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John Marsden on the 'toxic' parenting pandemic: 'I’ve never seen this level of anxiety'


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#1 Cerridwen

Posted 23 July 2019 - 11:27 AM

This is well worth a read and a great discussion topic. I have been thinking about this for a while now. Something for parents to think about.

https://www.theguard...ADKvWY6M6eINFSA

#2 Riotproof

Posted 23 July 2019 - 11:31 AM

It is interesting. I believe it’s him with Richard Fidler on Conversations today. Only heard a snippet.

#3 CallMeFeral

Posted 23 July 2019 - 11:43 AM

Just seems like a new name for what was called 'helicopter' parenting a few years ago? I prefer that label tbh - toxic has quite different connotations.

#4 seayork2002

Posted 23 July 2019 - 11:46 AM

It is not much different to what we have all seen on here over the years really

#5 Bam1

Posted 23 July 2019 - 11:46 AM

Its funny he mentioned “curling parents”.  I am far from one but I’ve always said that my DS would be fine if he could always have someone “curling” for him. It would make our life easier if we were “curling parents” but for the long term, medication, therapy, parental therapy and special school will hopefully work

#6 ERipley

Posted 23 July 2019 - 11:49 AM

.

Edited by ERipley, 21 August 2019 - 07:03 PM.


#7 Bam1

Posted 23 July 2019 - 11:54 AM

View PostCallMeFeral, on 23 July 2019 - 11:43 AM, said:

Just seems like a new name for what was called 'helicopter' parenting a few years ago? I prefer that label tbh - toxic has quite different connotations.

Well it makes it clearer that it is parenting that is damaging to the child. You often see people saying that they are proud to be helicopter parents when they are really only being decent parents protecting their child and not helicoptering to any extent of damage.

I see my “curling” as trying to protect the world from my child not protecting my child from the world!

#8 Ruf~Feral~es

Posted 23 July 2019 - 11:57 AM

I am trying to avoid a mum at school who I would label "toxic".  She has been a helicopter parent from way back, and now our girls are 15/16,  I would say it has tipped to toxic.

Our girls have been in the same friendship group since year 3 - now year 10.    Her daughter has always been the princess, which the girls are OK with.  Its a bit of a joke to the group.  She doesn't go on school camps or anything that she doesn't want to attend - sports / swimming carnivals, day off for her birthday every year,  etc etc.

She is also still not allowed to catch public transport, even during the day.  This limits where the girls can go, or they end up not inviting her, as they are all catching buses and trains to and from school, as well as on weekends.

This year, the girls in the group are finding this girl is getting harder and harder to deal with.  Picking fights, yelling at them in the school yard if they don't do what she wants etc, mean messages if they don't respond to her SMS's or insta posts fast enough.  They are trying to deal with it - but are ending up just trying to separate from her.  They've spoken to her about what they dont like about her behaviour and the way she treats them all, but after 6 months of it, they've had enough.

So now mum is sending us parents emails and texts about how our daughters are being mean to her DD.  I have always refused to engage with other parents about teenage girl arguments - she is now trying to turn us mothers against each other, and blaming our girls for it all.

I really feel for this girl.  She is obviously struggling with something - growing up - and her mum is making it worse, rather than better.

#9 kadoodle

Posted 23 July 2019 - 12:01 PM

Well, that’s my Candlebark application in the bin.

#10 rainne

Posted 23 July 2019 - 12:02 PM

I don't think he's wrong - the stats on anxiety and depression in children and teenagers back him up - but I do think that it's wholly disingenuous to open extremely expensive private schools predicated on a certain vision of childhood and risk taking, and then write a book convincing parents that if they don't let their children have that particular sort of school experience, they're toxic.

#11 ACT mum

Posted 23 July 2019 - 12:08 PM

Hmmm.... in two minds. I agree on some points, and I raise my kids to be resilient, fend for themselves and don't protect them from the consequences of their actions (your forgot your lunchbox... learn how to negotiate some lunch from the canteen!).

However I find that schools are now using this stuff as an excuse for not taking action. Maybe some parents are more anxious and helping out their kids too much.... and maybe people are just more aware of their rights and the rights of children and are better advocates. Its a pretty old-school (pun) tactic to blame the advocate as a complainer rather than listen to the problem .... its kinda ironic that schools are saying kids and parents are not taking responsibility as an excuse for the school not having to take responsibility.

#12 ACT mum

Posted 23 July 2019 - 12:10 PM

However, this guys introduction to the school annual report is hilarious!
http://www.candlebar...nual-Report.pdf

#13 Sentient Puddle

Posted 23 July 2019 - 12:18 PM

Well isn't it a very good thing that we can all afford his school to reverse our toxic parenting tendencies - wipes brow and gets application!

