Parenting and Families

Parenting

Trying (and failing) to model bravery for my child

There is value in modelling being afraid of something, and doing it anyway.

Lisa Papademetriou   There is value in modelling being afraid of something, and doing it anyway.

Mata Hari mums

Kathy Lette.

Kathy Lette   With their natural talent for snooping, middle-aged mothers really do make the best spies, says Kathy Lette.

Paul Chai

What to do when parenting styles clash

"Recently, after years of being the United States of Parental Agreement, my wife and I have found that we are not always ...

Paul Chai   "Recently, after years of being the United States of Parental Agreement, my wife and I have found that we are not always on the same page," writes Paul Chai.

Moving on

When your widowed father finds someone new

"Intellectually, I am all in. Emotionally, however, it's a little hard for me," writes Susan Margolis Stillman.

Susan Margolis Stillman   "Intellectually, I am all in. Emotionally, however, it's a little hard for me," writes Susan Margolis Stillman.

The talk

How young is too young to talk to girls about sexual pleasure?

We shouldn't make the mistake of trying to protect our children's innocence by maintaining their ignorance, writes Kasey ...

Kasey Edwards   We shouldn't make the mistake of trying to protect our children's innocence by maintaining their ignorance, writes Kasey Edwards.

Anxiety

Learning to parent my daughter, and myself, through anxiety

"Have I not made a safe enough home? Did my worry slide down my DNA and into her? Did my husband give her blue eyes, ...

Lyz Lenz   "Have I not made a safe enough home? Did my worry slide down my DNA and into her? Did my husband give her blue eyes, while I gave her fear?"

When mothers are considered no better than graduates

Job sharing and part-time work are supposed to be options. That's the story, anyhow.

Kasey Edwards   We've been fed a line that workplaces are more friendly to mothers now. Let's get real.

Footy culture

Why I don't want my daughter to be a footy fan

"Why would I want my daughter to join or support something that, at best, will consider her inferior and ancillary?"

Kasey Edwards   Think football "isn't just for boys"? Kasey Edwards doesn't buy that.

Missing mum

Three years ago, my mother vanished without a trace

"She loved us all too much to walk away."

Three years ago, Amelia Kaiser's 42-year-old mother, Lorrin Whitehead, walked out of a supermarket in Bannockburn, Victoria. She has not been seen since.

Hawaii High-O

Kerri Sackville.

Kerri Sackville   An overseas holiday casts a new glow on life at home, says Kerri Sackville.

Divorced parenting

The heartache of every second summer holiday as a divorced mum

"The reality is they are growing up without me half the time."

Erin Mantz   "You prepare yourself for a lot of things when you get divorced and have kids. But holidays alone are especially hard,"

Rainbow family

Why do people ask which of my mums is my 'real mum'?

lesbians

Michael Kruger   Michael Kruger, who was raised by two mums, says "what defines a parent is the relationship".

Parenting

How to be a better financial role model for your child

"Like highly trained CIA agents, our kids are studying us all the time."

Kimberly Palmer   Kimberly Palmer says she is very careful about the way she speaks about money around her young children.

Young people and the inescapable world of pornography

Porn lessons: Are they really needed in schools?

Judith Ireland   Just as pornography is only a few clicks away for adults on the internet - so it is for children.

The truth about parenting a gifted child with autism

Thula goes everywhere with Iris.

Louise France   Six-year-old Iris' art has thousands of fans include Angelina Jolie. Here, her mother opens up about her unique challenges.

A child prodigy and her cat

Thula goes everywhere with Iris.

Louise France   Her thousands of fans include Angelina Jolie, who bought a painting. Her art makes global headlines. Meet Iris Grace Carter-Johnson and Thula, the pet who changed her life.

Kasey Edwards

Why is there still such a reluctance to give a child the mother's last name?

"It's time we start recognising the paternal baby-name tradition for what it really is: just another way to perpetuate ...

Kasey Edwards   "It's time we start recognising the paternal baby-name tradition for what it really is: just another way to perpetuate inequality," writes Kasey Edwards.

More than words

Is it enough to show love, or do we need to say the words?

"You know we love you."

Peggy Frew   Is saying the words "I love you" important in a relationship? Peggy Frew looks to her own family for answers.

More than words

"You know we love you."

Peggy Frew   Is saying the words "I love you" important in a relationship? Peggy Frew looks to her own family for answers.

Puppy pride

Parents, please let me talk about my dogs

"The comparisons between my fur babies and your human babies are probably greater than the differences," writes Patrick ...

Patrick Lenton   "The comparisons between my fur babies and your human babies are probably greater than the differences," writes Patrick Lenton.

Why I'm teaching my daughter to say 'yes'

We talk about the importance of teaching girls that it's okay to say "no". But what about saying yes?

Kasey Edwards   We talk about the importance of teaching girls that it's okay to say "no". But what about saying yes?

