Parenting and Families

Why are we spending so much time with our kids?

Growing up, my family could have done a few more things together. But I think the pendulum may have swung too far the other way, writes Paul Chai.

Paul Chai   Growing up, my family could have done a few more things together. But I think the pendulum may have swung too far the other way, writes Paul Chai.

Body image

How to stop a five-year-old from dieting

Dieting sets children on a dangerous path.

Kasey Edwards   Dieting sets children on a dangerous path. Here's how to teach healthy alternatives.

Why it's the everyday parenting moments that count the most

As you watch your child grow, It's those little moments that may be worth cherishing the most.

Evelyn Lewin   As you watch your child grow, It's those little moments that may be worth cherishing the most.

School nut bans don't protect kids with food allergies

Fruit is just fine: Leonie Giddy and her son Bradford, 7 who is allergic to peanuts.

Cosima Marriner   School nut bans don't protect children from anaphylactic attacks, but can instead cause resentment and bullying of the growing number of kids with food allergies, schools and parents are now being told.

Michelle Bridges' comments outrage women struggling with fertility

The pair announced their news in <i>Who</i> magazine.

Letitia Rowlands   Fitness guru Michelle Bridges has outraged women struggling with infertility by suggesting her intense exercise regime and healthy eating helped her conceive at 44 years of age.

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Why I have backed down on a junk food ban

Like Masterchef judge George Calombaris, I banned something in our house recently too -- banning things.

Paul Chai   Like Masterchef judge George Calombaris, I banned something in our house recently too -- banning things.

Vaginal surgery isn't about vanity

About one in ten women in Australia will need surgery years after childbirth

Jenna Price   About one in ten women in Australia will need surgery years after childbirth. But it's not for the reasons you think.

Everyday moments

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Evelyn Lewin   As you watch your child grow, It's those little moments that may be worth cherishing the most.

Adventures in babysitting

The best thing I learned while babysitting a five-year-old

Little boy playing with a toy aeroplane he has made

Dom Knight   It's easy to make babysitting fun when you're young at heart - and there's Lego involved, writes Dom Knight.

What I would've done differently when my parents divorced

"Going through a divorce has been likened to being in a car crash. Every day. For years."

Kasey Edwards   It happened ten years ago. And even though I was an adult, it was still one of the most traumatic experiences of my life.

Bad advice

'Just be yourself' is a cruel piece of advice

Ms

Jesse Browner   As my daughters grow older, they're hounded by this hollow motto.

The one parenting tactic to avoid at all cost

"Shaming children, even in subtle forms, totally undermines our goal of raising them resilient."

Kasey Edwards   Shaming children, even in subtle forms, totally undermines our goal of raising resilient children.

Mum's Diet

The outdated school book that's teaching body hatred to our kids

Mum's Diet

Kasey Edwards   Mum's Diet is as bad as it sounds, jam-packed with weight obsession, crash dieting and body shaming, writes Kasey Edwards.

When - and why - do children learn to fib?

The focus of my interest isn't the lie itself, but the truth one tries to conceal. What is so unbearable to face?

Ayelet Gundar-Goshen   Children lie when truth fails them, or when they fail to deal with truth.

The joys - and challenges - of having children born years apart

On for young and old: Deb Herdman with her children Alex, Tyler and Jessica.

Evelyn Lewin   When the days of changing nappies are over, most parents breathe a sigh of relief. Others have another round ahead of them.

Australia keeps falling further behind on parental leave

Richard Branson granted new fathers at Virgin up to 12 months' paternity leave on full pay.

Julie McKay   "When I heard Virgin was offering men 12 months paid parental leave, I could hardly believe it," writes Julie McKay from UN Women.

Internet killed the video store

Our weekly pilgrimage also offered a small sense of community.

Matt Teffer   For Matt Teffer, the juggernaut of online streaming spells the end of a cherished family tradition.

Do mums really just obsessively talk about their children?

Couple of young women drinking wine at the counter in a restaurant

Natalie Reilly   Natalie Reilly describes three main types of conversations mothers have. And, surprise, they're not all about kids.

What I learned in my year as a stay at home dad

"I'm no stranger to children; I'm a consultant paediatrician with over 13 years of training, but parenting and households were largely unexplored territory."

Chris Elliot   I'm no stranger to children; I'm a consultant paediatrician. And yet, this is what happened.

