Anyone who happens to be a regular on the toddler party circuit can confirm that pass the parcel is not what it used to be.

Nobody leaves here without a lolly bag, piece of cake, prize and invitation to come back next year… Photo: The Daily Telegraph.

Contrary to the rules of old, where convention dictated that only a few – or perhaps merely one – of the paper layers unwrapped would unearth a prize, it has gradually been decreed that every single child must win a toy.

Leaving a friend’s birthday celebration laden down with cake and a lolly bag is no longer enough with parents now pressured to comply with the ludicrous notion that no partygoer should emerge from a game empty-handed.

Who would have thought that missing out on the acquirement of yet another cheap and soon-to-be-forgotten plastic trinket is grounds for sustaining serious childhood trauma?

And so, desperately trying to uphold the mantra that “Everyone’s A Winner!”, the average three-year-old’s birthday party now resembles behind-the-scenes at APEC, with organisers running around with realms of paper as they frantically co-ordinate proceedings.

Ensuring the music just happens to stop at precisely at the right moment so as to pair suitable gifts to each and every one of the pint-sized guests at a co-ed gathering isn’t a task for the faint of heart.

That even the most innocuous of activities has been stripped of its sense of competition is an indication of the well-intentioned but absurd hypothesis that children must be shielded from disappointment of any kind.

If we don’t credit our children for having sufficient resilience to rebound from the short-lived anguish of watching a peer win a friendly game, then how are we to equip them to cope with the genuine heartaches of life that lie ahead? 

To those about to start nodding in furious agreement that modern children have it far too good and tut-tutting how it’s time to bring back corporal punishment, I’m afraid I must now disappoint you.

Unlike the management of a certain Sydney shopping centre, I’m not advocating a return to the days of the archaic maxim that children be seen and not heard.
Needless meddling in party games aside, most of the changes that have occurred in parenting with each passing generation have been for the better.

From the increased social acceptance of a father’s involvement to the opening up of the lines of communication between parent and offspring, the constant revising of child-rearing practices should be applauded.

Nurturing self-esteem in a child is vital, and shielding them from anger, violence and the other not-so-nice realities of the grown-up world as much as possible is admirable.

But I can’t be the only one who wonders why, as a society, we seems to lurch from one parenting extreme to the other.

Surely there’s a happy medium to be found somewhere between the view that children deserve a smack behind the ears for so much as raising their voice and the philosophy that every thing a child says and does must remain beyond reproach.

Confidence is an indispensible trait and it is a lucky child who grows up in a home in which they are installed with a sense of self-belief.

But we have all encountered adults who might have been far better off if only they had been defeated at pass the parcel a little more often during their formative years.

A failure to gently break it to a child sometime before they graduate high school that things will not always go their way only leads to delusions of grandeur and an unsustainable sense of self-entitlement.

So it’s hardly surprising that a new American study has found parents who shower their children with self-esteem boosting commentary are doing them a disservice, with undeserved compliments preventing a child from accurately sizing up their capabilities.

The researchers found that parents who offered positive yet constructive feedback rather than gushing platitudes better armed their children in learning to overcome setbacks.

Personally I’ve never subscribed to the simplistic yet popular cry of “I turned out fine” as a means of excusing a few of the more regrettable aspects of childhoods past.

There are certain traumatic experiences from which a child should, wherever possible, be spared.

But of all the childhood scars there are, I am willing to wager not a single one can be traced to a failure to unwrap a small toy during a game of pass the parcel.

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    • Gary Cox says:

      06:03am | 21/02/13

      At one of our child’s recent birthday party I tried to convince my wife to do away with the take home Lolly bag. I don’t get it, it’s stupid, why do you have to feed other people’s kids lollies when they get back to their own house?

      Anyway I couldn’t get the idea up, I was hit with the ‘everyone else does it’ argument and so we supplied other people’s kids with lollies to graze on back at their own house after the party is well and truly over.

    • kaff says:

      08:21am | 21/02/13

      The lollybags aren’t new - I remember getting a lolly bag at parties when I was a kid 30 years ago.  Granted it was probably mostly cake wrapped in a serviette with a lollipop and a few other things thrown in, but I’m sure I took stuff home with me.

