From nurturing newborns to taming toddlers, we unravel the art and science of parenting with real-life stories and expert advice. The hilarious to the humbling and all the nitty gritty in between. Hosted by mum of two and journalist Shevonne Hunt. Senior Producer and editor is Debby Ng.
Clementine Ford, Em Ruschiano and Abbie Chatfield have all recently spoken about their adult diagnosis of ADHD. At the same time they have expressed relief, like the diagnosis was the final piece of a puzzle, making sense of their past behaviours. So how do we as parents recognise the symptoms of ADHD in our children? Mark Bellgrove is a Professor in Cognitive Neuroscience at Monash University and the President of the Australian ADHD Professionals Association. He explains what ADHD is, how it can be treated, and where to go for help. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
After many years of advocating for greater investment, the early learning sector is set for some significant changes. Executive Director of The Parenthood Georgie Dent was among others in the sector lobbying parties prior to the federal election. She joins the show to discuss the changes that have been promised, including the latest joint announcement from the NSW and Victorian Governments to provide universal access the year prior to school. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Ella Fields (alias) writes roughly two books a year. When she first started she was writing around four books a year. She describes her books as 'steamy' romance and they are enormously popular. She's a USA Today and International best-selling author who started writing when her kids were just in primary school. What began as an experiment has ended up in a career that allows her to support her family. Ella talks about how she started and why she thinks her books are so popular. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Perinatal depression and anxiety affects one in ten dads, yet only just over half reach out for help. Dave Edwards is the proud dad of two child aged 6 and 8. When his son was born he went through a really challenging time, that he only realised in hindsight was PND. Dave tells us his story in the hope that it will help other dads ask for help. Resources for dads: The Gidget Foundation PANDA Beyond Blue See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Many people understand what domestic violence is, but child to parent violence is less well known. Jo Howard is a social worker who is an expert in adolescent violence in the home, and has also worked with families who have young children who are aggressive and violent. Jo says that parents who bear the brunt of this violence are often too ashamed to ask for help, and when they do, can be turned away. Jo talks about the impact of this type of aggression and what parents can do. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Lauren Dubois was a successful political journalist before she turned her hand to blogging about parenting, eventually switching to Instagram. She's also written a book called You Will (Probably) Survive. Lauren's posts on Instagram are insightful and funny. But most importantly they always seem to resonate. Lauren talks about the amount of work it takes to maintain an account like hers and why it's worth the effort. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Leaving your child at day care while they're crying their little hearts out can be so hard. Gen Muir is a parenting educator at Connected Parenting and a mum of four. She's still going through challenging drop offs so she knows just how to help parents make the experience easier and better. Gen gives us some practical tips on how to help our children separate from us with less tears. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
I know. There are a million apps out there for parents, so what makes this one special? This is an app that could help parents who need the most support: parents with kids on the spectrum. Kindship is a free app that aims to connect parents who are likely to feel more isolated than other parents. Co-founder Sandy Golder talks about the benefits of joining a like-minded community who really understand what it's like. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
When you met the love of your life, was your first thought 'I wonder if their parenting style will match mine?' You may have thought they'd make a great parent, but probably not all the nitty gritty of how they approach things like discipline and sugar. Unfortunately these things can lead to frustration and confrontation once discipline and sugar become an issue for your kids. Rachel Tomlinson is a psychologist at Toward Wellbeing. She explains how we can get on the same parenting page, even when we've started from completely different chapters. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Matt Baseley is a TV presenter and dad of three. When it comes to spending time with his kids Matt loves to get messy in the kitchen. If you follow his Insta you will find many examples of how much fun they have together. The secret, Matt explains, is about following your own passion. Matt talks about his own love of cooking and how he deals with fussy eaters. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Labour can be an unknown and frightening prospect. But what if you could go into this experience feeling confident and empowered? Nadine Richardson founded SheBirths to help women have better birth experiences. She explains the most practical ways a woman can prepare for birth. In this interview Nadine mentions the Shebirths free holistic pregnancy guide that you can find here. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
When our babies crawl into toddlerhood they start to push their boundaries. This can often include running away, throwing food and other challenging behaviours. So how do you handle this stage if you have two babies going through the same developmental stages? Mothercraft nurse Chris Minogue takes us through her top tips for managing this tricky stage of life. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Actor Ryan Johnson was going through a separation not long before the first lockdown in 2020. While coparenting through the pandemic he also met and fell in love with his new partner. On this episode Ryan talks about how he navigated all of that with his young daughter and ended up in a good place today. Ryan is best known for his role as Matt Knight in Doctor Doctor and his most recent appearance in the Aussie comedy How to Please a Woman. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Childhood friendships can be light and easy, but as kids head into their tween years they can start to get a bit tricky. Dana Kerford is the Director of URStrong, an organisation that helps children understand the many nuances of friendship. Dana gives us her top tips on how we can support our children when friendships get tough. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
