Parenting and Families

Insect crisis

Amanda Hooton: How deeply life as a responsible, calm, valiant grown-up sucks

Amanda Hooton.

Amanda Hooton 12:53 PM   The joy of a long, languid holiday season ... and an insect insurrection forces a suburban home into lockdown.

Middle-aged treason

Things I love now that would've appalled my younger self

Paul Chai writes a letter to his younger self, warning about his middle-aged obsessions with SodaStream, quad stretches, and, uh, kids.

Paul Chai   Paul Chai writes a letter to his younger self, warning about his middle-aged obsessions with SodaStream, quad stretches, and, uh, kids.

School's out

Should kids be able to decide what they learn and how?

The whole world's a classroom for kids following the controversial "unschooling" method, writes Cosima Marriner.

Cosima Marriner   The whole world's a classroom for kids following the controversial "unschooling" method, writes Cosima Marriner.

Jane Caro: Why I'm looking forward to being called 'Granny'

Jane Caro.

Jane Caro   Jane Caro wonders how life will change with the arrival of her first grandchild.

Why asking women to 'end mummy wars' is flawed

Kasey Edwards: "On the days I feel like I am drowning in the abyss of motherhood, it is other mothers who pull me out. "

"On the days I feel like I am drowning in the abyss of motherhood, it is other mothers who pull me out."

Lunar New Year

Five things bound to happen in my house this Lunar New Year

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Giselle Au-Nhien Nguyen   Giselle Au-Nhien Nguyen describes a typical Lunar New Year with her Vietnamese Australian family.

Gran designs

Jane Caro.

Jane Caro   Jane Caro wonders how life will change with the arrival of her first grandchild.

Little white lies

Is it OK to tell kids that fibs are sometimes necessary?

I don't want to teach my son that lying is an acceptable way to get something you want.

Gillian Steinberg   Teaching my son that lying is an acceptable way to get something you want doesn't feel like a solid foundation for future behaviour.

School's out in new teaching approach

Rachel Miller and son Heath.

Cosima Marriner   The whole world's a classroom for kids following the controversial "unschooling" method.

Tough love

Why I told my son he can't play football

"I would support him playing just about any other sport. But I can't in good conscience let him play football."

Tracy Hahn-Burkett   "I would support him playing just about any other sport. But I can't in good conscience let him play football."

Kasey Edwards

Classic movie lessons about romance for my daughters

"When my daughters are old enough, I'll sit down with them and watch the classic movies and show them that what is packaged up as romance can actually be manipulation and abuse," writes Kasey Edwards.

Kasey Edwards   "When my daughters are old enough, I'll sit down with them and show them that what is packaged up as romance can actually be manipulation and abuse," writes Kasey Edwards.

Can the trauma of miscarriage be passed on to a living child?

"My danger sensors were overactive because everything to do with my children was underscored by threat."

Collette Beck   Collette Beck never imagined how a series of miscarriages she endured could affect her living child.

The inheritance of loss

"My danger sensors were overactive because everything to do with my children was underscored by threat."

Collette Beck   Collette Beck never imagined how a series of miscarriages she endured could affect her living child.

Baby names

The subconscious bias of 'unisex' baby name trends

Why is it that only girls are permitted to enter the playground of gender fluidity?

Kasey Edwards   "No one thinks it's quirky and charming if you name your son Clara."

Home alone

 

Evelyn Lewin   One parent whisks the kids away on holiday, leaving the other home alone to slog it out at the office. But who's having more fun?

Party at da house

Meshel Laurie.

Meshel Laurie   After outsourcing birthday bashes for years, Meshel Laurie has agreed to host a home invasion of 30 six-year-olds.

Is breast best?

'Breast is Best' has become another way to control women's bodies

'Breast is Best' has become a dogma. And like many dogmas before it, women suffer as a result.

Kasey Edwards   'Breast is Best' has become a dogma. And like many dogmas before it, women suffer as a result.

Parenting

Should I teach my girls to stand up to boys who could hurt them?

Should I teach my daughters to stand up to the boys who will bully them when it could get them hurt?

Kasey Edwards   Should I teach my daughters to stand up to the men and boys who will bully and abuse them when it could get them hurt or killed?

Jamie Durie

Try camping in your own backyard these holidays

Home and away: Camp out with the kids not just in summer but at least one weekend for each season of the year. It's a great way to keep them connected to the cycles of nature.

Jamie Durie   No need to leave home to experience all the thrills and spills of camping, says Jamie Durie.

Come outside

Home and away: Camp out with the kids not just in summer but at least one weekend for each season of the year. It's a great way to keep them connected to the cycles of nature.

