Writer and broadcaster, Annaliese Dent joins marriage celebrant and comedian, Chris North to give their (sometimes strong) opinions on the parenting news and events of the week.
This week’s episode includes:
- Tony Abbott says “middle class” women need to have more babies. True of false?
- Do parents need to change their relationship with teachers?
- How our non-birthing partners fared during the child birth experience
- The most useless thing you bought when you first had your kids
Listen to Annaliese Dent and Chris North on The Parent Panel:
How many babies are affordable?
Tony Abbott says that more middle class women need to be having more babies. It echoes Peter Costello’s 2004 call for parents to “have one for mum, one for dad, and one for the country.”
In this latest call to increase fertility rates in Australia, Abbott said, “Women in the welfare system have lots of kids. If you’re very wealthy you can afford to have as many kids as you want.”
You may be wondering, what defines you as “middle class”? According to an OECD report from 2019, to be middle class in Australia a single person has an after-tax income of between 33,300 and 88,700, and a couple with two children is middle class if together you earn between $66,600 and $177,400.
How do you feel about these comments? Could you afford to have more babies? How do you feel about the affordability of your own family?
Do parents need to change their approach to teaching?
In 2018 Gabbie Stroud released a book called Teachers all about how she struggled to keep her passion for teaching alive under the weight of standardised testing and the weight of paperwork now required of teachers. She’s now released a book called Dear Parents – in it she’s calling on parents and teachers to start talking, and to rebuild the trust she says has been lost between the two most important adults in a child’s education.
Do you think parents trust teachers to do their job? Do you think parents are too involved in their child’s education (or not enough)? Or do you think parents interfere in your role as a parent?
View this post on Instagram
You probably heard about @gabbiestroud after she published her first book, Teacher. She was the teacher who was passionate about her job, but found the system had ground her down and spat her out. This book is a bit more confronting for parents. It's asking us all to take a good hard look at how we view education and teachers in particular. It unpicks how that view impacts the way our children are learning. It's an eye-opener. Anyone who has a child in primary school should have a listen. It makes a lot of sense. We need to start trusting that teachers know what they're doing, and to reimagine what learning looks like for kids. Link to the full interview in bio above.
How did you/ your husband handle childbirth?
A birth selfie is doing the rounds on the internet. It features a mother after a c-section with her husband passed out, flat on the floor beside her. It has been said that it can be more challenging to witness a woman giving birth than it is to labour.
How did you/ your partner handle childbirth?
The most useless thing you bought for your first baby
There is a business in the US that creates décor you can take to your delivery room. Rufflesnbuttons can create your own bed sheets, pillow slips and newborn baby suit to match, and I must say my eyes will never recover. To be fair, I have succumbed to some ridiculous things, particularly for my first baby. Including a special outfit to bring her home in (that turned out to be way to big and was of course never going to stay pristine and cute for long).
What was the most useless thing you bought for your first baby?
Annaliese Dent – on Instagram @annaliesedent
Chris North- on Instagram @sydney_celebrant_chrisnorth
Shevonne Hunt – @shevonnehunt