Pet Rescue

This kid escaped domestic violence, then helped build a pet shelter so his cat could too

Robert and Jennifer Pressler reunited with their (super) cat, Clark Kent.

Jenny Noyes   Because furry family members need and deserve protection too.

Shame School

This mum fought a sexist pool party dress code at her son's school and won

pool party invite

Jenny Noyes   Jennifer Smith was rightly outraged when she saw this on the permission slip: "All girls must wear a non-white t-shirt over their swimsuit."

Milking it

"I have never loved anyone like this."

Gia Carides   Actor Gia Carides writes about the intense satisfaction of breastfeeding her daughter beyond the baby years.

Parenting Fix

The one parenting mistake that's easy to fix

Young people masturbating are free to explore their bodies and experience pleasure without the risks.

Nelly Thomas   What not to do when your tweenager asks a confronting question.

Daughters of working mothers better educated and earn more

Specialist units provide a safe environment for mothers and babies.

Rachel Browne   Working mums have daughters who are better educated and higher earning while their sons do more housework and childcare.

Last word

Amanda Hooton.

Amanda Hooton   Amanda Hooton: It’s time to open the storage boxes and batten down the hatches.

Tipping Point

The pleasures and sorrows of a three-child family

Three's a crowd: Samantha Selinger-Morris with (from left) Jasper, 8, Flynn, 23 months, and Elke, 6.

Samantha Selinger-Morris   Two-child families are now the norm, so what drives people to have a third despite the financial strain and stress?

The tipping point

Three's a crowd: Samantha Selinger-Morris with (from left) Jasper, 8, Flynn, 23 months, and Elke, 6.

Samantha Selinger-Morris   The two-child family is now the norm. But what drives people to have a third despite the strain on finances and the stress?

Women 'double-crossed' over paid parental leave

Women 'double-crossed' over paid parental leave

Jenna Price   When my first baby was five weeks old, I went back to work. I had six weeks paid maternity leave and nothing else.

Miscarriage myths

Grieving for an imagined future

Booties

Annabel, a pregnancy counselling specialist, explains why it is so hard to talk about miscarriage.

Kate Middleton's body isn't to blame for women's 'post-baby body' anxieties

All in a day's work: Kate Middleton and Prince William with Charlotte Elizabeth Diana.

Kasey Edwards   For once, I'd like to hear someone say, "She just made a person. Nice work."

This is what I learnt about my body after baby

Childbirth

Liv Hambrett   When it comes to producing offspring, the rules are simple and predictable- get pregnant but don't look pregnant.

Jacinta Tynan

Jacinta Tynan on what her babies have taught her

Jacinta Tynan with her boys Otis, age three, and Jasper, five.

Here’s what Jacinta Tynan has learnt from living with two pint-sized Zen masters – her sons.

When a midweek night out is a rare and wonderful thrill

Amanda Hooton.

Amanda Hooton   It was a glimpse into another world: a midweek night out amid inner-city adults doing curious things.

My paternity leave wasn't a holiday

My leave was no vacation. Vacations are a time where you can relax and unwind from the stresses of everyday life.

Dave Dash   My manager didn't realise "How was your holiday" was the worst thing to ask me after I came back from paternity leave.

Kate Holden

Children never seemed to care about adults so I didn't care much about them

Before I had a baby, children were movement rather than people. But that all changed.

Kate Holden   Before I had a baby, children were movement rather than people. But then my depth of field changed.

Kasey Edwards

We need better care for mothers after childbirth

Childbirth

Kasey Edwards   "Any woman who’s seen to be taking care of her own needs, rather than being totally devoted to those of her baby, is liable to be branded selfish."

Single motherhood

Why I always dreamt of being a single mum

"Being a single mum is an experience I have craved for as long as I can remember."

Katy Chatel   When one parent can be better than two.

Being good with children doesn't mean I want my own

She's a natural: being good with children does not always equal wanting to have kids of your own.

Emily Maguire   Emily Maguire is adored by children, and loves them right back. It’s just that she doesn’t want any of her own.

Kasey Edwards

When men want babies more than women

MenWomen_TN

Kasey Edwards   When Matt proposed to Emma he stipulated one non-negotiable condition. Children.

Lost in translation

When your child speaks a language you don't

"She's singing songs I've never heard and whose storylines I can't follow."

