitive to criticism and cranky when things don't go their way? I grew up in the 80's and it certainly sounds like every teen I knew; including myself.


But we are not talking about just teens. Form a personal example, we had a 20 year old dance teacher unable to cope with the (innocuous) reason an 8 year old didn't want to continue in her class. She could not cope with any slight hint of negativity and her employer enabled that. At 20, I had the responsibility of peoples lives in my hand. If I received constructive criticism (or non constructive for that matter) I took it.  This is just one of many example I could personally give.

I do think there is a lot more overparetning from my perspective and experience, then when I was growing up.

#5 kiam

Posted 20 January 2013 - 10:06 AM

A while back I worked in before and after school care and I saw this a fair bit, I have to say, it wasn't the majority of the parents, but it was the same parents all the time, 4 really stand out to me (so out of 70-odd kids we had enrolled, it was certainly a minority) but it was constant, between the four of them at least once every second day they were "discussing" something with me, and I use "discussing" lightly, because some of the "issues" they brought to me were complete and utter nonsense that could not be discussed. Things like "My son told me that you had watermelon when he was in last, he doesn't like watermelon, do you have to cut up watermelon on days he is in?" "We didn't just have watermelon, we also had oranges, bananas, apples, grapes, dried apricots, carrot sticks, cheese and crackers and sandwiches, most of which he ate" "Yes, I know but he just doesn't like watermelon"

I honestly had that conversation with a mother about her grade 6 child, there was one food item out of around 10 that he didn't like and she thought that she had to bring up this "issue" with me (for the record, he was standing there beet red, embarrassed).

Food wasn't all of it of course, there were issues about activities "My child does not like crafts so why do you have crafts on offer?" issues about other children "My child said the only seat left at the afternoon tea table was next to a child that they don't know" issues about times other parents picked up their children "I can't come any earlier but I don't want my child to be one of the last children picked up" and just general 'my child should be allowed to do whatever they want' issues, such as "I know that you are only licensed to use these areas of the school, however my child likes *playground we are not able to use* so just send him and a few of his friends over there, okay? Only his friends, no other kids."

I don't see how it can be a benefit to the child or parents, honestly. I don't know how you can go about your day stressed out about the fact that your child might witness another child eating a piece of watermelon without thinking "Wait, is this rational?". It may have just been my upbringing, but I am sure that if I went to my mother as a child and said "Mum, today I was late to after school care so I had to have the last seat left and I sat next to someone I don't know for ten minutes until we finished our food" my Mum would have gone "Well, isn't that one of the ways we can make new friends? How wonderful" the last thing she would do would be to march down to the school and complain.

I've gone off on my own little rant/tangent here, but it was actually one of the reasons why I decided I couldn't continue studying childcare, because it became something that I could no longer deal with professionally.

Hopefully my negative experience with the super-hyper style of helicopter parents stays with me into parenting, and if it doesn't and I turn into one, that someone puts me in my place.

#6 76 others

Posted 20 January 2013 - 11:19 AM

Gen y isn't teens. I'm 30 and I just fall in the gen y category, which I hate because of the gen y bashing and especially when I feelmore gen x. And the people discussing the primary school kids are discussing gen z. Why does it always fall back onto gen y's behaviour?

It was a stupid article. Nobody is going to take it seriously if the researchers make broad generalised remarks. Quite rude actually. Stupid gen x'ers/baby boomers.

#7 NunSoFeral

Posted 20 January 2013 - 11:21 AM

Hmmm - I think mainly media beat up with some salient points.

Data taken from 130 professionals - so it is a pretty small survey and results should be interpreted accordingly.

Out of these 130 , 33-43  of these seeing "many" instances over parenting - no scale/measurement detaisl provided, so the term many is arbitrary.

87 out of 130 had seen some instances - again no measurement/scale given
10 out of 130 had never witnessed it.

So many variables - where were the survey receipients taken from - industry, background, scale type and measurement

Over-parenting - are we seeing more of it. I would say on average - probably.

