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John Marsden on the 'toxic' parenting pandemic: 'I’ve never seen this level of anxiety'


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#51 Ruf~Feral~es

Posted 23 July 2019 - 04:43 PM

Quote

I also don’t know any helicopter parents but then we deliberately chose public schooling to avoid people who have that sense of entitlement. The parents I know who have sent their kids to private schools expect a lot. That’s part of the deal.

with a 5 an 2 year old, I'm not sure you've seen enough to comment yet?  But as a parent who has done a mix of public and private, across 4 different schools over 12 years, I can honestly say that demanding and entitled parents are demanding and entitled parents, no matter their bank balance or the school fees they choose to pay or the car they drive.

There are two other threads currently running about parent expectations of schools and teachers.  Not all the issues happen with 'entitled private school mums'.

And yes, at your kids age, parks are always full of people.  Parents supervising their little ones, as you would expect.  But will those same kids be allowed to go to the park to kick a soccer ball on their own at 8 or 9 or 11 years old?  Or will they be told "wait until I can come with you - I just need to put the washing on, cook dinner, do XYZ - no, you can't go on your own".

#52 gabbigirl

Posted 23 July 2019 - 04:46 PM

Oh another ‘expert’ telling us how we’re all doing it wrong again. So over it and stopped listening to the life  matters interview when he was on it recently.

#53 Lucrezia Borgia

Posted 23 July 2019 - 04:50 PM

yeh i agree with him.

kids have no resilience - they’re not taught it - every anxiety is taken care of, every whim pandered to...every weakness or character flaw enabled. if they’re failing at school, it’s the teachers fault. the schools fault. some kids have moved three schools before they are even in year four - er...look at the common denominator here - it’s your kid, not the school.

i read an interesting twitter thread - an editor had a young intern who had written a story and the editor was checking it - she called her in and went through a few points, mainly pointing out that she had misspelt “hamster” - she had written “hampster” - but i always spell it with a “p” she said. the editor kindly pointed out that was incorrect. “but why can’t i spell it with a p? i always have” - it went round in circles until the editor made an executive decision to bring the meeting to an end, stating the article would be printed with the correct “hamster” - the intern walked off in a huff...and ten minutes later was loudly on the phone (open plan) to her mum, complaining about the editor - her boss - and asking for reassurance that she was in the right, which mum promptly gave. don’t see a bright future for this one, although she would have been told to expect one as an entitlement.


#54 purplekitty

Posted 23 July 2019 - 04:56 PM

View PostLucrezia Borgia, on 23 July 2019 - 04:50 PM, said:



i read an interesting twitter thread - an editor had a young intern who had written a story and the editor was checking it - she called her in and went through a few points, mainly pointing out that she had misspelt “hamster” - she had written “hampster” - but i always spell it with a “p” she said. the editor kindly pointed out that was incorrect. “but why can’t i spell it with a p? i always have” - it went round in circles until the editor made an executive decision to bring the meeting to an end, stating the article would be printed with the correct “hamster” - the intern walked off in a huff...and ten minutes later was loudly on the phone (open plan) to her mum, complaining about the editor - her boss - and asking for reassurance that she was in the right, which mum promptly gave. don’t see a bright future for this one, although she would have been told to expect one as an entitlement.
Alternative spelling and non correction of spelling and grammatical errors came into fashion in the 70s in Victoria.

Ideas are what matters,not constricting,unnecessary rules.

Some of the parents we are talking about now are products of post modernist education theory where everyone is a winner.

#55 Ruf~Feral~es

Posted 23 July 2019 - 04:57 PM

Quote

the intern walked off in a huff...and ten minutes later was loudly on the phone (open plan) to her mum, complaining about the editor - her boss - and asking for reassurance that she was in the right, which mum promptly gave.

It's so true - my university professor of 40+ years also talks about the number of parents who are coming in to make excuses for their 20something child, or questioning results.  This was in the news a few months ago as well.

I'm not sure the parents who do it will see anything wrong with it though.  It's the fault of the other person, including the person pointing it out, whether this author, the teacher, another parent......

How often do you read on here now "Oh, I don't get involved, you never know how the other parent will react".  It's not usually about letting our kids work it out for themselves, its the backlash you get from some parents if you make a comment that could be perceived as anything other than praise and compliment.