New research from the University of South Australia has revealed that assistance dogs are helping to expand children on the autism spectrum and their families. Dr Shelley Wright is a qualified occupational therapist and who supervised the research. Shelley explains exactly how dogs can help children on the spectrum. Information relevant to this interview: Research from the University of SA on assistance dogs and autistic kids Assistance Dogs Australia Guidedogs Australia Information about assistance dogs See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Maggie Dent is best known for her work helping parents to raise their boys. Now Maggie has sunk her teeth into girlhood with her book of the same title. Girlhood, raising our little girls to be healthy, happy and heard was inspired by her four grand daughters. In this interview Maggie leads us through how to raise our little girls with understanding and compassion. Touching on key issues raised by a survey of 5,000 parents Maggie uses her humour, wisdom and common sense to help parents and carers of little girls everywhere. Maggie Dent is also the host of the podcast Parental as Anything. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Helping children navigate their big emotions can be challenging. Particularly when those emotions result in behaviour that is aggressive or difficult to change. Lyn Jenkins is a clinical psychologist and the creator of Boss Brain, an online program designed to help children from 5-11 navigate their big emotions. Lyn explains what's happening for kids when things get out of hand and how we can help guide them through those tricky moments. This episode of Feed Play Love was made in partnership with Boss Brain. Visit lifematters.com.au/bossbrain for more information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
When it comes to pregnancy and birth support is focussed on the mum-to-be. But what about dads? Rob Sturrock is the author of Man Raises Boy. He believes that we need to be more inclusive of dads from the very beginning in order to make parenthood a more equally shared experience. Rob talks about his own experience of pregnancy and birth, and the very small thing we can all do to make a big difference. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
We all know the pain of telling our children over and over again to put on their shoes. Or brush their teeth. Or get ready for bed. But what if it's all about how we ask our children something that makes the difference? Gen Muir is a parenting educator at Connected Parenting. She talks us through some very straightforward steps to getting our kids to listen to us. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Everyone knows someone who has strongly held beliefs about the COVID- 19 vaccinations. Many parents still haven't had their children vaccinated. But where did such deeply held doubts about vaccines come from? Dyani Lewis is a science journalist and author of a new book Unvaxxed, Trust, truth and the rise of vaccine outrage. Dyani's own relationship with her mother broke down due to the passions around vaccination. She explains what she discovered about where all the distrust has come from. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nine-year-old kids can be vastly different when it comes to where they are on the childhood scale. Some are still playing with toys while others are passionately learning all the Tik Tok dances. Vanessa Hamilton is the founder of Talking the Talk Healthy Sexuality Education. Her latest book is a novel that explores the issues around consent for tweens. Vanessa explains how you can have casual conversations about consent and why it's not always about sex. Vanessa's book is called Kit and Arlo Find a Way See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
About 50% of parents are not intending to get their children vaccinated against the flu this coming winter, even though children under five are amongst the most vulnerable when it comes to the flu. That's according to the most recent Royal Children's Hospital National Child Health Poll. Dr Anthea Rhodes is a paediatrician and Director of the Poll. Anthea explains why parents are hesitant to get their kids vaccinated and why we should overcome that hesitancy. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Allison Davies was working as a music therapist when she started to go through the process of getting her daughter assessed for autism. It was then she noticed that the boxes she was ticking for her daughter also applied to her. This led Allison on her own path to an autism diagnosis. Allison explains what the world looks like through her eyes, giving some insight to how some people experience on the spectrum. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
The first year of your baby's life is full of big changes. Dr Deb Levy is a paediatrician and Sarah Hunstead is the CEO of CPR Kids. Together they go through the main developmental milestones and the corresponding safety issues that can come with the ability to roll, sit, crawl and walk. In this interview Deb and Sarah mention: Red Nose Australia Kidsafe See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mothercraft nurse Chris Minogue has been helping parents and carers with their babies and toddler for thirty years. In that time she's seen an increase in everything from the types of strollers available to information online. Following the recent lockdown Chris has been reflecting on how much parenting has changed over the years she's been helping parents. Chris talks about the changes: both good and bad, and the top piece of advice she thinks parents need to know today. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
When it comes to discussions around how we give birth, women who have cesareans are not often included in the conversation. There remains an amount of judgment around the way we give birth. Some of those judgments come from an understanding of what is best for the baby. Now research from the Murdoch Children's Research Institute has found that one theory - that an increase in childhood allergy was linked to an increase in the rate of cesareans- has been disproved. Associate Professor Rachel Peters was the lead researcher on the project. She explains what they found and why this particular theory about cesareans has been proved wrong. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Toddlers can have some big emotions but should we really expect them to be able to manage them? Dr Laura Jana is a paediatrician and the author of The Toddler Brain. Laura explains what toddlers are capable of when it comes to emotional self-regulation, and how we can start to teach them some of the basics. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