Jamie Durie   No need to leave home to experience all the thrills and spills of camping.

My holiday, my way

"I wouldn't have changed a thing": Tara Axford.

Tara Axford, Rachael Mogan McIntosh, Jane Tara   Three women think outside the square in order to make their dream holiday happen.

Differently-abled parents

What makes someone fit to parent?

What makes someone fit to parent?

Natalie Rose Corrigan   Natalie Rose Corrigan looks at the practice of forced sterilisation of people with disabilities in Australia.

Baby steps

10 things that will actually happen after having a baby

Raidah Shah Idil: "There's nothing like the lived experience of parenthood to utterly humble you."

Raidah Shah Idil   I thought I had prepared myself for motherhood through copious reading and attending of gentle birthing/gentle parenting classes. Then my baby girl arrived and knocked everything flat.

Parenting

Why I'll be missing my mum even more these holidays

This is the first festive season Polly Phillips's daughter will be old enough to be excited. If only her own mother were here to see it.

Polly Phillips   This is the first festive season Polly Phillips's daughter will be old enough to be excited. If only her own mother were here to see it.

Love makes a family

Why is queer parenting still stuck on the nuclear model?

The distinction between 'accidental' single parenthood and choice leaves women between a rock and a hard place.

Maeve Marsden   Maeve Marsden questions why we preference romantic love over friendship or independence when it comes to making a family.

The dark side of busy

Stephanie Dowrick.

Stephanie Dowrick   In our haste to get things done we can neglect the things that really matter, says Stephanie Dowrick.

Paul Chai

I never expected how vulnerable having kids would made me

"The more mobile and independent they become, the more concerned I feel. They don't tell you that in antenatal class," writes Paul Chai.

Paul Chai   "The more mobile and independent they become, the more concerned I feel. They don't tell you that in antenatal class," writes Paul Chai.

Pregnancy stereotypes proved wrong with #7monthsawesome

Some of the photos shared with #7monthsawesome.

Staff writers   Women have been posting their own pregnancy adventures under the hashtag #7monthsawesome.

Public shaming

Breastfeeding mum stares down judgmental onlookers

The photo of Ashley Kaidel and her son that has gone viral.

"You should not ever feel shamed, belittled, embarrassed or wrong for feeding your baby the way nature intended."

Yule be damned

Tracey Spicer.

Tracey Spicer   Tracey Spicer explains why organising Christmas is not "women's work".

Why organising Christmas shouldn't be 'women's work'

Tracey Spicer.

Tracey Spicer   One friend calls it the "social account keeping". And being absolved of this responsibility is no good for men.

The slow living movement

Going slowly is the gift of gentleness.

Joanne Fedler   An impatient Joanne Fedler has always lived her life in a rush. She tells how she's mastering the art of slowing down, one sip of coffee at a time.

Birth trauma

How a traumatic birth can affect relationships

The impact of a traumatic birth on a couple's relationship can be devastating.

Kasey Edwards   It's supposed to be one of the happiest days of your life, but for some women childbirth is a traumatic experience – and the effects can last long after you've left the delivery suite.

Pushy mums

I owe my success to my non-pushy mum

The upside to having a chill mum.

Adele Parks   Giving children the right to be bored is vital for their creativity, says novelist Adele Parks.

How to talk to kids about terror

Brandon, and his father, Angel Le, are interviewed by a reporter for French TV show Le Petit Journal, while visiting a memorial outside the Bataclan concert hall to pay their respects to the Paris terror victims

Julia Baird   How do we discuss terror with our children without puncturing their sense of wonder?

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Queensland mum attacked by anti-vaxxers over posting whooping cough video

Rebecca Harreman's video on Facebook of her four-month-old son Austin struggling to breathe during an attack has gone viral.

Rebecca Harreman's video on Facebook of her four-month-old son Austin struggling to breathe during an attack has gone viral.

Kasey Edwards

Why do mums do all the volunteering at schools?

The distinction between 'accidental' single parenthood and choice leaves women between a rock and a hard place.

Kasey Edwards   "If schools and community groups can only operate off the backs of women's unpaid and unrecognised labour, then the model is broken," writes Kasey Edwards.

On being a new mum with psychotic depression

"You are three months old. Your dad walks through the door and we're both sitting on the lounge, crying."

Ariane Beeston   "You are three months old. Your dad walks through the door and we're both sitting on the lounge, crying."

Favourite Child

Why being the favourite child can be a heavy burdern

A new study shows being the star child can be tough.

Tess Stimson   A new study shows being the star child can be tough.

Living with violence

"It got to the point where I was so down that I wanted to commit suicide."