#56 BadCat

Posted 23 July 2019 - 05:01 PM

Yeah yeah yeah.

#notallanxiety

#57 Abernathy

Posted 23 July 2019 - 05:06 PM

I had dealings with Marsden which, in my humble personal opinion, left me feeling he is a most unpleasant man. I wouldn’t take any notice of anything he says. He struck me as the type of person who could not differentiate between being asked a question and “being questioned”. I find it funny to hear a wealthy, successful grown man who couldn’t cope with being asked a question (about his school) comment on the lack of resilience shown by children!!

#58 Jane Jetson

Posted 23 July 2019 - 05:07 PM

Meh, it's the more things change, the more they stay the same, as far as I'm concerned.

Now we have toxic parenting as an evolution of helicopter parenting, we've had permissive parenting (Spock managed to get himself blamed for hippies, nice one), the aforementioned "toughen up" approach and handwringing over latchkey kids, and so on for generations. This is just the latest iteration of how parents (and we all know it's "Mums") are Doing It Rong.

And he's doing just what all vested interests do:

1. Take a look at the fringe and outliers
2. Present them as the mainstream
3. Profit!

Of course there are toxic parents just like he's describing, whether that be overprotective (MIL was a step in this direction with DH which has not been good for his anxiety or confidence) or the demanding coddling sort (good example above from Lucrezia Borgia).

But I don't think it's sensible to try and extrapolate that to an entire generation (unless you've a book to sell or enrolments to boost) as it's a trend and tendency, not a truism.

I further think that a little wariness of some authority figures (including some teachers and family friends, and an awful lot of clergy) and maniacs on the road is pretty sensible.

#59 kadoodle

Posted 23 July 2019 - 05:10 PM

One of my kids has anxiety. The other four are just regular issue brats. Do I get a medal?

#60 gracie1978

Posted 23 July 2019 - 05:17 PM

I agree with him.

I'm seeing this stuff a lot and it drives me nuts.  And my son is only 4.

My first instinct is to curl or helicopter, but I know it won't help him, so I don't do it.  

If my son's naughty when we are out I give one warning, if he keeps it up we leave.  Twice in a week we had to leave a playdate shortly after we'd arrived.  But in the last year we had no issues.  At the time the other parents got really upset with me for ruining the outing, but he needed to know I wasn't messing around.  It's frustrating to hear people threaten their children and then not follow through.  If you aren't prepared to do it, don't say it!  Empty threats don't work.

#61 spr_maiden

Posted 23 July 2019 - 05:17 PM

For me, there are less facilities in the local area for my children to walk to. Corner shops are gone,  replaced by shopping centres on main roads with limited transport options still; sporting grounds/centres could be a few suburbs away,  again over main roads full of traffic rather than a bike ride across town; school just out of catchment that is too far for a 6yr old to navigate on a bike,  especially with all the bike lanes being used by commuters who resent children in the way (that goes for commuting drivers also); local parks are designed for much younger children so hold no interest; cars fly along the streets because drivers see it as a thoroughfare rather than a street with children living there.  

It seems foreign to me as at my children's ages, I still lived in a small town. And even when we moved to the city,  I was able to be remain independent to some  extent,  besides the rising anxiety from my parent due to abuse from the other.

We are choosing a move wisely.  I want more independence for my children. I don't want a fairy land of "back in the good old days", I want them to be equipped for modern lives. We're still figurng it all out.

My 9yr old can iron his and his sister's clothes, and make them a simple dinner if ingredients are there. He can hang laundry and vacuum.  He can do woodwork without hurting himself. But, he is yet to walk to around the block on his own, and mow the lawn.  I think there's a lot of examples of this no doubt.  Almost like asynchronous development sometimes.

#62 Ozquoll

Posted 23 July 2019 - 05:19 PM

View PostLucrezia Borgia, on 23 July 2019 - 04:50 PM, said:

yeh i agree with him.

kids have no resilience - they’re not taught it - every anxiety is taken care of, every whim pandered to...every weakness or character flaw enabled. if they’re failing at school, it’s the teachers fault. the schools fault. some kids have moved three schools before they are even in year four - er...look at the common denominator here - it’s your kid, not the school.
Okay, I giggled at the hamster story 🤭.