Abigail Rasminsky   Watching her learn German is heartbreaking, as she is entering a world I literally cannot understand.

Breastfeeding opinions

If you’re not my baby, I don’t want to hear your opinions on breastfeeding

I would love to keep my choices private, but I need to be in the world and I won’t be sequestered.

Emily Kaye Lazzaro   I would love to keep my choices private, but I need to be in the world and I won’t be sequestered.

Why is it taboo for women to breastfeed each other's babies?

Breastfeeding

Catherine Rodie   Why is the idea of nursing someone else's baby so socially unacceptable?

No one needs to worry about 'pregnancy abs'

Sarah Staged (2nd Right) speaking about the controversy surrounding her 'pregnancy abs' Instagram posts

Kasey Edwards   The 'pregnancy abs' thing began after lingerie model Sarah Stage started posting her pregnant belly selfies online.

Facial Palsy

What my son's facial difference has taught me

Facial Palsy

Belinda Peters   "When he flashed me his first crooked smile when he was six weeks old, both happiness and fear flooded my body. I knew then that facial palsy would always be a part of our life and if he was to grow up different then so must I."

Six of the most dangerous toddler food trends

"If children are on vegan or vegetarian diets it’s important to make sure they are nutritionally adequate"

Kasey Edwards   Pete Evans' paleo cookbook for kids has caused a storm. But there are plenty of other unsafe food trends for babies and toddlers.

Parenting FAQs

What do women fear most about motherhood?

A bit of neglect - is it ever a good thing when it comes to modern parenting?

As new parents quickly discover, babies don't come with an operating manual.

Talking childbirth

We need to stop using this word when we talk about childbirth

"To remove gender oppression in birth we need to stop moralising and listen to women."

Kim Lock   Birth is yet another area of society where to remove gendered oppression we need to stop moralising and listen to women, despite how confronting it may be.

Bonds Baby Search

Why Bonds Baby Search exploits children and parents

Bonds

Kasey Edwards   It’s marketed as just a bit of harmless fun, but let’s face it: the Bonds Baby Search competition is the reputable version of 'Toddlers and Tiaras', writes Kasey Edwards.

Home schooling

Why I chose to homeschool our son who has Down syndrome

Kari Wagner-Peck with her husband and son.

Kari Wagner-Peck   After two years, we realised school was hindering my son's education.

Flexible childcare

Flexible childcare isn't just a 'women's issue'

The Productivity Commission just released its much anticipated final report on childcare and early childhood learning.

Andie Fox   Andie Fox on why it's so important for working parents to choose the type of childcare they need.

Real life

I love my kid but I'm so-so on parenting

A bit of neglect - is it ever a good thing when it comes to modern parenting?

Laura Jackel   "I really have no idea what I'm doing, whether I am getting it horribly wrong, spot on or if I am just really crap at it."

Parenting debate

Should you discipline other people's children?

I wonder how many of my friends would be happy to let me intervene.

Lauren Smelcher Sams   Can friendships survive the ultimate parental disagreement?

Raising teens

When your teen says: 'Mum, you'll never be as good as me'

The time of plummeting: the change of attitude as children become adolescents can be difficult for parents to deal with.

Joanne Fedler   When her children were young, Joanne Fedler’s word was gospel. Now she has teenagers, the whole game has changed.

Cut loose

The time of plummeting: the change of attitude as children become adolescents can be difficult for parents to deal with.

When her children were young, Joanne Fedler’s word was gospel. Now she has teenagers, the whole game has changed.

Sisterhood of Motherhood

Can we stop trying to make 'mummy tribes' happen?

sisterhood

Sarah Macdonald   This advertisement is as far from a campaign for a 'sisterhood of motherhood' as Tony Abbott's maternity leave scheme is from reality.

Not good enough Mr Abbott: it's time to act on childcare

Prime Minister Tony Abbott

Lisa Bryant   If he wants to keep his job, maybe it's time he started making some decisions and not just blaming the childcare problem on his predecessors.

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Positive parenting

How to talk to your daughter about weight

"Body hatred isn't about how you look, it's about how you feel about how you look."

Kasey Edwards   Five things I'm determined to do to help my daughters avoid body hatred.

Home births: let's stop the demonisation and stigma

Home births are safer in some cases, British health authorities say.

Kim Lock   It's not healthy or helpful for expectant mothers.