The Parent Panel: How do you raise a feminist son?

Great podcasts for parents and carers

Fri 28 September 2018

28 mins

Graphic designer Beck Feiner and editor of CNET Mark Serrels join mum-of-two, Shevonne Hunt to chat about the week navigating life with young kidlets.

Is it ever okay to live your dreams through your child?

Shevonne’s kids (aged 4 and 6) don’t do many extra-curricular activities, and she doesn’t have a burning ambition for them to excel in any particular sport or pastime.

But then. This week her daughter performed ‘This is Me’from The Greatest Showman. It was an open class and there were only four parents in the audience and about seven kids on stage, but they all had to hide their tears from their little stars. She also won the overall award for effort, kindness and all-round showmanship! Shevonne’s always loved musical theatre, so maybe her dreams of the stage can now be fulfilled through her daughter? Is it okay to try to live your own dreams through your children? 

Beck says she’s keen for her daughter to become a little country music star, after watching Nashville while pregnant with her. Her middle name is Dolly, after Ms Parton, and she’s secretly harbouring desires for her to constantly wear country boots.

Mark, on the other hand, says he makes his kids to stuff they don’t want to do all the time, particularly with sport. In particular, he frequently makes them rock climb with bribes ... If they get to the top, they get a lolly snake! 

How do you raise a feminist son?

“It’s very common for people to worry about having daughters, because they know what potential risks face their girls, but far fewer people worry about having boys, because they don’t assume that their sons will ever be responsible for that pain.” 

This week, feminist writer Clementine Ford released her latest book Boys Will be Boys. Her son is now a toddler, and she says she feels the responsibility of raising a boy very keenly. You can check out her interview on the Kinderling Conversation podcast

Mark and Beck both agree that parents have to set an example. Think about the ways you treat women, talk to women, and what you don’t say to women. 

What are some of the qualities you want your sons to have? And how do you teach them those qualities?

What is your parenting phobia?

People have been talking about tokophobia, the fear of giving birth. And while there have been opinions on either side (that we’re talking too much about birth trauma, that we’re not talking about it enough), it did inspire writer Angela Mollard to mull over some phobias she’s developed as a parent. For example, “wrapaphobia” – the fear of having to wrap your baby correctly without suffocating them in the process. Or “misplaceaphobia” when you forget a child at a park or lose her while on a picnic. You can read the whole article on RendezView.   

What would your parenting phobias be? Here are  a few from The Parent Panel: 

  • Buy-now-aphobia: The fear that you won’t find time to go to the shops, so whenever you do get to the shops, you have to buy everything, including jeans and milk in one go. 
  • Changing-other-toddlers-nappies-phobia: The fear of changing the nappy of a child who's not yours.
  • Scurvyphobia: Fear of your children developing scurvy from a lack of fruit and veg.
  • Kids-wrecking-everything-aphobia: Fear of your children breaking all of your stuff.

What was the weirdest thing you’ve found cleaning up your home? And where did you find it?

It’s spring, and some decide it’s time to de-clutter the home. Children can hide things in the strangest places. Once we lost the Apple TV control for so long that we bought a new one. A few weeks ago Shevonne found it in the bottom of her yoga bag. What weird and wonderful things have you lost (or what things have you found in unexpected places)? 

Beck’s kids are classic hide-your-food type, so she discovers heaps of random foods in the handbag – like the three intact chicken nuggets she found at the bottom. Mark once found a cockroach inside the poo of his child’s nappy. You’ll have to listen to found out more on that one! 

Listen to the podcast:

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