A clothes peg for Christmas, you can’t be serious! That has got be the worst present ever. I know there would be a riot in my house if it ever came to this. Which is why I should really read my kids Cameron Williams’s cautionary tale, The Christmas Peg, a story without a happy ending (how rare is that) that actually deals with consequences in a way that children can relate to.
Cameron, better known for his TV hosting gig on Weekend Today and Friday Night Football, devised the story after his three-year-old daughter didn’t want to go to bed. Sound familiar?
Babyology caught up with Cameron, for his take on parenting, raising (two) girls – Arkie and Remy – and how the book came about.
How are you finding parenthood?
“I have found parenthood a real rollercoaster of emotions. It’s as much about fear – for their health and safety, as the highs – that fantastic feeling when they run up and hug you after a day at work.”
How would you describe your parenting style?
“I was raised in the bush so like to think I am a bit more relaxed. I see a lot of helicopter parenting, and I think that has a lot to do with city life. Kids need a bit of space to explore and experience the world around them.”
What challenges do two daughters bring?
“Both our girls seem to have a real knack for negotiation – which I think comes from their mum! So if they are getting a chocolate they will be trying to upgrade to two. It is impressive to watch and a bit scary actually. I don’t see this behaviour from the boys in my extended family.”
Tell us about The Christmas Peg, and how it came about?
“Last year, just before Christmas my three-year-old was playing up and not wanting to go to bed, as they do. So I came up with a story around behaviour that lands a boy on Santa’s naughty list. And all he gets for Christmas is a peg. It seemed to work, so I thought there was something in it. I happened to mention the story to my neighbour, artist Matthew Martin, who liked it and went off and worked up some sketches. We took the concept to Penguin and they loved it.”
So what is the underlying message?
“That there are consequences to your actions. The earlier kids learn that the better.”
So remember kids, Santa is watching…