When breastfeeding is a middle class, able-bodied privilege

For many women, breastfeeding isn't a choice. And those who want to "help mothers and babies" first need to understand that.

Kasey Edwards   For many women, breastfeeding isn't a choice. And those who want to "help mothers and babies" first need to understand that.

Parenting

Learning to get comfortable with my dad's gay marriage

grandpa

Mary Pflum Peterson   And how to explain to my young kids that their Grandpa is gay.

Grandparent trap

'I come home and every bone in my body aches'

Becoming a grandparent is supposed to be the gold medal for surviving the hardships of parenting. But the truth is more ...

Elana Benjamin   Elana Benjamin looks at the taboo subject of grandmothers who are tired of being unpaid child minders. But why won't the 'grey army' revolt?

I'm not the uncompromising parent I thought I'd be

"My parenting doesn't always look like I imagined, but I've learned that parenting doesn't deal in ideals."

Mary Widdicks   "My parenting doesn't always look like I imagined, but I've learned that parenting doesn't deal in ideals."

Kasey Edwards

When dads get praised for taking carer's leave

Dads

Kasey Edwards   "In our culture, it's so foreign for men to be considered capable and willing carers that we don't even have a word for it," writes Kasey Edwards.

Generational change

Relax Mum, it's OK that I'm 30 and single

woman

Britany Robinson   My life is nothing like my parents' lives were at my age, and I am perfectly happy.

Screen detox

Samantha Selinger-Morris with her husband Mike and their children, from left, Elke, Jasper and Flynn.

Samantha Selinger-Morris   What would it be like to spend a week without television, iPad, iPhone, game console or computer? Samantha Selinger-Morris and her family find out.

How letting go of anger has allowed me to be a better mum

"It's a lesson that could have come at a dangerously high price and one that we all need to embrace."

Lisa Rene LeClair   It's a lesson that could have come at a dangerously high price and one that we all need to embrace.

Kasey Edwards

How kids are taught to devalue motherhood

"Men are unlikely to step up and share the burden of domestic work when even a six-year-old thinks it's the dud option."

Kasey Edwards   "'Why did you go to uni if you just stay at home?' It was an innocent and unexpected question to my friend from her six-year-old daughter."

Fertility

I'm a high-risk pregnancy expert – And I'm struggling with my own fertility

Despite my years of training and work with expectant mothers, I never realised how hard it would be to conceive at this age.

Shannon M. Clark   Despite my years of training and work with expectant mothers, I never realised how hard it would be to conceive at this age.

What to say when your daughter asks 'Do you think I’m cute?'

Our culture rewards girls and young women for being cute, but here's why we try to send a different message at home.

Kasey Edwards   Our culture rewards girls and young women for being cute, but here's why we try to send a different message at home.

Don't use my son to justify abortion bans

Rachel Adams and her son Henry, New York City, 2009

Rachel E. Adams   Anti-choicers have begun to use Down syndrome in their attempt to roll back women's reproductive rights. Here's why I won't stand for it.

Kasey Edwards

Is it okay for a six-year-old to wear a bra?

"By prohibiting these kinds of activities, we run the risk of sexualising something that is innocent and reframing a ...

Kasey Edwards   Kasey Edwards: "By prohibiting these kinds of activities, we run the risk of sexualising something that is innocent and reframing a game into an exercise in shaming and judgement."

My six-year-old transgender daughter should not have to use the men's bathroom

My daughter is in kindergarten. And I'm concerned about my community forcing her to share the bathroom with men.

Tucker FitzGerald   My daughter is in kindergarten. And I'm concerned about my community forcing her to share the bathroom with men.

Why does the 'fun parent' usually have a gender bias?

Why does the 'fun parent' usually have a gender bias?

Paul Chai   Would the kids even be aware of the concept of a Fun Parent unless a stupid advertising campaign pointed it out?

The stigma of a mother walking away from her family

When a father leaves his kids it's unfortunate. When a mother leaves it's a scandal.

Kasey Edwards   And do we ever pause and think about why she chose to leave in the first place?

How I decided not to listen to every piece of pregancy advice

Even if you want to stick to every piece of pregnancy advice, you can't — because so much of the advice is contradictory.

Olivia Campbell   Even if you want to, you can't — because so much of the advice is contradictory.

What to do when you witness sexist parenting

I grew up surrounded by unchallenged casual sexism. But here's one thing I'm going to change.

Kasey Edwards   I grew up surrounded by unchallenged casual sexism. But here's one thing I'm going to change.

Sarah Oakes

Why I won’t be watching any childbirth videos during my pregnancy

"Not everyone wants to be blissfully naive, but the choice, as with any choice about a woman's body, should be entirely ...

"Not everyone wants to be blissfully naive, but the choice, as with any choice about a woman's body, should be entirely hers," writes Sarah Oakes.

Insect crisis

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

Amanda Hooton.

Amanda Hooton   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, ...

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

lny

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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