Are we seeing less of the negative factors that went with a childhood marked by indifference, emotional neglect, etc - parents that were not involved, didn't listen to their child, made sure they were fed an clothed, etc - I would say probably.



#8 Canberra Chick

Posted 20 January 2013 - 11:23 AM

There are definitely some parents who feel their child deserves special treatment and who question anything that happens to their child. When I was growing up if you had got into trouble at school, you got into trouble at home. Your parents did not march down to the school and insist that their precious poppet could never do anything naughty. This has become a growing problem.
I see it as part of a larger sense of entitlement and I think a lot of it comes from us all becoming consumers/users, students and clients rather than patients, passengers, and pupils...

#9 LittleC

Posted 20 January 2013 - 11:35 AM

QUOTE (kiam @ 20/01/2013, 11:06 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
A while back I worked in before and after school care and I saw this a fair bit, I have to say, it wasn't the majority of the parents, but it was the same parents all the time, 4 really stand out to me (so out of 70-odd kids we had enrolled, it was certainly a minority) but it was constant, between the four of them at least once every second day they were "discussing" something with me, and I use "discussing" lightly, because some of the "issues" they brought to me were complete and utter nonsense that could not be discussed. Things like "My son told me that you had watermelon when he was in last, he doesn't like watermelon, do you have to cut up watermelon on days he is in?" "We didn't just have watermelon, we also had oranges, bananas, apples, grapes, dried apricots, carrot sticks, cheese and crackers and sandwiches, most of which he ate" "Yes, I know but he just doesn't like watermelon"

I honestly had that conversation with a mother about her grade 6 child, there was one food item out of around 10 that he didn't like and she thought that she had to bring up this "issue" with me (for the record, he was standing there beet red, embarrassed).

Food wasn't all of it of course, there were issues about activities "My child does not like crafts so why do you have crafts on offer?" issues about other children "My child said the only seat left at the afternoon tea table was next to a child that they don't know" issues about times other parents picked up their children "I can't come any earlier but I don't want my child to be one of the last children picked up" and just general 'my child should be allowed to do whatever they want' issues, such as "I know that you are only licensed to use these areas of the school, however my child likes *playground we are not able to use* so just send him and a few of his friends over there, okay? Only his friends, no other kids."

I don't see how it can be a benefit to the child or parents, honestly. I don't know how you can go about your day stressed out about the fact that your child might witness another child eating a piece of watermelon without thinking "Wait, is this rational?". It may have just been my upbringing, but I am sure that if I went to my mother as a child and said "Mum, today I was late to after school care so I had to have the last seat left and I sat next to someone I don't know for ten minutes until we finished our food" my Mum would have gone "Well, isn't that one of the ways we can make new friends? How wonderful" the last thing she would do would be to march down to the school and complain.

I've gone off on my own little rant/tangent here, but it was actually one of the reasons why I decided I couldn't continue studying childcare, because it became something that I could no longer deal with professionally.

Hopefully my negative experience with the super-hyper style of helicopter parents stays with me into parenting, and if it doesn't and I turn into one, that someone puts me in my place.


This would drive me mental!

#10 Justaduck

Posted 20 January 2013 - 11:45 AM

DPs sister is not far off turning 19. She lives at home, or on the uni campus (paid for by parents) because they don't want her catching a bus or train for an hour each way, especially home in the evenings. (They don't live in a high crime area).

About a month ago they were at our house, about 12mins from their place. They had to leave at 7pm because they had to get home and make dinner for SIL because there was no leftovers for her to reheat. Never mind spending time with their grandaughter.

They were meant to come round on Thurs, but had to drive SIL to uni to check on something.
They did come round Friday night and then had to leave at 7 again because SIL had some friends (all female) around and they were uncomfortable leaving them unsupervised for so long (90mins).


I worked in childcare too and saw a lot of parents (for some reason more parents of girls in particular , I don't know why, it just seemed to be that way) who had very precious children. You could never approach them about their childs behaviour as they just could not accept their little princess could be anything other than an angel

#11 Dionysus

Posted 20 January 2013 - 12:07 PM

Commenting on the school point,

as a teacher, I certainly see more 'foot-stampers' than ever before - kids and parents and other teachers!

