Anita Birges and Chris North: Leunig cartoons, taking risks and swearing

Posted in The Parent Panel.

Professional de-clutterer Anita Birges from Mise en Place joins comedian and celebrant Chris North to talk about the news and events of the week with The Parent Panel presenter Shevonne Hunt.

In this episode they ponder:

  • Was Michael Leunig out of line with his cartoon depicting mums on phones?
  • What kinds of risks should we let our children take?
  • Is it okay to swear in front of your kids?
  • Is making your baby a zombie for Halloween hilarious or in bad taste?

Listen to Anita Birges and Chris North on Feed Play Love:

Leunig cartoon outrage continues

Last week Australian cartoonist Leunig published a cartoon of a mum on her phone, pushing a pram.

The mum is so absorbed with her phone that she hasn’t noticed the baby has fallen out of the pram.

There was a huge outcry against the cartoon – given mums, in particular, are under so much pressure to parent already.

The cartoon was accompanied by the following poem:

“Mummy was busy on Instagram
When beautiful bubby fell out of the pram
And lay on the path unseen and alone
Wishing that he was loved like a phone.”  

Do you think Leunig was being too harsh or has he got a point about how much time we are all spending on our phones? 

What kinds of risks do you let your children take? 

This week on Feed Play Love, the CEO of CPR Kids Sarah Hunstead was talking about the importance of letting our kids take risks.

She also said that while we need to let our kids take risks, we also need to be prepared to patch them up again. 

What kinds of risks have you let your children take? Have they taken risks you didn’t agree to, and have they survived them? If they ended up with injuries, how did you handle that? At the end of the day was it worth the chaos for the lesson learnt or experience they had? 

Do you swear in front of your kids? 

This week Darren Levin wrote about how he swears in front of his kids.

He talks about how his kids understand when they slip up, and says, “I’m not saying you should become one of those free-range parents that allow their kids to smoke pot ‘as long as it’s in this house and we do it as a family’, but normalising swearing could weirdly make your children swear less.” 

Do you swear in front of the kids? When is it okay to swear in front of your kids? How do you feel about other adults swearing in front of your kids? And have your children repeated those words, and what have been the consequences of that?

Baby zombies: yay or nay?

This week a mum in America made headlines after a particularly gruesome Halloween shoot with her husband and toddler. Both were in full costume and make up as zombies, and photographed in the woods and by an abandoned hut.

The little girl was often eating what looked like her dad’s entrails, or hand.

The mum and photographer Tiffany Renfroe said that it was just a bit of fun, and that it was a way to spend time together as a family. When the photos went viral they also got a bit of criticism from others who thought the images were too gory. 

What did you think of the photos? Would you do a shoot like this with your family? Was it going too far? 

See the photo here. 


Anita Birges – on Instagram @mise_en_place_aus and for tips on decluttering before Christmas check out

Chris North – on Instagram chris_north_mc_celebrant or to book for your wedding his website is

Host & Producer:

Shevonne Hunt – @shevonnehunt

Listen to The Parent Panel on Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts and Spotify. Be sure to subscribe and you’ll never miss an episode! 


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