In all seriousness though, I have a kid whose anxiety levels are through the roof, and I sure as hell am not going to put him in situations where he is out of his depth, because he doesn’t swim, he sinks. It is only now as an adult that I realise how extreme my own childhood anxiety was, and how often I was in situations which completely overwhelmed me. I think I came closer to being broken by those situations than learning resilience from them. My parents were the opposite of helicopter parents.

I don’t intend to hover around my son clearing every obstacle from his path, but I’m not going to let boulders roll down and crush him either.

#63 seayork2002

Posted 23 July 2019 - 05:26 PM

View PostRuf~Feral~es, on 23 July 2019 - 04:57 PM, said:



It's so true - my university professor of 40+ years also talks about the number of parents who are coming in to make excuses for their 20something child, or questioning results.  This was in the news a few months ago as well.

I'm not sure the parents who do it will see anything wrong with it though.  It's the fault of the other person, including the person pointing it out, whether this author, the teacher, another parent......

How often do you read on here now "Oh, I don't get involved, you never know how the other parent will react".  It's not usually about letting our kids work it out for themselves, its the backlash you get from some parents if you make a comment that could be perceived as anything other than praise and compliment.

DH works uni open days (sometimes) he talks to the kids and gets their parents responding.

He tries and tries and then wonders if the parents are going to attend lecturers with their kids

#64 .Jerry.

Posted 23 July 2019 - 05:27 PM

I've been a teacher for over thirty years and a principal for 26 years.  Have seen a generation of parenting nearly. ;)

I can agree with much of what John Marsden says.

I am a very lazy parent and think parents do too much for their kids and don't allow failure, risk taking and upset emotions.

And my kid has anxiety.  So happy to wear some blame for that if needed.

#65 ERipley

Posted 23 July 2019 - 05:28 PM

.

Edited by ERipley, Yesterday, 07:04 PM.


#66 gracie1978

Posted 23 July 2019 - 05:49 PM

I remember dealing with a young guys Nana.  She told me his parents were too soft and has ruined him.  I was to call her when he played up instead of firing him...

I must admit I did say a few times, Theo are we going to have to call Nana?
Not my proudest management moment, but ridiculously effective. He was too dim to realise there was no way I could actually call her.

I've seen several instances where adult colleagues have forgotten their lunch and their Mum's have driven over 30 min to bring it to them.  I recently reconnected with one and asked if she would do that for her kid, was shocked when she said yes.

#67 rosie28

Posted 23 July 2019 - 05:50 PM

John Marsden was an artist in residence at my (private, expensive, outdoor education and alternative focussed) secondary school years ago. I suspect he makes a few good points, but he seemed awfully judgmental then and not much seems to have changed!

#68 Oriental lily

Posted 23 July 2019 - 06:11 PM

I have anxiety . So does two of my kids . I honestly think I would have had anxiety no matter how I was raised .

I think it’s identified and treated more now .


Thankfully mental health is more of a topic talked about this generation

I don’t think building ‘resilence’ helps anxiety .

On the flip side I don’t think avoidance helps either .

I think if your pre disposed to suffering from anxiety there is no tricks or rule book on how to raise a child to not develop it .

My 10 year old daughter amazes me with her resilience confidence and ‘who gives a hoot’ attitude .

Yet her 8 year old younger sister becomes a mess over even minor challenging things .

Same parents. Same home, same upbringing.

One inherited my dodgy ‘anxious’ genes .

#69 Mmmcheese

Posted 23 July 2019 - 06:15 PM

One of my facebook groups reported that he was interviewed on the radio and he apparently said bullied kids are unlikeable, thats why they're bullied? Anyone else hear that?

I thinks it's complex. Parents dont act in a vaccuum. My kid has to cross 2 major roads to get to the closest park. Cars regularly run red lights. She's not growing up in the country like I did. (And if my childhood was so resilient building, then why the bloody hell do I have anxiety now?)

Edited by Mmmcheese, 23 July 2019 - 06:15 PM.


#70 Ruf~Feral~es

Posted 23 July 2019 - 06:18 PM

I heard a bit of what he said with Richard Fidler in the car this afternoon - I still can't say i disagree with him, however I do think he's a bit dated.  

It's not really about him though - I think this continues to be a valid discussion.

It is a shame though that whilst we hate all the blame that goes with parenting - namely mothering - we are all very quick to blame ourselves as well as each other.  