If you don't like an answer, keeping asking other people until you get the answer you want
If someone looks at you the wrong way, ring mum and have her storm down to the school
parent: "Oh, I totally agree with you enforcing those rules, but for my child X, Y and Z means I don't expect them to follow the rules"

It's quite amazing.

Though, it could be attributed to many different things -
- I am now in a position at school to have to deal with that sort of stuff, so am exposed to it more
- more and more schools/teachers are becoming accountable for their actions (which is a good thing).  Though, I do think some things are taken too far
- people have access to a wide range of information and opinions.  It is not hard to find someone (on the internet probably) to agree with you and help you rationalise your irrationality!

We also see a greater number of older kids who have never caught a bus, never walked to the shop, never stayed at someone else's house...

A result of people listening to the media telling us how much more dangerous life is these days?

Actually, back to the school thing - as teachers, we often comment that the invention of mobile phones has a lot to answer for.  Just in terms of if a kid gets in trouble/has a negative interaction etc at school, they can immediately phone home and complain.  There is no room left for the kid to suck it up, work it out, deal with it.  There is immediate access to someone else to 'help'.  My theory is it is contributing to a lack of problem solving skills and resiliency.

(Usual EB disclaimer: of course there are some situations where getting hold of mum is imperative...yada yada yada)

I find that with staff too.  Instead of solving a problem yourself, it gets emailed/sms'd/phoned on to someone else.  

Meh, just ramblings original.gif

Interesting topic.


#12 hanz33

Posted 20 January 2013 - 12:22 PM

I am GEN Y - I left home at 15 because I decided I would like to study Information technology and fast track. I had my parents blessing but no support.

I moved out, rented a unit, walked to and from TAFE and finished my cert 3 in 6 months, then I moved on to software development which was a 3 year course at age 16.

I then went and got a job in IT. I bought a house with my then finance (now husband) at 19 who is also GEN Y. I bought my own car  and paid it off within a year.

I am now 24 turning 25 and fell pregnant last month.

MY HUSBAND - finished year 11 - 12, did his apprenticeship as a diesel mechanic. Moved out when he was doing his apprenticeship. Worked his way into the rigs and earns close to $150,000 a year.

We get slammed into the 'gen y' debate over and over again. No thank you. We worked hard, we sore what we wanted and it wasn't handed to us.

I don't see us as a minority either.



#13 TheGreenSheep

Posted 20 January 2013 - 12:25 PM

I saw a parent bawl her eyes out because her child didn't get in the same class as his friends. Um, oh dear. She is a grown up and that's her behaviour. You can only imagine her child's. oh and her child's about to start year 1. I wonder what she's going to be like by highschool. Hopefully she will have developed some maturity.

#14 LambChop

Posted 20 January 2013 - 12:27 PM

I don't get how "parenting level" would ever be measured - I mean, some kids are perfectly capable and confident at a young age to independently approach shop owners, others need a lot of support and guidance.  What 'measure' do you apply to these unique children to determine "over' or 'under' parenting.

That being said, what I do think is the case is that our 'parenting anxiety' has definitely heightened, but our general anxiety in life has heightened as well so probably not just a parenting issue.

When I was a kid in the 1970's, it felt like a ranged around the streets and bush with a whole lot less supervision than I feel I need to give my children - but that could just be perception, or lifestyle - we live in the city, maybe my parents would have supervised more in the city in the 1970's.

I do know that with mothering in particular, there seems to be a whole lot of pressure to take full responsibility for how your child turns out - rather than a balanced recognition that children are an individual person and make their own choices.

Be interesting to see a proper study - for me I'm interested in the mental health relationship with parenting and the children, of carrying the levels of anxiety and responsibility we do these days (and perhaps always...).

