Articles on Parenting

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People who have been in care are more likely to have children at an early age and are at greater risk of having their own child taken into care. Mika Heittola/Shutterstock

We remove kids from abuse and neglect, but are they better off in the long run?

Most people reasonably assume there is evidence of good long-term outcomes for children who come into contact with child protection systems. Why else would we intervene in the lives of children and their…
Happy parenting won’t necessarily get you into Oxbridge. Parenting via Goodluz/Shutterstock

Parenting is not the key to tackling inequality

Britain is quickly turning into a nation characterised by an obscene and unsustainable wealth gap, according to a new report on social mobility. Yet behind the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission’s…
Four-year-old Chloe Valentine sustained injuries and died after being made to ride and repeatedly crash her 50-kilogram motorbike. AAP Image/South Australian Supreme Court

Abuse and neglect: Australia’s child protection ‘crisis’

The tragic death of four-year old Chloe Valentine in South Australia has raised concerns that the state’s child protection system is in crisis. Following a history of abuse and neglect, Chloe’s mother…
Decisions are difficult and prone to error when risk and protective factors appear to be fairly equal. atikinka/Shutterstock

Risky business: how protection workers decide to remove children from their parents

Imagine you’re a child protection worker who has received a notification from a teacher voicing concerns about a child in her class. The case involves a five-year-old boy named Toby. Toby’s mum has had…
Most parents we interviewed described having “unrealistic” expectations about baby behaviour. Robyn Lee/Flickr

‘I didn’t know who I was anymore’ – myths vs realities of early parenthood

Becoming a parent is commonly imagined to be a joyful and “natural” life event. The reality is often very different. In the early weeks and months of life with a first baby, parents must master new skills…
Gentle parenting means no punishments and no rewards: just a partnership with your kids where they want to do the right thing for the sake of doing the right thing. Shutterstock

‘Gentle parenting’ explainer: no rewards, no punishments, no misbehaving kids

In a piece in The Conversation, Bernadette Saunders described positive discipline. Parents who practise positive discipline or gentle parenting use neither rewards nor punishments to encourage their children…
Happiness was assumed in medieval times as the inevitable outcome for a child who lived his life right. AAP/ Joe Castro

Snowplow, helicopter – medieval? Parenting advice for the ages

Are you a helicopter parent, hovering around your offspring at all times? Perhaps “snowplow” or “free range” is more your style. Or maybe, you should give medieval parenting a shot. Much of the advice…
Heeding four key messages can make learning to drive a safe and happy experience. Bridie Scott-Parker

What parents need to know about learner drivers: four key lessons

Learner drivers and parents are often thrown in the deep end when it comes to learning to drive and recording hours in the logbook. As part of a unique approach to improving young driver road safety, I…
Leisel Jones (centre, in 2010) has 10 gold Commonwealth medals to her name – on par with Susie O'Neill and Ian Thorpe. Is the next swimming star in your family? AAP/Dave Hunt

Want to raise a gold medallist? Six tips for sporting success

Australia has kicked off the Commonwealth Games with a bang, winning 17 medals in the first day of competition, including five gold medals. The women’s 4 x 100m freestyle relay had a particularly successful…
Enough is enough. Shutterstock

This obsession with parenting is out of control

Not long ago, an email went around some of the academic lists I subscribe to entitled “New parenting study released”. Heart sinking a little as I clicked the link to a New Yorker article, I expected to…
Same-sex parents are more likely to share child care and work responsibilities more equitably than other families. Jessica Lucia/Flickr

Kids from same-sex families fare as well as peers – or better

It’s often suggested that children with same-sex parents have poorer outcomes because they’re missing a parent of a particular sex. But research my colleagues and I published in the journal BMC Public…
Let’s ignore the policymakers, kid. Wilson X

Focus on attachment in parenting policy is misplaced

A recent report from the Sutton Trust is the latest in a line of recommendations for family policy to focus on promoting secure attachment between parents and their children. What puzzles me is why the…
Is that you, dad? SBS documentary questions oft-quoted figures on dads who are not the real father of their children. Shutterstock

What are the chances that your dad isn’t your father?

How confident are you that the man you call dad is really your biological father? If you believe some of the most commonly-quoted figures, you could be forgiven for not being very confident at all. But…

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