Cosima Marriner   Cosima Marriner takes a 360-degree view of the damage caused by domestic violence in families, and the workers on the front line trying to contain it.

Mom's the word

Kathy Lette.

You're in for a bumpy ride if you choose motherhood at 50, says Kathy Lette.

family stories

Do you know your family stories?

Aziz Ansari with his parents Fatima and Shoukath.

Paul Chai   Aziz Ansari inspired me to ask my parents about their lives, writes Paul Chai.

Postnatal care

The value of the Asian tradition of postpartum lie-ins

Raidah Shah Idil

Raidah Shah Idil   How Australian mums could benefit from the postnatal care practices of our northern neighbours.

Keeping up appearances

What's so wrong with 'dressing like a mum'?

Kate Middleton in the offending outfit.

Kasey Edwards   Do you really want to be the sort of parent who prioritises safety and comfort over your universal obligation to look hot?

Baby deposit

How much do you need to save for a ‘baby deposit’?

Your little bundle of joy can set you back up to $43,000 from conception to their first birthday.

Kasey Edwards   It's fairly straightforward to calculate a house deposit, but how much money do you need to save up for a baby?

Tribal instincts

There is something to be learnt from each tribe.

Rachel Mogan McIntosh   It's a jungle out there in the parenting world - and modern-day mums and dads need to find their tribe.

Parenting surprises

15 unexpected lessons of parenthood

Here's a kid who knows how to play.

Stacey Gill   "When you have children everything is in need of explanation. Even if the kids are older. Even if they're highly intelligent. Even if it defies all reason."

Body image

The importance of role modelling positive body image

Natasha Oakley and Lynette Laming.

Michaela Fox   Being a positive role model for your daughter is no easy task. But to what extent is body image inherited?

Amanda Hooton

Amanda Hooton: How to survive hosting a toddler's birthday party

Amanda Hooton.

A children's party. How hard can it be? A cake, 36 mini quiches and 140 sausage rolls later...

My mother, my body

Natasha Oakley and Lynette Laming.

Michaela Fox   Being a positive role model for your daughter is no easy task.  But to what extent is body image inherited?

Intensive care

How a week in intensive care with my daughter changed me

The harrowing experience made a few things crystal clear to Lisa Bryant.

Lisa Bryant   The harrowing experience made a few things crystal clear to Lisa Bryant.

Liking 'girly things' shouldn't be a source of shame

Mattel Barbie's 'Imagine the Possibilities' ad campaign

Clementine Ford   We shouldn't be instilling in kids the idea that creativity is reserved for toys that live in the 'boy' aisle of the market.

'We're all in the dark now'

Mother touching newborn baby boy's face with finger

Harriet Alexander   The fertility industry has stopped publishing the live birth rate of different IVF clinics, making it more difficult for patients to measure their chances of taking home a baby.

The good, the bad, the ugly: what new parents really think

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Amanda Dunn   What are the first few weeks and months actually like for new parents? We all know about the delight children can bring, but what about the challenges? How do parents navigate returning to work and childcare? To find answers to these questions and more, The Age wrote a survey and sent it out via social media. More than 750 parents completed the survey, with many taking the opportunity to comment further on particular issues. Here is a sample of what they said.

Why I won't stop hugging my boys

Jacinta Tynan.

Jacinta Tynan   When it comes to sharing affectionate moments with her boys, Jacinta Tynan is determined to never give up.

The greatest gift

Forget gifts for babies; give new mums something priceless instead

"I'm as tempted as anyone to buy adorable baby toys and outfits, but it is the mother who needs us most after childbirth."

Sharon Holbrook   I'm as tempted as anyone to buy adorable baby toys and outfits, but it is the mother who needs us most after childbirth.

Bad Mum

Enough with the 'I'm a bad mother' jokes

The real joke here is that the bad mother syndrome is so far from reality that it's absurd.

Kasey Edwards   The real joke here is that the bad mother syndrome is so far from reality that it's absurd.

Say yes to hugs

Jacinta Tynan.

Jacinta Tynan   When it comes to sharing affectionate moments with her boys, Jacinta Tynan is determined to never give up.

Are your kids costing you friends?

"I really like you, but I can't stand your kids." It's not a conversation that is going to end well. So, what do we do?

Paul Chai   "I really like you, but I can't stand your kids." It's not a conversation that is going to end well. So, what do we do?

We need to break the taboo around traumatic births

"Previously feminists fought to return control to women giving birth. This is still true but the new 21st Century feminist issue is ensuring that women are correctly assessed for their risk of complications and given full and frank information to prevent such injuries."

Kasey Edwards   How idealised images of the birth process and a lack of birth choices can have life-threatening results for some women.