#15 LittleC

Posted 20 January 2013 - 12:29 PM

QUOTE (TheGreenSheep @ 20/01/2013, 01:25 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I saw a parent bawl her eyes out because her child didn't get in the same class as his friends. Um, oh dear. She is a grown up and that's her behaviour. You can only imagine her child's. oh and her child's about to start year 1. I wonder what she's going to be like by highschool. Hopefully she will have developed some maturity.


I don't think I could face palm and roll my eyes enough at this *head hurts*

#16 gabbigirl

Posted 20 January 2013 - 12:30 PM

I am happy to be part of an over parenting generation.  I am pleased that parents now intervene when kids are being bullied, when kids developmental issues are being attended to, when we accepted authority without question (which  meant child abusers could et away with it for eg.). I find it hard to accept when I have to hear that this generation are getting parenting so wrong..it's  not like previous generations produced perfect people.  Maybe kids these days don't have as much resilience, but may have higher levels of creativity, higher self esteem, more information also can mean more power, , etc etc.

#17 Expelliarmus

Posted 20 January 2013 - 01:03 PM

It's not my experience that children who have parents who intervene unnecessarily are actually more creative with higher self esteem.

I don't think addressing bullying or attending to developmental difficulties is actually overparenting. Nor is enrolling kids in a range of activities and lessons.

Overparenting is not letting kids take risks, rescuing them from problems and orchestrating their lives so they don't have to problem solve, make decisions or fend for themselves.

It's a 14 year old who doesn't know how to catch the bus to the local shops.
It's a 10 year old who throws a tantrum because she didn't get in the same class as her bestie and mummy runs down to the school to fix it - the way she has done every year since the child started school.
It's a 6 year old who hands their bag to mummy as soon as they leave the classroom.
It's a 16 year old who can't make their own lunch.

My DD spent Year 3 in a class with no friends with the dodgiest teacher in the school. I'm a mean mummy and told her to suck it up. I believe it helped her become the confident leader she is today. It put her out of her comfort zone, made her need to be in charge of her own learning and helped broaden her horizons. I also breathed a sigh of relief that she was back with her friends the next year and would have run down to the school if she'd been separated from them this year for Year 7  ph34r.gif . But you know, she values her friends and friendships now in a way she never did before Year 3. She took them for granted as easily made and kept without effort. She understands the value of her friends now. I would be unhappy if she was left friendless in class during the last year of Primary School though. It'd be the first time I challenged class placement in 9 years. Thankfully I didn't have to and I think that's more a reflection of how well the school and my family suit each other.

Anyway, enough rambling! Just don't think every kid is being overparented. Some are underparented by a huge margin. Most kids are probably somewhere in the just parented enough range.

Edited by howdo, 20 January 2013 - 01:04 PM.


#18 JJ

Posted 20 January 2013 - 01:23 PM

QUOTE (gabbigirl @ 20/01/2013, 12:30 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I am happy to be part of an over parenting generation.  I am pleased that parents now intervene when kids are being bullied, when kids developmental issues are being attended to, when we accepted authority without question (which  meant child abusers could et away with it for eg.). I find it hard to accept when I have to hear that this generation are getting parenting so wrong..it's  not like previous generations produced perfect people.


Exactly, I think you nailed it - what was so great about previous generations that we need to stick with it or follow their example in any way?  shrug.gif Just watch a few historical documentaries and you should be thanking your lucky stars we live in the 21st century and parent differently.

I think it's just a generational thing too - every generation seems to go through the process of criticising younger generations and declaring them doomed, depraved, mollycoddled, useless, overparented or whatever.


QUOTE (howdo @ 20/01/2013, 01:03 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I don't think addressing bullying or attending to developmental difficulties is actually overparenting. Nor is enrolling kids in a range of activities and lessons.

Overparenting is not letting kids take risks, rescuing them from problems and orchestrating their lives so they don't have to problem solve, make decisions or fend for themselves.


