Kristen Toovey and Simon Kennedy: Playing with fire, birth strikers and more

Posted in The Parent Panel.

Writer, producer and director Kristen Toovey joins author and comedian Simon Kennedy to share their thoughts and experiences on The Parent Panel with host Shevonne Hunt.

On this episode they discuss:

  • Introducing risk to early learning centres
  • Miley Cyrus’ choice to not have children
  • If scaring kids is good for them
  • Human keepsakes (like baby teeth and hair)

Listen to Kristen Toovey and Simon Kennedy on The Parent Panel:

Would you let your child play with fire?

A childcare centre in Fitzroy, Melbourne has drawn attention for the way it embraces risk. There’s an outdoor fire pit that children are encouraged to light and cook on, children are encouraged to cut fruit with knives, sew with sharp needles and climb trees.  

Not every parent is okay with this level of risk.  

What level of risk are you comfortable with your children? What have you let them do that involved risk? What risks would you avoid then (and possibly even now)?    

Millennial ‘birth strikers’ a real protest or empty threat

Miley Cyrus has told Elle magazine that she and husband Liam Hemsworth will not have babies while the planet is in peril. They join a small but vocal group of millennials who call themselves “birth strikers”, young people who have pledged not to have children until climate change has been properly addressed by the government.

Do you think this is a legitimate protest, one that is deeply felt and will be carried through, or an empty threat by people too young to understand the ramifications of this kind of choice?   

View this post on Instagram

@ELLEusa August issue! Link in bio! 🖤

A post shared by Miley Cyrus (@mileycyrus) on

Is frightening kids a good idea? 

Psychologist Judith Locke wrote in the News Limited press this week that fear is good for kids(Paywall).

She says it’s just another emotion and we need to normalise it for our children. Author John Marsden, in his latest book The Art of Growing Up agrees and says that we are doing a disservice to kids when we protect them from fear because then they end up attaching fear to ethereal things, rather than specific threats that can be dealt with.  

Have you tried to protect your children from fear? When have your children been scared? How did you deal with it?   

Would you make a necklace out of your kid’s baby teeth?

A jeweller from Melbourne called Jacqui was in the papers this week for her macabre and bizarre creations. She makes rings, necklaces and bracelets out of human keepsakes – like teeth and hair. This could be to remember someone who has passed away, though she has made tooth wedding rings for a couple, and also rings including the hair of cats who have died.

What about similar keepsakes of our kids? Many of us keep our kid’s baby teeth but don’t know what to do with them.

What ‘bits’ of your children have you kept? (it could also be clothes, toys or books) Why did you keep them? Would you make jewellery out of any of it?  


Kristen Toovey – Linkedin

Simon Kennedy– Instagram @simon-kennedy, and YouTube


Shevonne Hunt – @shevonnehunt


Debby Ng

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