Holly Wainwright and Merrick Watts: Anti-vaxxers, iPads at dinner and more

Posted in The Parent Panel.

It can be a tough gig, this parenting thing. You’ve got to keep your little people alive, and yourself too preferably. There’s the shopping to do, and the cleaning, and maybe even some work amongst the homework and chores. Keeping abreast of the news and gossip can be the last thing on your mind.

Which is why there’s The Parent Panel podcast.

In this episode comedian and radio host Merrick Watts and Mamamia’s Holly Wainwright join host Shevonne Hunt to look into and laugh about the world as it applies to families.

The topics that make up this cracker episode are:

  • A restaurateur banned smartphones and tablets at his restaurant, citing, “Kids should get off screens and learn how to have a conversation.” Is he right or is he the human embodiment of The Simpsons’ headline, “Old man yells at cloud”?
  • What threats have you made as a parent and not been brave enough to follow through on?
  • Is it time we stopped shouting at anti-vaxxers?
  • A mum wore a baby carrier cover as a skirt and to be honest it was amazing. What are the genius/mad things that new-parent-sleep-deprivation has driven you to do?

Listen to Holly & Merrick on The Parent Panel

Restaurant etiquette

A restaurant in Canterbury Sydney called Pazar Food Collective has banned the use of iPhones and iPads in the restaurant. Owner Attila Yilmaz says colouring books are banned as well, because he wants to encourage children to speak with their parents at the table.


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Dear Customers. Thanks for letting your kids draw all over our tables and napkins and dining like civilised human beings. Truly appreciated. Leave your kids at home if they can’t sit at a dinner table with out colouring books or a electronic device . Oh and no!! No !!! You can’t bring in Nandos from across the road because your kids don’t like what’s on our menu !! And no !! No!! We do not cater to your no salt, sugar, dairy, gluten , onion, garlic intolerant diet (all of these were one person’s dietary requirements) !! And no , no!!! Vegan is a choice not a dietary requirement , and yes , we happily cater for that , easily. Dairy and Gluten are also not an issue and easily looked after with pleasure. I am about to introduce a no colouring book, toy and iPad ban to Pazar. Like my kids and many others that visit without such it’s time for them to learn the art of dining , enjoying food, conversation and sharing. If you can’t handle it, get a sitter or go to the RSL club. I don’t know about you but when I dine out the last thing I want is some kid sitting at the table next to me with Dora the Explorer blaring away as I try to enjoy my meal illuminated by the glow of their electronic device . Stop being so fucking lazy and interact with your children, teach them social skills.. please for the sake of future generations , engage with your kids or just stay home. #bantheipad #bancoloringbooks .

A post shared by Attila Yilmaz (@attilatheyum) on

A father of two, Yilmaz said: “I have two kids and every time we go out, they say no to the colouring books.” 

“I’m not saying kids and families aren’t welcome at Pazar,” he added. “I don’t want kids on blankets under the table looking at iPads. I want them out, sitting at the table learning how to enjoy food and make conversation.”

Do you think the owner has a point, should restaurants be doing more to get family conversations going at the dinner table? Or are his expectations too high for parents of young children?

Parent threats

A now infamous episode of Modern Family sees dad Phil Dunphy threaten to cancel Christmas lest one of his three children own up to who damaged the family lounge. It’s a classic a case of a parental threat with a lot of weight and zero follow through.

Have you ever threatened something major and followed through, or better still, what was the biggest threat that you dolled out with zero chance of it ever eventuating?


The Government has just announced a $12 million dollar ad blitz to counter the misinformation spread by anti-vaccination activists.


Any story about anti-vaccination activists online is met with a stream of vitriol. Yelling online is one thing, but what do you do when that person is a friend?

What would you do if a friend thought vaccinating their kids was a bad idea? Would you try to change their mind?

Parenting chaos

This week a mum posted her wardrobe malfunction to Instagram. She’d basically walked out of the house wearing a car seat cover as a skirt. Absolute. GENIUS.

What is the craziest thing you have done because you’ve been sleep deprived/multi-tasking/in a pre-school-dropoff rush?

Holly Wainwright – @wainwrightholly
Merrick Watts – @merrickwatts

Shevonne Hunt – @shevonnehunt

Elise Cooper – @elisejcooper

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


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