      As a parent of a young’un now, though, we’ve still got heaps of lollies from previous parties, probably because we ration out the contents and then young master loses interest.

      I have heard the theory behind the very stuffed lolly bag is a way of sharing the sugar highs around, so it’s not only the parents of the birthday kids who suffer.

    • Borderer says:

      08:58am | 21/02/13

      @Gary Cox,
      You fail to see the evil side of giving a kid a take home lolly bag.

      “Here’s your kid back, they’ve been playing merry hell at my place, they’re loaded up on sugar and over tired. I’m returning them with extra sugar so they can really go off the rails once you get them home, screw you for dumping them on me. You thought you had the afternoon off…hahahahaha”

    • Martin says:

      01:03pm | 21/02/13

      Gary

      Personally I’m a big fan of the lolly bag, loaded with red things and noisy trinkets with no off switch and no batteries.

      Having babysat my fair share of other people’s “spawn-from-hell”, there’s nothing more satisfying than plying them with enough sugar and preservatives to stun a moose, winding them up and handing them back to their unsuspecting parents.

      Ruin my afternoon, eh ? Back at ya !

    • infamous16 says:

      06:17am | 21/02/13

      I don’t know what parties your kid goes to but the parties I go to only have onebtoy in pass the parcel.

    • Mahhrat says:

      06:24am | 21/02/13

      *laughs* Mate, I can give you the easy answer:

      We’re afraid of our own children because of how we’ll be judged for how our children act.

      Thanks to the 24/7 news cycle, Facebook faux-pas and mis-tweets, we’ve become hypersensitive to the effect everything a person does has on their whole lives.  It’s filtering down to Jo Public’s level.  That includes how we’d be perceived in our peer group by the actions of our children.

      I tell you, it’s a wonderful thing to be freed from it.  I can say that because I managed it when my precious angel was 4 or so.  She threw the classic shopping-aisle tantrum.  Kicking, crying, incoherent screaming, you name it.

      The solution?  I escalated it.  I threw a tantrum back.  I jumped, I yelled, I carried on like a right pork chop, much to the disgust of other shoppers - right up until angel’s tantrum stopped cold.  She was totally shocked.

      I picked her up, gave her a cuddle.  I asked her, “We aren’t going to do that again, are we sweetheart?”.

      No, daddy.

      If we stopped caring about people being so damn perfect and impacting on our “entitlement” to a perfect, offence-free world, we’d probably be better people and raise better people.

    • Punch Drunk says:

      08:44am | 21/02/13

      Haha, wish I’d seen that. I do that to my young one when he carries on at home (not sure I’d do it in public though). Looks at me like “What the hell?”

    • Economist says:

      09:14am | 21/02/13

      I like this comment. It’s so true that there is a certain cohort of parents that worry about being judged by others. And you wonder why after yesterday’s comments on http://www.thepunch.com.au/articles/dads-need-to-shut-their-children-up-too/ . I’d argue I’m guilty as charged.

      Yet some parents are also shielding their kids from the reality that other kids can be arseholes at times. Recently I had a parent approach me at school to say that my youngen was a bully. Naturally I wanted to get the bottom of it. I found out from the parent that my youngster said to theirs “I don’t want to play with you you’re not my friend”.

      I had no reply, because this is not bullying. I think a lot of parents simply don’t even know what bullying is. Bullying is continued attacks on an individual because of differences, not a one off fight, disagreement or as young children do, claim to not be friends, when the next day they’re playing with the kid they didn’t want to be friends with.

    • Matt says:

      09:25am | 21/02/13

      Here here (or is it hear hear?)

    • Dennis says:

      10:25am | 21/02/13

      @Economist, no a one-off “i don’t want to play with you” is certainly not bullying.  But are you giving us the whole story, mate?  I find it hard to believe a parent would approach you like that, accuse your kid of being a bully on simply that one piece of evidence/incident.  Are you sure you know the whole story?

    • Economist says:

      11:15am | 21/02/13

      Yep that’s the story, he’s 5, even the teacher said the parent was being overly sensitive, that they had seen no behaviour of bullying, that the parent should have approached the school with their concerns.

      As others may testify on these pages, I’ll call a spade a spade, if my kids a little shit, I’ll acknowledge it and do something about it.

