The Parent Panel: Weird Christmas presents, child influencers, sleepovers and holiday excitement

Great podcasts for parents and carers

Fri 21 December 2018

29 mins

Wrapping up 2018 in style, journalist Jacinta Tynan and actor Ryan Johnson join Shevonne Hunt to reminisce and joke about the news and gossip of the YEAR! Plus the trio dish on their holiday plans (or lack thereof).

In this episode the four topics are:

  • The best, worst and strangest Christmas gift ever received
  • Is it wrong to make your child an "influencer"
  • When is the right time to let your child go to sleepovers?
  • The most exciting part of the upcoming holiday break

Listen to the podcast

Christmas gifts

According to an article published in Fairfax this week, people often are gifted the strangest things at Christmas time. A vegetarian got a tube of bacon-flavoured toothpaste, and another got a three year subscription to a parenting magazine from her mother, even though she’d made it clear she didn’t want kids. Sometimes people can really miss the mark – but sometimes they hit the nail right on the head. What have been your Christmas wins or fails?

Child influencers

We're not sure if you've noticed, but there are two-year-olds on Instagram making more money than you. Child influencers have risen in popularity over the last several years, with many now commanding the kind of attention and fame that usually comes with Hollywood. Unlike Hollywood, however, there is no union protecting their rights. Having said that, most children are being photographed and ‘managed’ by their parents, the ones that love them most.

Is it wrong to make your child into an influencer on social media? Or is it just another media format for children to enjoy? Are there any ethical issues with them earning an income, or is it fair enough to use that money for family support? And what is the difference between sharing an adorable family snap like Ryan's photoshoot with Women's Weekly Magazine below, and straight out profiting off your child's image?


Shevonne's daughter is six-and-a-half years old, and the only sleepover she’s had is at her Nanna’s place. Her cousin, who is seven, has had a few sleepovers and Shevonne isn't sure how she feels about it. While writer Alex Carlton wrote this week that parents need to chill out and allow their kids the independence and freedom for a sleep over.

What age do you think it’s OK to let your kids go on a sleepover? What would it take for you to feel OK about it? 

Holiday excitement

As we speed towards Christmas everyone is looking hopefully toward the change of pace the summer season brings. Shevonne even wrote about what she's most excited for. The panellists explore the best (and worst) parts of the holiday season for their families.


The Parent Panel will be back, bigger and better than ever in 2019!

The first episode will drop in the podcast feed on Friday January 18th, so make sure to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts so you don't miss out!

If you've got a topic you'd love the panel to talk about you can email us over the break at

From the whole team at The Parent Panel, have a safe and peaceful summer break filled with backyard cricket, sleep ins and lolling about in whatever body of water you can find.

See you in the new year!

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