Justine Clarke and Gary Eck: Baby shocks, pierced ears and extracurriculars

Posted in The Parent Panel.

Actor and musician Justine Clarke joins writer and comedian Gary Eck to discuss news and everyday parenting challenges with The Parent Panel host Shevonne Hunt.

Together they tackle:

  • Which baby was the biggest shock? (First, second or third)
  • Is it okay to pierce a baby’s ears?
  • How do you work out extracurricular activities for your kids?
  • The best birthday present you’ve ever given

Listen to Justine Clarke and Gary Eck on The Parent Panel:

When was your biggest baby shock? 

Carrie Bickmore has just returned to The Project after maternity leave for her third child.

Carrie spoke about how friends had told her the third child would be a breeze, but she found it to be very, very difficult. 

Which baby was the biggest shock to the system? Was it your first child, second or your third? Why do you think it was the biggest shock? 

Is it okay to pierce a baby’s ears? 

Hilary Duff recently pierced her baby girl’s ears and the internet went into meltdown.

Libbi on the Babyology Facebook says, “Piercing a child’s ears before they are old enough to make that choice or understand it, is wrong. It’s just a reflection of the mother’s/parents vanity, and completely unnecessary. It’s not a decision a parent should be making on behalf of their child. Not their ears, not their choice. Having a child doesn’t give you ownership of their body, and teaching body autonomy to children is very important.” 

Alternatively, others said this was a storm in a teacup, it’s no one else’s business and the baby wouldn’t remember the pain and could take them out later. 

Where do you fall on the baby ear piercing debate? Do you think it’s totally fine, the family’s business and the baby won’t remember it, or do you think it’s wrong to do it before the child can consent and that it will cause lasting trauma? 

How does your family ‘do’ extracurricular activities? 

How many extracurricular activities are enough? And when is it too much?

There are pros and cons to extracurriculars. They can give kids more opportunities, help them develop resilience and how to work with a team. They can also crowd out any time for kids to play freely, or be bored. 

How many extra-curricular activities do your kids do? What do they do and why?         

The best birthday present you’ve given your partner 

Presenter Shevonne Hunt thinks she is pretty ace at giving birthday presents. She prides herself on finding the perfect gift. This year she bought her husband a gift certificate to go away for a weekend and make his own electric guitar. He was pretty stoked. 

What was the best birthday present you have ever given your partner? (or, the best gift they have ever given you.)


Justine Clarke – Instagram @justineclarke_Mimi’s Symphony is on at the City Recital Hall.

Gary Eck– Website garyeck.com  for information about the Gondwana World Choral Festival check out the Destination Sydney NSW website.


Shevonne Hunt – @shevonnehunt


Debby Ng

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


Get more babyology straight to your inbox