    • Happy Dude says:

      11:39am | 21/02/13

      Matt its hear hear! You are agreeing not calling a person over to you.

    • James1 says:

      01:02pm | 21/02/13

      At my daughter’s primary school, saying you don’t want to play with someone one time is considered a bullying incident.  You are not allowed to refuse to play with anyone at that school, not even the terrors and the kids who smell terrible.

      My daughter got in trouble once because she refused to play with another child.  When asked why, she replied that the other child always played games my daughter doesn’t like.  That got her in more trouble - apparently you aren’t allowed to have your own opinions on the games other kids play.  When the teacher told me those things, I said “...and?” expecting there would be more, and that she must have actually done something wrong for me to be called in like that.

      I have taught my kid another way to deal with it, though. Tell the girl she is going to the toilet, and then never return and go off and play somewhere else.  Works a charm, and no one calls that bullying. 

      Like Economist, I know my kid can be as mean as any other nine year old girl, and indeed I know she has been mean - even been a bully - on more than one occasion.  However, refusing to play with a kid you don’t like is not bullying.

    • Dennis says:

      02:27pm | 21/02/13

      @Economist and James1 -  i don’t know where you guys live, but maybe you should move to Brisbane.  I’ve never heard of such rubbish as what you are describing, here.  Such a ridiculous policy would never get a leg up with the parents at our kid’s school.  The Principal would certainly never support it. I find our school’s policies to be very well balanced and realistic.  And I suspect that might be a Queensland thing.  Maybe we’re not so precious as you lot in Victoria and NSW.

    • James1 says:

      02:34pm | 21/02/13

      I believe we both live in the Australian Capital Territory, Dennis.  It seems like the type of thing that could only happen in the ACT to me.

    • AdamC says:

      03:08pm | 21/02/13

      It is weird how these things can go full-circle. Obsessive concern about bullying leads to the imposition of excessive rules about how kids interact. Rules which, themselves, could be seen as a form of bullying.

      Surely any child should be able, politely, to decide whom they want to play with?

    • Joan Bennett says:

      07:15am | 21/02/13

      Love your work, Mahhrat!  I remember when my niece started biting people when she was about a year old.  My Mother was babysitting her and got her out of it in about 2 minutes by biting her back.  She got me and my little sister to do it, too and it worked a treat!  When someone does to us what we do to them, we realise how awful (or ridiculous) it is and stop.

    • Alicia says:

      01:25pm | 21/02/13

      I used to bite my brother when we were little and one day I bit him quite hard, so my Mum bit me. I never bit him or anyone again.

    • glenm says:

      01:45pm | 21/02/13

      @ Joan, Oh my God, thats disgusting and I would suggest is actually child abuse. A one year old does not bite to be mean or cruel but often as a way of exploring the environment or as a result of teething.  You should be ashamed of yourself.

    • Philosopher says:

      02:27pm | 21/02/13

      funny, we got our baby girl to stop biting by pulling our fingers away. Read the technique in a child-rearing manual wink

    • Mouse says:

      07:18am | 21/02/13

      OK, so how do we play musical chairs then?    :o/

    • Loddlaen says:

      08:00am | 21/02/13

      I have seen musical chairs done with 5 extra chairs just to ensure no one missed a seat…

    • Mouse says:

      08:36am | 21/02/13

      So how does that work? They keep playing/stopping the music until the little darlings decide they have had enough? Geez, and parents pander to this?  hahahahaha I wonder if little Taylor will have Mummy go to her/his first job interview with her/him. It just keeps getting funnier and funnier!!  LOL :oD

    • Gordon says:

      08:44am | 21/02/13

      Musical chairs should be mandatory. If more high-finance types understood that the music always stops we’d be much better off.

    • Christina says:

      10:31am | 21/02/13

      Mouse - don’t joke about the parents turning up to and sitting in on their pwecious liddle offspring’s job interview.

      Happened to me when I was chairing a selection panel. Twice.

      Applicant one had no idea how to present himself for an interview - turned up in a track-suit and runners. He hardly looked up from his i-Phone, as he was updating his ‘status’ every few minutes. After he’d given us his answer to any of our questions, his mother would jump in and elaborate. We removed her, but not after appx 5 minutes of refusals and accusations of bias against her son (because we were removing her). He did NOT get the job as he was unable to function without her advice. Oh, he also recently graduated from one of the ‘sandstone-six’ universities.