I agree. Some people are confusing the issues here. Just because you take a zero tolerance approach to bullying, for example (which can cause life-long issues after all, and I mean real bullying not personality clashes), doesn't mean you are raising an overparented kid who can't do anything for themselves. It's quite possible to raise independent, resilient, strong children and still intervene when you think they need your help. Doesn't mean you are doing it in every aspect of their lives - now that would be overparenting, of course.

Edited by JJ, 20 January 2013 - 01:40 PM.


#19 liveworkplay

Posted 20 January 2013 - 01:31 PM

QUOTE
It's the degree to which parents seem to want EVERY part of their childs life to be perfect and controlled and never a tear or sadness to be experienced or a disagreement to occur, that is the issue.


I agree. I have never understood this concept as, to me as a parent, I want my kids to experience sadness and disappointment as a young child. To be able to learn that it is OK to fail and not the end of the world when failing has small consequences rather then potentially bigger consequences as a teen/adult. I see it a little bit in my eldest. She has , so far, cruised through school with little effort but it scares me as she is such a sensitive kid and I need her to learn that it is OK to fail and that you need to practice and work at things to get better! At the moment that is an uphill battle ("why do I need to practise when I'm in the top group mum?") I do not want her getting to university or her first job and failing miserably at something and not being able to cope. But I digress....

QUOTE
It's a 16 year old who can't make their own lunch.


I was on an excursion with a group of 15 year olds before school broke up. I asked one of the girls what was in her sandwich (I suspected peanut butter and we had a kid will that allergy with us) She shrugged and said "dunno" When I asked didn't she make it she replied "of course not, mum does that" A quick poll of most of the 25 students with us and I got the same answer.

QUOTE
I find it hard to accept when I have to hear that this generation are getting parenting so wrong..it's not like previous generations produced perfect people.


I don't think anyone is saying that at all. All generations have had their parenting critiqued and no one is perfect. Most parents through out the ages have done a great job of parenting, mistakes and all. Doesn't mean that we cannot be critical on certain aspects of it.

Edited by liveworkplay, 20 January 2013 - 01:35 PM.


#20 IShallWearMidnight

Posted 20 January 2013 - 01:36 PM

I see my nieces turning into those teens. Rather than teach then to share, they have 2 of everything. They can't resolve conflicts with other kids ('there's a boy on the slide and he won't let me have a go' 'well tell him that its everyone's slide and he needs to share' (without speaking to him at all, as I could hear everything) 'he didn't listen, you come and tell him off')
my sister has only just started letting them dress themselves/play at the playground further than arms reach/feed themselves (yes spoonfed at 6.5) so hopefully school teaches them some independence

#21 beachook

Posted 20 January 2013 - 01:46 PM

I have a good friend who has a 24 year old girl (out of home, works in a good job, lives with boyfriend) etc. and a 18 year old boy (just finished HSC, still at home, starts uni this year). She still makes meals for her daughter to take back to Sydney. She hates the idea of her son catching a taxi home from a pub after a night out. She hates even more that he wants to go out drinking with his mates and even lies to him to get him to stop (he was born 4 weeks premmie so she tells him that his liver isn't as well developed as other friends). Another lady I work with has a 22 year old son (out of home recently, independent, working) and a 17 year old daughter (still at home year 12 this year)....she rings the daughter up at the same time every morning acting as the alarm clock....we all hassle her for it, the reasoning? Her daughter might not wake up to an alarm, and might be late to school, and (the best one) her daughter doesn't like sleeping with the light of an alarm clock near her!!!

I think I am Gen-X (39 years old) and hope I'm not like that with Eamon....

#22 Dionysus

Posted 20 January 2013 - 01:51 PM

I know a lot of guys who take their washing to their mum's each w/end, come back Sun night to collect clean clothes, and their mum has done a heap of cooking for their freezer.

This has been happening for generations - nothing new at all

#23 Fr0g

Posted 20 January 2013 - 01:57 PM

QUOTE
I have a good friend who has a 24 year old girl (out of home, works in a good job, lives with boyfriend) etc. and a 18 year old boy (just finished HSC, still at home, starts uni this year). She still makes meals for her daughter to take back to Sydney


(Lol, Alphachook, I've got a colleague who is in his 50's who has a sister in law send him frozen meals from interstate, delivered to work!!!! It may be a cultural thing, or a man thing, or just a LAZY thing!

