Listen: Maggie Dent chats to Sam Robinson about her new book 'Parental as Anything' on Hope Breakfast
After answering tricky parenting questions for years on her podcast Parental As Anything, Maggie Dent has released a book featuring the most asked about topics.
Well-known as the “queen of common sense”, Maggie Dent has been helping parents better raise their children for many years. Most recently, her ABC podcast Parental As Anything has answered questions posed by listeners about how to best raise kids to be confident and resilient. Maggie is an advocate for the healthy, common-sense raising of children in order to strengthen families and communities alike.
After four seasons of the podcast, Maggie has now released a spin-off book of the same name, and joined Hope Breakfast to share what it’s all about.
“We look at everything,” Maggie said. “We ask parents, what are the things that confuse you today? And the list is pretty long… and I think probably the key ones are trying to understand how we navigate parenting today which is very different to how we were parented, because the digital landscape hadn’t arrived, and there are other big shifts in the world, which I think makes it harder today because there’s too much information. Too much pressure. There’s too much judgement… It’s made parents doubt themselves. What I want to be is a guide.”
The book answers such questions as, why should you let your children just play? Appropriate for the season of lockdown we’re experiencing in Sydney, is screen time really unhelpful for kids? And, something we can all find comfort in, Maggie’s “20 per cent rule”.
“There are some days, no matter how well planned we are, it just doesn’t go to plan,” she said.
“They’re the 20 per cent moments in parenting that are absolutely normal. We need to forgive ourselves for those and not think we are a lousy parent.”
Maggie said her experience raising four boys, as well as teaching full time, taught her to go easier on herself, and often on those days she got her kids to make their own ham, cheese and tomato toasted sandwiches for dinner. It’s OK to have these days, 20 per cent of the time.
“That won’t ruin your child’s life. If they don’t have a bath it won’t ruin your child’s life. And we need to let ourselves have those 20 per cent days. But when it’s 80 per cent of the time, I’d probably seek some more help,” Maggie laughed.
Maggie also shared that it’s really important for our kids to feel safe at home in a time when our world is so uncertain.
“COVID has taught us that some things are out of our control. We can’t change them,” she said.
“So when we have a really adverse event, we look at what we can control underneath that. What we can control is being loving and kind to each other. Cooking endless pancakes, watching movies together, and creating pockets of joy in a pandemic. That’s what our kids will remember, we were held in the loving safety of our family.”
Parental As Anything by Maggie Dent is available now. Hear much more wisdom from Maggie Dent on Hope Breakfast in the player above.