      Second time dear old mum was in attendance in the interview was a young woman who, also a uni graduate, insisted her mum sit in the corner of the interview room. We advised that the interview would not commence unti mum had left. But before she did, the mother gave her daughter cut sandwiches to eat during the interview, and demanded that we don’t ask her any which was “too hard”, and to ask…...only the questions she gave to us typed on a sheet of A4.

      Nope, she did not get the position either.

      Has anybody else had this sort of behaviour from applicant parents interviews????

    • kitteh says:

      12:12pm | 21/02/13

      Christina: I have seen this also. Mum walked her kid to the interview venue, although thankfully she didn’t ask to sit in. But she did later corner me and ask why her kid didn’t get the job. I would have felt sorry for the kid if he hadn’t been so obviously dependent on her - it wasn’t just a case of a mother who couldn’t let go.

    • AFR says:

      01:20pm | 21/02/13

      Christina/Muse: An old GF of mine once worked HR in one of our growing number of “ethnic” banks, in which people of the same ancestry seemed to assume the Bank would automatically give a job. She encountered the tracksuit wearer w/ overbearing mother on more than one occasion, and was pressured to recommend them as their parents knew someone (higher than her) at the Bank.

      She didn’t last long in the job.

    • pete says:

      07:21am | 21/02/13

      “Taylah” would be more appropriate.

    • Levi says:

      08:47am | 21/02/13

      Ha ha yep, and don’t forget little Jaxon, Aimeey, Montana and Destiny.

    • Pedro , the real one says:

      09:13am | 21/02/13

      Brayden, Kayla, Jayden, Rebekah .. add bogan misspelling of your choice.
      And then as you head to the nouveau riche suburbs - it’s Phoebe, Toby, Finn, Oscar, Oliver, Mia, Bella.
      Enough to make you vomit.

      We have our son’s second birthday coming up. Attendees are not being given lolly bags or toys. They can all f*(& off.
      Having said that, we have already requested no presents and we are putting on a lot of grog for the presents. Good wife is in a whirlwind of prep making healthy snacks - and a farmyard-themed cake. As for contests, the rugrats can play with the hose and hit each other with gardening tools.

    • Matt says:

      09:30am | 21/02/13

      Don’t forget Levi

    • Mouse says:

      09:57am | 21/02/13

      Hmmmmmm, one of my cats is named Bella…...  :o)

    • Brayydenn Hash-Tag says:

      10:41am | 21/02/13

      Damnit - who are you Levi and how do you know my families names?

    • Rebecca says:

      01:10pm | 21/02/13

      @Pedro, Rebekah is actually the original Hebrew spelling that Rebecca was later derived from, so it’s not a bogan misspelling.

    • Chris L says:

      01:35pm | 21/02/13

      @Mouse - That makes you the fifth person I know of who’ve named their pet Bella (and been willing to admit it).

      I wonder if names like Edith and Agnes will ever come back into fashion.

    • Jim Moriarty says:

      01:43pm | 21/02/13

      Some kids I went to school with:

      Granuaile
      Maebh
      Rionach
      Sorcha
      Cabhan
      Conchobhar
      Jarlath
      Tierney

      Here, have a name you won’t be able to spell until you’re 8. It’s a bit like Welsh, the way it’s spelt seems to have little do with the pronunciation.

    • RobJ says:

      02:03pm | 21/02/13

      “It’s a bit like Welsh, the way it’s spelt seems to have little do with the pronunciation.”

      Actually, it’s nothing like Welsh, Welsh is a phonetic language where letters and combinations of letters always sound the same, unlike…............ English. ;o)

    • Jim Moriarty says:

      02:42pm | 21/02/13

      @RobJ

      I apologise! I just look at Welsh and think, “It’s Gaelic on crack!” I cannot make heads or tails of it. Too many consonants, not enough vowels.

      Maybe Gaelic is Welsh on crack!