#14 Lifesgood

Posted 23 July 2019 - 12:20 PM

I agree with everything he says in that article.

Not that I have any idea what to do about it! Guess I'll have to get the book.

#15 Lifesgood

Posted 23 July 2019 - 12:22 PM

View PostACT mum, on 23 July 2019 - 12:10 PM, said:

However, this guys introduction to the school annual report is hilarious!
http://www.candlebar...nual-Report.pdf
That's fantastic! I like him even more.

#16 28 Barbary Lane

Posted 23 July 2019 - 12:24 PM

So the antidote to the overwhelming influx of toxic parenting is to attend one of the author’s expensive private schools? How convenient!

#17 Lifesgood

Posted 23 July 2019 - 12:24 PM

View PostSentient Puddle, on 23 July 2019 - 12:18 PM, said:

Well isn't it a very good thing that we can all afford his school to reverse our toxic parenting tendencies - wipes brow and gets application!
If you can't afford it he probably isn't referring to you, so its ok.

#18 Kallie88

Posted 23 July 2019 - 12:26 PM

Ahh the never ending problems of the middle class aye

#19 Cerridwen

Posted 23 July 2019 - 12:26 PM

View PostERipley, on 23 July 2019 - 11:49 AM, said:

Heh, man opens incredibly expensive and exclusive schools which promise kids will have special treatment.

Same man complains when parents expect special treatment they are paying a small fortune for.

Man looks ridiculous.

The best thing in that article was the end where they pointed out that he won’t confirm or deny parents have always been like this.

In fact his school fees are way less than you would pay in many other private schools.

#20 kimasa

Posted 23 July 2019 - 12:27 PM

In that article I learned that John Marsden doesn't understand how physical space works.

#21 Sentient Puddle

Posted 23 July 2019 - 12:28 PM

In all honesty - sarcastic reply above aside - it would be a great school if was affordable.  However, for the rest of us plebs we parent the best we can.  Both of my kids have done Scouts - play contact sports and walk home from school.  No they didn't do it from 4 years old like I did - but I suspect I was pretty neglected as a child and I don't want my kids to be parented that way either.  Yes, mental health diagnoses are up - but so is awareness.  Yes there are crap parents as just identified by Rural-feral-es - but there was parents like that when I was growing up 40 years ago.  I think to read the article we are all going to hell in a hand basket.  I have personally not come across schools that don't allow climbing or active pursuits.  Schools around here have kitchen gardens and although playgrounds are small are equipping them with play equipment and stuff to you know - play on and fall off!

#22 CallMeFeral

Posted 23 July 2019 - 12:29 PM

View PostBam1, on 23 July 2019 - 11:54 AM, said:

Well it makes it clearer that it is parenting that is damaging to the child. You often see people saying that they are proud to be helicopter parents when they are really only being decent parents protecting their child and not helicoptering to any extent of damage.

I think that's part of my issue with it. Helicoptering described a certain behaviour - maybe with a dash of judgement but mostly the behaviour. And as you've said above, has enough ambiguity in the label that parents feel comfortable noticing that behaviour in themselves.
Toxic is just all judgement, and an imprecise and really hyperbolic one at that - in a world where kids get abused, neglected and manipulated by parents, calling overprotection 'toxic' is pretty offensive. There are lots of toxic things a parent can do. Curling is at the pretty low end of the scale. Nobody is going to embrace that label, it's just going to make people defensive. And fair enough, it's an attacking label.

#23 kimasa

Posted 23 July 2019 - 12:29 PM

View PostCerridwen, on 23 July 2019 - 12:26 PM, said:



In fact his school fees are way less than you would pay in many other private schools.

The existence of other expensive schools doesn't make this expensive school less expensive.

It's still financially out if reach for many people.

#24 Sentient Puddle

Posted 23 July 2019 - 12:29 PM

View PostLifesgood, on 23 July 2019 - 12:24 PM, said:

If you can't afford it he probably isn't referring to you, so its ok.
You have quelled all my working class fears then!  I will go back to pulling myself up by my bootstraps!

#25 kimasa

Posted 23 July 2019 - 12:33 PM

View PostSentient Puddle, on 23 July 2019 - 12:28 PM, said:

I have personally not come across schools that don't allow climbing or active pursuits.  Schools around here have kitchen gardens and although playgrounds are small are equipping them with play equipment and stuff to you know - play on and fall off!

I feel like the "kids aren't allowed to play" argument is on par with "war on Christmas".

It's not actually happening, but people sure as hell are going to pretend it is if it furthers their point.




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