In news that will come as a huge relief to all parents whose instincts have always told them it’s not healthy for kids to try to make their lives - or them - too perfect, this week it looks a lot like the “helicopter parent” is on the way out.

That's not chocolate icing, it's actually dirt

Despite Australian recommendations released this week that children’s lives should be so sanitized they should use sterilizing gel before and after the sandpit, two big international studies have just found too much management of kids and their environment is unhealthy.

News broke this morning of a big Stanford University study which found that far from trying to shield children from germs by sanitizing everything they touch (even toys), it may be good for them to “let them eat dirt”.

Latest 2 of 69 comments

View all comments
  • BC says:

    06:37pm | 08/02/13

    My mother-in-law says, “They need their pound of dirt”. Still trying to get my 6 year old to remember to flush the toilet and wash her hands after a poo. I think that’s reasonable. Isn’t it? Isn’t it??? Read more »

  • stephen says:

    06:08pm | 08/02/13

    No Wendy ... let them have their cake, and they can eat dirt too. Actually, I think that it is the boys who need to brush up on their scuffles and sweat ; the girls, I reckon, are doing OK. Read more »


Facebook Recommendations

Read all about it

Punch live

Up to the minute Twitter chatter

Recent posts

The latest and greatest

The Punch is moving house

The Punch is moving house

Good morning Punchers. After four years of excellent fun and great conversation, this is the final post…

Will Pope Francis have the vision to tackle this?

Will Pope Francis have the vision to tackle this?

I have had some close calls, one that involved what looked to me like an AK47 pointed my way, followed…

Advocating risk management is not “victim blaming”

Advocating risk management is not “victim blaming”

In a world in which there are still people who subscribe to the vile notion that certain victims of sexual…

Nosebleed Section

choice ringside rantings

From: Hasbro, go straight to gaol, do not pass go

Tim says:

They should update other things in the game too. Instead of a get out of jail free card, they should have a Dodgy Lawyer card that not only gets you out of jail straight away but also gives you a fat payout in compensation for daring to arrest you in the first place. Instead of getting a hotel when you… [read more]

From: A guide to summer festivals especially if you wouldn’t go

Kel says:

If you want a festival for older people or for families alike, get amongst the respectable punters at Bluesfest. A truly amazing festival experience to be had of ALL AGES. And all the young "festivalgoers" usually write themselves off on the first night, only to never hear from them again the rest of… [read more]

Gentle jabs to the ribs

Superman needs saving

Superman needs saving

Can somebody please save Superman? He seems to be going through a bit of a crisis. Eighteen months ago,… Read more



Read all about it

Sign up to the free newsletter