    • Mouse says:

      03:19pm | 21/02/13

      ChrisL, Bella got her name because she had a collar with a bell when she and her kittens were dumped near my place, and, being the unimaginative person that I am, Bella just seemed to suit her!  She now struts around like the Belle of the Ball so maybe it was her name all along.  lol
      I had a rat named Shylock and have had many other pets but, alas, never have any of them be named Edith or Agnes. Neither are pet names for me I am afraid.  Maybe Agnes for an angel fish or an arachnid and possibly Edith for an elver….... maybe…  (I was going to say elephant, but that’s just being silly!)  Told you I was unimaginative!!  LOL :oD

    • stephen says:

      08:36am | 21/02/13

      I think feedback from all parents is most likely a waste of time.
      When I was little, I only wanted to know what my friends thought, and George, the boy I didn’t like, well, our cricket team beat his.
      (And, I hope, he never got flouride in his water.)

    • willie says:

      08:37am | 21/02/13

      The last sentence is crap.

      If I had won that BB gun it would have saved me many scars, mental and physical.

    • Justme says:

      08:54am | 21/02/13

      Most pass the parcel games I’ve seen recently had a lollipop or chocky frog in each layer. And lolly bags in our party circle these days are more like trinket bags with pencils, stickers, hair clips etc in them.

    • Buzz says:

      09:39am | 21/02/13

      You Australians have this thing about “pass the parcel”.  I’ve read references to this issue (whinges) many times before.  Whether it’s right or wrong to have just one present or to have one for everybody. Blah blah blah.  It’s just a silly little game for 2 year olds, guys, relax.  Nothing turns on it, either way you do it.  Just do what works for you and have fun with the kids.  They grow up pretty fast, I can tell you that.

    • Alfie says:

      12:25pm | 21/02/13

      Alf’s tip of the day:
      Never play pass the parcel with children of ‘middle-eastern’ appearance.

    • AFR says:

      01:21pm | 21/02/13

      Actually I rememebr an old joke:

      Q: “What’s the most dangerous game of all?”
      A: Pass the parcel in a Belfast pub”

    • Jim Moriarty says:

      01:44pm | 21/02/13

      @AFR

      LOL!!
      There’s also “What’s an Irish cocktail?”

      A pint of Guinness, with a potato stuck to the side of the glass.

    • Chris L says:

      03:39pm | 21/02/13

      If we’re doing Irish jokes….

      Have you heard about the IRA terrorist that was sent to blow up a car?

      He burned his lips on the tailpipe.

    • Alfie says:

      04:21pm | 21/02/13

      Q: how do you burn an Irishman’s ear?
      A: phone him when he is ironing.

    • Jim Moriarty says:

      04:52pm | 21/02/13

      @Chris L

      Sounds like a typical member of the IRA!

    • Mouse says:

      04:59pm | 21/02/13

      Oooh, jokes! I’ll be in on that.  I may be able to be sexist, racist and anti-God, all in one go!!  :o)
      The hair dryer and the Priest
      A distinguished young woman on a flight from Ireland asked the Priest beside her, “Father, may I ask a favour?”
      “Of course.  What may I do for you?”
      “Well, I bought an expensive woman’s electronic hair dryer for my mother’s birthday that is unopened and well over the Customs limit, and I’m afraid they’ll confiscate it.  Is there any way you could carry it through Customs for me?  Under your robes perhaps?”
      “I would love to help you, dear, but I must warn you, I will not lie.”
      “With your honest face, Father, no one will question you.”
      When they got to Customs, she let the priest go ahead of her.
      The official asked, “Father, do you have anything to declare?”
      “From the top of my head down to my waist, I have nothing to declare.”
      The official thought this answer strange, so asked, “And what do you have to declare from your waist to the floor?”
      “I have a marvelous instrument designed to be used on a woman, but which is, to date, unused.”
      Roaring with laughter, the official said, “Go ahead, Father.  Next!”

    • Mamma Mia says:

      09:46am | 21/02/13

      I think the problem is that we have so many “how to” books/tv shows/news articles on parenting these days, people are taking a little knowledge way to far. I have become the “mean Mum” in that apart from the BIG issues, I tell my kids to basically suck it up. We, from the middle classes are SO concerned that our kids will end up on Oprahs couch, we’re missing the big picture. Our kids WILL be ok. They are NOT being bullied when they just disagree with a friend, they will NOT end up in the psych ward if they watch a slightly innappropriate movie or tv show (i.e Dr Who..not Chucky !!), they WON’T end up serial killers if they play with a toy gun or sword… and they won’t have emotional issues as adults if they dont win a prize EVERY time they compete..