How do you feel about terms like "body with a vagina" instead of using the word "woman"? Or "chest feeding" instead of "breast feeding"? The medical world is grappling with these terms as they seek to become more inclusive of transgender and non-binary people. However a new paper compiled by experts in the field of pregnancy and birth say that changing the language for everyone may end up doing more harm than good. Dr Karleen Gribble is an Adjunct Associate Professor in Nursing and Midwifery at the University of Western Sydney. She contributed to the article and explains how taking sexed language out of pregnancy and birth would be bad for both women and the transgender community. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Trying to combine motherhood with all the things modern life demands of us can be challenging. Particularly if one of those things involves returning to the work place. For chiropractor Ali Young, returning to work ended up in burnout. Following on from her recovery she wanted to help other mums avoid a similar experience. Her book Work. Mama. Life is the result of all she learnt. Ali talks about what led to her burn out and how we can all learn to make this period of our lives work for us. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Anxiety in children is the second most common disorder in Australian children aged 5-14 and the most common disorder amongst girls. That's according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. And if you are a parent of an anxious child you'll know just how hard and heartbreaking it can be. Dr Kayleen Henderson is a child psychiatrist and mum of three. She explains how we can help our children manage their anxiety. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
And if we can't, how can we make our children more comfortable? Paediatrician Deb Levy and former emergency nurse Sarah Hunstead from CPR Kids join us to talk about how we can try to dodge the dreaded lurgy this winter, and what to do if we get hit. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
How should we talk to our kids about Australia's history? How much do we share about the dark and tragic events that came with colonialism for the First Nations of Australia? Anita Heiss is a member of the Wiradjuri Nation of Central NSW and a prolific author. Her latest book is Am I Black Enough For You- re-released after 10 years. Anita explains how parents can explain our history to kids, including the parts we should celebrate. In this interview Anita talks about Magabala books. Individual books that are reference include: Alfred's War Charlie's Swim Down the Hole Bush Games and Knuckle Bones A Letter for Simon See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
During the lockdowns of the past few years children used technology even more to stay connected with their friends. Now that they are back at school, you may have noticed that they're texting each other more than ever before. Texting can be a very nuanced medium, and not one that tweens really understand. Dana Kerford is the founder of URSTRONG, an organisation that helps educate children about healthy friendships. Dana shares her insight to how kids communicate through text and how we as parents can help to guide them. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
What's your most awkward parenting moment? Perhaps you were out to dinner when your toddler decided it was a good time to play with themselves. Adults can find it uncomfortable when our children start to explore their bodies, but Vanessa Hamilton says it's all developmentally appropriate. Vanessa is the Founder of Talking the Talk Healthy Sexuality Education. Vanessa explains why kids play with themselves and how parents can handle their own emotional response. In this episode Vanessa talks about the five body safety tips that can be found on Jayneen Sanders website Educate2Empower. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
When you're thinking about where you'll give birth, chances are you're not thinking of fluorescent lights, beeping noises and lots of metal surfaces. Janet Purcell is a registered nurse and positive birth advocate. Janet believes that whether you're having a vaginal birth in a birthing suiteor a planned or emergency caesarean, there are ways you can make the experience a more positive one. Janet runs through the ways you can make a hospital feel more like home, ever when your birth hasn't gone to plan. For more information about Janet check out her website Birthplace. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Melanie Corlett had a toddler and a baby on the way when she decided that something needed to be done about the kind of support being offered to new mums. So in the thick of the 2020 lockdown she started to develop the app Mumli a place where new mums can collate the information most relevant to them. Melanie talks about raising a business and a baby at the same time and why she thinks this app will make things easier for mums. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Even as we head towards greater choice when it comes to having children, there is one group of people who are still fighting against prejudice when it comes to having children. Eliza Hull is a contemporary musician, disability advocate and the editor of We've Got This, Stories by Disabled Parents. Eliza says that despite the judgments parents with a disability often get from those around them, they're actually really well equipped to raise children. She debunks some myths about parents with disability and explains how we can all be better allies. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