I too have one child with anxiety - probably my fault because I force him to do to much, throw him in at the deep end and don't protect him enough.  And one very confident, know it all 15 year old - again my fault maybe because I am of the 'lazy parent' style.  Also known as 'disengaged' 'uninterested', 'selfish',

And I do find it difficult not to judge the parent that I mentioned at the start of the thread who I feel is limiting her daughters options and damaging her decision making and social skills by driving her everywhere, fighting her battles, and preventing her from having positive friendships with a group of girls who care alot about her.

We have to do what we believe is right for our individual children.  But it's also healthy to question ourselves and discuss with others whether we are helping or hindering our kids - we should learn from each other, support each other, without being so judgy.  

Although maybe back in the 70's my mum was more worried about being judged by her dinner party guests on her cooking than she was on her parenting - I remember a lot of boozy dinner parties whilst we kids 'free-ranged'.

#71 Kreme

Posted 23 July 2019 - 06:25 PM

I don’t think there is a secret formula to immunise your child against anxiety. But I think that encouraging them to do the things that they find difficult is part of it.

If your kid is the naturally adventurous type who is scaling the back fence at 2, then perhaps you letting them climb trees, while admirable, is not going to have as much impact as, say encouraging them to make the speech in class that they don’t want to give. And the same in reverse for a confident public speaker who is scared to dive into the pool.

So many parents seem to see any type of hesitancy in their kids as this massive red flag indicating that lifelong damage will be done unless the child is excused from the activity.

#72 Bethlehem Babe

Posted 23 July 2019 - 06:27 PM

This is a great image.

Imagine sending your seven year old to swim at the pool alone? Now the pool requires an adult with them.

https://twitter.com/...9957945344?s=21

#73 ~LemonMyrtle~

Posted 23 July 2019 - 06:33 PM

View PostKreme, on 23 July 2019 - 06:25 PM, said:

I don’t think there is a secret formula to immunise your child against anxiety. But I think that encouraging them to do the things that they find difficult is part of it.

If your kid is the naturally adventurous type who is scaling the back fence at 2, then perhaps you letting them climb trees, while admirable, is not going to have as much impact as, say encouraging them to make the speech in class that they don’t want to give. And the same in reverse for a confident public speaker who is scared to dive into the pool.

So many parents seem to see any type of hesitancy in their kids as this massive red flag indicating that lifelong damage will be done unless the child is excused from the activity.

As a nervous and shy child, I thank god my mum pushed me into uncomfortable situations regularly. It’s the best way to learn coping skills and resilience. At the time I hated it all, but, as she would always say “you’ll have fun once you’re there” is usually true. She made me do dancing, swimming, change schools, go to parties, get a job, all sorts of terrifying things.

Even now, as an adult, the less I do something, the more I fear it. Like driving to the city, public speaking, making appointments, seeing a Dr. They’re so much easier for me if done regularly. One of my coping things now IS to tell myself, “if you do this, it will be easier next time”

So, thanks mum!

#74 Lucrezia Borgia

Posted 23 July 2019 - 06:36 PM

i agree Ruf-feral-es. we do need to have the conversation - we shouldn’t be afraid to have it.

i knew the article wouldn’t meet with universal approval on EB - and i knew my post wouldn’t either. that’s fine. and i know any question about “why kids seems to be suffering more from anxiety/depression/mental health issues these days” will be explained by “we don’t ignore it anymore, we are better at diagnosing it” - and ok that may be true, and then that’s good, but are we any better at treating it? i don’t know.

you go back 50 years, 100 years, 200 years - people had anxiety, had depression - you read it in accounts of notable people, their biographies or autobiographies - maybe they called it something different, but it was clear what they were suffering from. and they weren’t always ignored - some were offered treatment, maybe not all that effective - but is it any more effective now? and yet despite all that there was a society capable of happiness, capable of resilience. and yes they abused alcohol, abused their partners, abused themselves - but, again, we’re still doing that now. we don’t seem to be helping people - even with our increased awareness.



#75 Ozquoll

Posted 23 July 2019 - 06:49 PM

^^^^
I’m all for having the conversation about the way we parent our kids. I don’t think there is a blanket approach that works for everyone though, which is why I’m suspicious of any absolute decree such as “Parents are doing too much for their kids”. Some of them probably are. Others are perhaps not doing enough.




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