    • Philosopher says:

      11:42am | 21/02/13

      Every generation uses the tools they are given. Perhaps our tools are over-designed, mass marketed, cheap imports from China, rather than the Sheffield steel from yesteryear. But tomorrow is already here! So we will let little Anastasia and Marcus have their on smarphone, with a sigh of relief and a twinge of regret. And wait with baited breath to see what type of little plants push their tentative shoots up through the chemical-laden soil…

    • Ally says:

      09:49am | 21/02/13

      Kids’ parties in general these days seem whacked to me. To start with there are extravagant parties for infants and toddlers, face painters and clowns, bloody jumping castles, not to mention professionally made cakes that cost a small fortune. Plus, since when do parents attend?

      I personally see nothing wrong with having competitions - both at birthday parties or by ranking kids at school - where only one kid can win. Plus, there’s a difference between offering kids encouragement and giving them an over inflated sense of their abilities. Mind you, without the latter we wouldn’t have scores of applicants on talent shows to laugh at who are convinced they can sing thanks to mummy and daddy praising them to high heaven.

    • ramases says:

      10:28am | 21/02/13

      I personally think that the children of today are being so wrapped up in cotton wool that when the real world finally penetrates they will fall apart. I schools question are multiple choice where they have a one in four chance of getting it right and only need to get half the questions right to get a decent passing grade. Kids aren’t allowed to fail so there are now no winners and losers but participants. This is not real life and the sooner kids learn the difference the better or we will have a generation of losers not able to cope.

    • Carolyn says:

      10:34am | 21/02/13

      Kids parties are great if you need work done around the house. You can make a game of cleaning out the garage, mopping the floors or wedding the garden….......

      Just throw some fairy bread or cake at them, they’ll be fine. But they musn’t put the mop, broom, hose down, they can just catch the cake/fairy bread in their mouth.

      Saves money.

    • Tubesteak says:

      10:41am | 21/02/13

      This is what happens when you don’t belt children whenever they step out of line.

      Children need to learn boundaries and acceptable behaviour. The only way they’ll learn is if you smack them when they behave unacceptably.

      Using “naughty corners” and “reasoning” just means they continually try to test the limits and push back. There’s no stepping over the line if they think the consequence will be painful.

    • RobJ says:

      12:30pm | 21/02/13

      “There’s no stepping over the line if they think the consequence will be painful.”

      I might add that I got smacked frequently, in school and at home, why? Because I kept stepping over the line, the beatings never stopped me (or many many others) fortunately for me I just grew up. So that’s another blanket statement you’ve made.

    • Beryl Berylson says:

      01:23pm | 21/02/13

      You seem like you are/would be a terrible domineering psycho of a parent.

    • AFR says:

      02:12pm | 21/02/13

      Nah, I’d prefer to put a collar around their neck with a remote in my hand to shock them if they misbehave,

      Works for my neighbour’s dog.

    • James1 says:

      02:25pm | 21/02/13

      RobJ is right.  The worst behaved kids tend to be the ones that get smacked for every infringement.

      That said, they usually come from the lower social classes, and that might have more to do with it than anything else.  After all, poor kids tend to behave worse, and poor parents often lack the social skills and ability to communicate effectively, meaning that the application of force is their only real option.

      Also, we don’t smack, and our older child understands boundaries very well (our younger one is a baby still).  That is because we communicate clearly why these boundaries exist, and enforce them using effective punishments (taking away the things she likes).

    • Jim Moriarty says:

      02:47pm | 21/02/13

      @Tubesteak

      You sound like my Da.

      That’s not a good thing.

      A smack is fine, a belting is not. My sisters and I were terrified of my father. There was no way to predict what was going to be ‘over the line’. One time a detention is over the line. The next day dropping a dish while washing up is over the line. Then meeting his eyes is over the line. The next day *not* meeting his eyes is disrespect and over the line.

      If you never want your kids to talk to you again when they’re adults by all means keep on doing what you’re doing.