I feel sorry for kids whose parents micromanage every aspect of their lives, but I feel sorrier for the flip-side - the kids whose parents could not give a toss about anything their kids do. I think most parents do OK, as they always have over generations.

I don't know if its better or worse, I try to focus on my own style & kids and see the consequences our decisions bring for our family, rather than worry about Mrs Jones and her helicoptering at the playground.

Edited by FrogIsAFrogIsAFrog, 20 January 2013 - 02:00 PM.


#24 gabbigirl

Posted 20 January 2013 - 02:01 PM

QUOTE
I know a lot of guys who take their washing to their mum's each w/end, come back Sun night to collect clean clothes, and their mum has done a heap of cooking for their freezer.



My mum did this for me wheni moved out of home and I am not a guy.  She just loves doing stuff for her kids.  Still does, when she visits me ( I am now interstate).  She cooks, cleans, does everything for me,gives me a break from the drudgery of looking after two toddlers. I love it.  Remarkably, when she's gone back home my husband and I manage to keep a house clean and the kids fed.  We even managed to buy a house and do other grown up things without her help.

#25 greatwon2

Posted 20 January 2013 - 02:08 PM

QUOTE
I saw a parent bawl her eyes out because her child didn't get in the same class as his friends


To be fair, it can be heartbreaking to see your child upset when she realised that there is noone in her class she's friends with (our school has the student list pinned to the doors on first day back) i will admit to being a bit teary feeling , tho i didn't cry, scream or rush off to make it all alright lol I just told her that she'd still see them at recess and lunch and that she'd be able to make even more friends this way and that it was fine. However i can certainly understand the feeling.

As for the topic, some of today's teens are useless lol  No idea on money management , no problem solving skills, no forward planning or even being able to see a problem coming - let alone plan for it. I was old for my age due to the way my life panned out but even at 12 i had more coping skills and more idea of how to look after myself than people i know now who are approaching 18. Some of them don't even know the questions - let alone the answers original.gif

I'm not sure what the cause is , but I'd suspect that parents have less to answer for then what the pp's were saying about the quick and easy access to information and help , there's no need to think for yourself when Google can do it for you. After-all parenting hasn't really changed so much in such a short space of time that it can be having this big an impact on the way peoples minds develop.




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Little Peyton Williams thought she was getting a baby sister named Charlee. But the two-year-old has had to settle for a doll dressed in pink after her baby "sister" turned out to be a boy.

How to help build up your baby's immune system

We all know that having a strong immune system is the best way to stay healthy – but what can we do to help it along?

'Nick, you need to call an ambulance': home birth mum's tragic death

A Melbourne mum who died after the home birth of her baby pleaded with her husband to call an ambulance because she felt she was going to die, the Victorian Coroners Court has heard.

When dads believe their baby doesn't 'like' them

Q: My two-month-old baby doesn't like me. He's perfectly content with my wife, but when I try to hold him, he gets upset and cries. I've backed off a little, thinking that he just needs a little time to get used to me, but that doesn't seem to be working. I'm starting to think I'm just not a very good dad. Is it too late for me to build a relationship with my baby?

When was the last time a stranger praised your parenting?

Wouldn’t it be great to get some nice feedback every now and then? After all, everyone likes to hear positive praise, particularly when it comes to parenting.

Special Ticket Offer, Save $8!

The Essential Baby & Toddler Show is back this April! Save $8 off the door price for a limited time only!

15 names on the verge of extinction

If you're looking to revive an older name, or don’t want anything near the top 1000 list, check out these rare monikers for your unique baby.

5 characteristics of great dads

It’s great to see a generation of dads who are more actively involved with caring, nurturing and loving their kids.

Why doesn't Australia have more breast milk banks?

When there’s no question that milk banks are important, why don’t we have more of them in Australia?

