Kristen Toovey and Andrew Daddo: Gender neutral dolls and parenting fails

Posted in The Parent Panel.

TV presenter and part-time rock goddess Kristen Toovey joined TV presenter and author Andrew Daddo to discuss the week’s parenting news and events on The Parent Panel.

In this episode they discuss:

  • Are gender-neutral dolls a good or a bad thing for kids?
  • When is the right time to give your kid a mobile phone?
  • What is your biggest parenting fail?
  • What would you do with an extra hour of sunlight?

Listen to Kristen Toovey and Andrew Daddo on Feed Play Love:

Are gender-neutral dolls a step forward or a step back?

This week Mattel released its collection of “Creatable World Dolls” – dolls that have no identifiable gender and can be switched to have long hair or short hair.

The company claim it’s to “keep labels out and invite everyone in”, but not everyone agrees, many parents have pushed back on the release, with News Ltd writer Lucy Carne saying, “Stop trying to disguise social indoctrination as feel-good wokeness. This isn’t an inclusive revolution. This is rigid, politically-correct dogma creeping into the toy box.” Her argument is that children are already able to explore gender fluidity through imaginative play with the toys they have. 

Do you think the gender-neutral dolls are a step too far? Is it Mattel trying to be “woke”? Or do you think they are a good idea?

What age did you/ would you give your kid a phone? 

Frances Whiting has called out for parents not to give primary school-aged children mobile phones. She cites Kids Helpline, reporting higher rates of calls to their hotline from primary school-aged kids, often talking about bullying experienced on their devices. Having said that, many parents use mobile phones to make sure their kids arrive safely home from school.

What age did you give/would you give your child a mobile phone? What is your reasoning behind it? 

What has been your biggest parenting fail?

Play School presenter Rachel Coopes recently went on a holiday to Disneyland with her son. She posted a photo of the end of the Matterhorn rollercoaster ride. All the children were in tears. The caption read: “Apparently NOT ALWAYS The Happiest Place in the World. According to G – the Matterhorn ride was too scary and “ruined his life”. They stopped crying (and Fi and I stopped laughing) eventually.” 

What has been your biggest parenting fail (when you thought it would be your biggest parenting win)? 

What would you do with the extra time?

With daylight savings ending over the weekend…. what would you do if you had one extra hour a day with your kids? 


Kristen Toovey – on Instagram @kristen_2v  and Linkedin

Andrew Daddo– on Instagram @andrewdaddo, you can find a copy of his latest book Atticus Van Tasticus here.


Shevonne Hunt – @shevonnehunt


Debby Ng – @debbyrachel

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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