There is a lot of advice out there on how to deal with bullies. But when you're confronted with the experience in real life it can feel incredibly nuanced and even awkward. Dr Vanessa Lapointe is a psychologist and author who leads from the heart. In this interview she gives us some excellent advice on how to identify if you child is being bullied, how to respond appropriately, and what to do if your child is the bully. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Our priorities around work can shift a lot after having a baby. Which is not to say that our jobs are no longer important, just that they may no longer have top billing. And even if they do remain high on the priority list, the question of how to manage work with sleep deprivation can be a tricky one to solve. Chelsea Pottenger is the founder and director of EQ Minds, a company that helps businesses address mental wellbeing for their workforces. Chelsea talks about how we can cope with sleep deprivation, and also bring mindfulness to the work we do after we have kids. The meditations for kids referred to in this episode include: Calm Bedtime Explorers See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Imagine not knowing you're pregnant until you go into labour. For many women that seems impossible, but it's a rare phenomenon that does happen. These types of pregnancies are referred to as hidden, concealed or cryptic pregnancies. Hannah Dahlen is a Professor of Midwifery at Western Sydney University. She attended a labour of a hidden pregnancy, and talks about how women can go through nine months without knowing they are pregnant. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Kerri Sackville is on a mission. The author and journalist wants women everywhere to know that allowing some mess and clutter might just be the secret to a happy life. Her latest book is called The Lifechanging Magic of a Little Bit of Mess. Kerri talks about why no self-respecting parent should have a white lounge, and the joy of collecting (and keeping) little cows. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Becoming a parent can be a mixture of big feelings - both joy and sorrow. It can also be physically demanding attending to a newborn's needs. Sharlene Vlahos is the Director of Education at Karitane, a non-profit organisation supporting parents raising children. Sharlene gives us her top tips on transitioning to parenthood. Additional resources if you're struggling: PANDA COPE The Gidget Foundation See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jess Moore ended up travelling halfway around the world in order to have a baby, but along the way she went through over ten rounds of IVF and attempted to use eggs from a friend. After several years and a lot of heartache she finally fell pregnant with her little boy at 45 years of age. Jess talks about her experience, including how she was able to keep going after so many set backs. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Having twins can feel daunting, but if you get the right advice on how to prepare, it can make life a lot easier when you bring your babies home. Mothercraft nurse Chris Minogue has spent many hours with the parents of twins, helping them make sure their home is set up for the arrival of twins. She explains how you can set up where your babies sleep and the best way to feed twins. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Do you want to be more present with your children? Less reactive, more responsive to where they are at as kids? Conscious parenting is a movement that encourages parents to understand their past so they can parent in the present moment. It means understanding your own patterns and behaviours and how they impact your child. Dr Shefali is a clinical psychologist and author of The Conscious Parent, Transforming Ourselves, Empowering Our Children. Dr Shefali explains the difference conscious parenting can make in a child's life and how to do it well. Dr Shefali is in Australia for a limited time. If you're keen to catch her live check out her event dates here. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Should toddlers be able to recognise numbers and letters? Do we, as parents, need to be teaching them these skills before they enter preschool or kindergarten? Dr Laura Jana is a paediatrician and the author of The Toddler Brain. She gives us some insight into what the toddler brain is capable of and how we might help them acquire new skills. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
For many years parents have been told we are our kids' first teacher, but Kyle and John Hattie say this is misleading. Their book 10 Steps to Develop Great Learners outlines how we can foster curiosity in our kids and a love of learning. Kyle talks about exactly what it is our kids need from us as they enter into the world of education, and how it's probably very different to what you thought it was. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Gina Rushton is a journalist and millennial who experienced a medical emergency that forced her to confront her decision not to have kids. This lead her to research everything from the impact of climate change to the distribution of domestic labour - all to try and work out whether she could definitively decide never to have children. The result is her book The Most Important Job in the World. Gina talks about the kinds of conversations she's having with her friends and why the feminism she grew up with doesn't serve mothers. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Needing to find some calm amongst the chaos of parenting? Perhaps you're trying to be a good leader in your home during uncertain times. Mindfulness might just be the key to your sanity. Dr Elise Bialylew is the founder of Mindful in May. She's also a mum of two young girls. Elise explains why she can't live without her mindful practice and how you can incorporate it into your life in just 10 minutes every day. The books Elise mentions in this interview include: The Mindful Child by Susan Kaiser Greenland The Happiness Plan by Elise Bialylew See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
What would make your life easier? How about a year of shared paid parental leave and universal access to early education and childcare and out-of-school care? This would mean that you could share the first year with your new baby with your partner and that child care would be like primary school; almost free and easily accessible. Georgie Dent is the Executive Director of The Parenthood. She's lobbying for these changes and believes that this election is the time that we could change the way we raise kids in Australia. Mentioned in this interview: The Parenthood on Instagram - get up-to-date information about how the parties are going with policies that are pro-families Kindi Care - find out which party will make the biggest difference to your childcare payments Thrive by Five - a lobby group trying to get universal access to childcare See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Do your parents understand why you want your baby to feed themselves? Do they follow your guidelines for sleep and settling? Mike Williams and his parents Carol and Greg do things differently - but they have a lot of fun along the way. In this interview they talk about how much parenting has changed over the years, and why we shouldn't always let grandparents explain the ways of the world. Guest appearance by Daphne Williams. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.