The Parent Panel: My playgroup was almost definitely a cult

Part of the Kinderling Conversation for parents. Weekdays 12pm-1pm.

Fri 9 November 2018

37 mins

TV producer writer and mum Kristen Toovey, and comedian and marriage celebrant Chris North join host Shevonne Hunt to dissect, debate, and destroy the news and gossip of the week for parents.

They take on whether or not competition is healthy for kids, babies in cafes, single mums having to prove their worth, and childhood bullies (and how Chris didn't twig that his playgroup was almost definitely run by some kind of weird cult organisation)

Is it time we got back to survival of the fittest?

This week it was announced that the South Australian National Football League are changing some rules for their junior players. Next year many juniors will no longer play for premiership points, goal kickers will not be recorded and no best and fairest awards will be handed out. These changes prompted one writer – Kara Jung-  to bemoan  the “levelling of the field”. She says that we’re taking competition out of our children’s lives, that there are never winners and losers (think everyone getting a prize at pass the parcel) and that ultimately our kids will be less resilient.  Do you agree with Kara, are we taking out too much competition from our kids’ lives, or will there be enough winning and losing later in a child’s life?

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Do adult café patrons need to grow up?

Have you ever taken your children to a café and felt judged? Was your child too loud, too messy, too busy? Writer Jill Murphy has had enough. She has a message for adults in cafes – grow up and accept that kids are part of life.  Her argument is that kids are humans too, and have a right to be in public spaces. Do you agree, or do you think it’s fair enough that other adults would prefer some grown-up time without children destroying the peace?

Should single mums have to prove their parenting chops?

A new government program called Parents Next has seen many single mums under pressure to prove they have completed certain activities to claim their welfare payment. This includes things like story time, swimming lessons or play group. Around 68,000 parents were put on this program having been assessed as at risk of “long-term welfare dependency”. As a single mum Kristen has some funny takes on the program, and Chris reckons that someone in the goverment really hasn't thought the whole thing through.

What would you do or have you done about bullying?

Kinderling Conversation producer Elise Cooper recently interviewed one of the girls who used to bully her as a child. In her case while her parents went in to fight for her, the school didn’t step in to help protect her, nor the parents of the children doing the bullying. If you'd like to listen to the full piece you can hear it in the Kinderling Conversation podcast or on our website here.

The panel recount instances of bullying from their pasts, and how they try to help their children whether they are bullied or they themselves have shown bullying behaviours. 

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