Carrie Bickmore announces birth of daughter

Television personality Carrie Bickmore has given birth to her second child.

 
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What's hot on EB

Sign up to our 30 days of #PlayIQ challenge

Sign up to receive 30 amazing tips and ideas for play with baby during the month of April and submit a picture or tip on our social wall for a chance to win an amazing Fisher-Price prize pack.

Man faces jail after giving woman abortion pill smoothie

A Norwegian man is facing jail after putting abortion pills in his ex-girlfriend's smoothie, causing her to have a miscarriage.

'He's a blessing': family of baby born without eyes

Jordy Jackson was born without eyes. He has anophthalmia, which affects one in every 100,000 babies born.

Win one of 5 Cadbury Easter Hampers

With Easter fast approaching, Cadbury are giving away 5 Cadbury Easter Hampers. Enter Now!

Super fit model Sarah Stage defends her pregnancy body

Model Sarah Stage has defended her pregnancy body after critics claimed her slim figure at eight-and-a-half months pregnant wasn't "normal".

Win a Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom and Peppa Pig prize pack

To celebrate the April 1 release of Holly's Magic Wand on DVD and Digital, Essential Baby and Entertainment One are giving away five bumper DVD packs featuring the newest installment of Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom Holly's Magic Wand and many more hours of family entertainment! Enter Now!

Why I post breastfeeding photos online

I love to take pictures of my children. In some of the pictures, my younger son is nursing.

The day I broke my baby

There are things I wish I didn't know. I wish I didn't know that companies make tiny braces, small enough to hold necks no bigger than a wrist.

The place just for dads of multiples

When a couple discovers they're expecting multiples, the dad can sometimes be almost forgotten in all the excitement and preparation. But one group offers a space just for dads of twins and higher-order multiples.

Brave mum calls for domestic violence law reform

A brave mum of two has shared details of the harrowing attacks she suffered at the hands of her partner in a bid to help other victims of domestic violence.

Why I had the new test for Down syndrome

Early last year I turned 35, and having just found out I was pregnant, I opted to have the new test for Down syndrome.

Geeky baby gear

If your family is more into Star Wars, gaming and the periodic table than most, you might want to check out these geek-chic baby items.

2015: the year of the sheep

According to the Chinese zodiac, babies born in the year of the sheep are creative and enjoy spending quiet time with their own thoughts.

Breakthrough genetic testing now available in Australia

Pregnant women will for the first time have access to locally analysed, accurate, non-invasive pre-natal genetic testing when the first Australian clinic to offer the services opens its doors next week.

Grandbabies: the babies born looking old

Not a day under 65 and a lifetime of struggle! That's the look of these newborns, who look adorably older than their real age. Social networking site Reddit recently featured user submissions of adorable grandbabies, here are our favourites.

Family kicked off flight after toddler seatbelt drama

An entire family was kicked off a Cathay Pacific flight when a misbehaving toddler refused to put his seatbelt on.

Stolen baby found after 17 years

A baby stolen from her mother's arms shortly after birth has been found through an astonishing coincidence.

53 creative pregnancy announcements

Announcing that you're expecting can be a time to express your creativity, sense of humour and imagination. Check out how other parents and parents-to-be have broken the news to friends and family.

IKEA hacks for the nursery and kids' rooms

Are you one of those that know the whole IKEA catalogue by heart? Love their stuff but want to personalise it? Here's some inspiration to help you realise the potential of IKEA furniture and fittings.

36 baby names inspired by food and drinks

A French court may have ruled out Nutella as a baby name, but that doesn't have to stop you from taking inspiration from the supermarket (or bottle shop). See what parents in the US have chosen for their delicious little ones.

Clever breastfeeding products

Check out this range of products designed to help make your breastfeeding journey more enjoyable, manageable and convenient.

 

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30 days of #PlayIQ challenge

Receive a daily email from Essential Baby during April with great play tips and ideas, then submit your baby at play photos to our Playwall, Instagram or Twitter for your chance to win.

 
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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.