    • Student says:

      11:22am | 21/02/13

      “No child these days ever gets to hear those all-important character building words - You lost, BOBBY! ...... You know what they tell the kid who lost these days? You are the last winner.” - George Carlin

    • X Gen of Canberra says:

      12:13pm | 21/02/13

      Yes indeed, pass the parcel where everyone gets a prize; sporting carnivals where everyone gets a ribbon and classrooms where kids aren’t allowed to discuss the ‘level’ of their readers in case it makes the ‘less able’ readers aware they are not the best at something really isn’t preparing young people for a competitive world.

      As a small bakery franchise owner, I had mothers ‘apply’ for jobs on behalf of their teenagers (honestly- if the kid doesn’t even have enough inititative to even apply, they are hardly likely to have the initiative to pick up a broom or wipe a window).  I also had a baker quit beacuse he was told his croissants were a little dark, could he please take them out of the oven a minute earlier next time.  Apparently he didn’t need ‘this kind of sh*t’. Perhaps that was the first bit of criticism he’d ever received in his life of ‘everyone is a winner.’

    • Reschs Monkey says:

      12:14pm | 21/02/13

      From a (now retired) parent’s perspective, kids parties provided an opportunity to wreak revenge on the neighbourhood by inviting all of the kids over, loading them with starch, caffeine drinks, and sugar products as well as nasty food colours and additives, so they could reap hell on their parents when they return home.

    • RobJ says:

      12:27pm | 21/02/13

      “Children need to learn boundaries and acceptable behaviour. The only way they’ll learn is if you smack them when they behave unacceptably.”

      Basically you’re claiming that all children must be smacked (because they ALL push the boundaries) Assuming you’re correct that would mean that every single adult that wasn’t subjected to corporal punishment as a child doesn’t know how to behave, we all know that that is false.

      I think that parents who smack their children lack imagination, have run out of ideas on how to discipline their children but they have my sympathy because raising children isn’t always easy..

      I’ve smacked my son only once, he was playing up, giving me the shits, not listening, whinging, crying in a busy shopping centre, when I slapped him on the back of the legs he just cried more, nothing posistive was acheived. He was about 5 or 6 years old. he’s now 10, very well behaved with a very nice nature. Maybe I’m just lucky, on the occasions he’s non-compliant I just threaten to withdraw privileges (video game time) works great, I wish I’d tried that on the day I chose to slap the back of his legs.

      Like I say, maybe I’m lucky, maybe some kids would benefit more from a slap than a threat of no video games but without a doubt, your statement that I quoted is utterly false.

    • Ken Oath says:

      12:27pm | 21/02/13

      Hah Tubesteak the PC brigade will soon be onto you.

      “Naughty corners” and “reasoning” means you are then put in the position of having to wage psychological warfare with your little darlings. To me that’s child abuse of the most insidious kind. And a two year old capable of understanding reason? Spare me. One little smack stops it all and it’s over and done with and in the past. No more ongoing mind games.

      I need to qualify that statement with a dozen pages of different provisos but what the hell we need a good debate.

    • RobJ says:

      01:59pm | 21/02/13

      “To me that’s child abuse of the most insidious kind. And a two year old capable of understanding reason?”

      All the less reason to resort to violence.

    • Just a thought says:

      02:35pm | 21/02/13

      Every animal on the planet who raises its offspring uses some form of physical stimuli to discipline its young.

    • RobJ says:

      02:41pm | 21/02/13

      Just a thought, as human beings we are the most sophisticated and intelligent of animals, we can, do and should rise above our base instincts.

    • ramases says:

      04:14pm | 21/02/13

      Yes Rob J and look where it has got us. Kids and teenagers who have never had a lose and don’t know how to handle rejection. Little darlings who think they rule the planet and defy anyone to do something about it as they know their rights and not much else as learning is a thing of the past. Have a look at the rise in youth suicide, for example, in Australia suicide is second only to motor vehicle accidents as the leading cause of death for people aged 15–24, my theory is that because the real world hasn’t been allowed to penetrate their psyche whilst growing up they cant handle the fact that they have failed or are failing at something simple, a vast difference to when there was no such thing as failure when growing up , no failing tests, no failing at sport where everybody is a winner, always getting their own way because parents are either hamstrung by regulation or don’t really care as long as they have some peace.
        Yes look at where its got us, a generation of people who think they are all winners and deserve the lot now without having to lift a finger. Sad isn’t it.

 

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