Over the last ten years award-winning author and passionate educator, John Marsden, has noticed the disturbing rise of ‘toxic’ parenting approaches that he believes are contributing to a pandemic of anxiety in young people.
With two schools of his own in Victoria and many years as a teacher and principal, John has had plenty of first-hand experience dealing with children and parents.
Mamamia spoke to John about his new book, The Art of Growing Up, and for his thoughts on 21st century ‘toxic parenting’ to find what he thinks we should do.
While John recognises that the past was far from perfect, he believes contemporary ‘toxic parenting’ is the major cause of bad behaviour, depression and anxiety in children.
Yet he believes that as a society we are uncomfortable acknowledging and discussing our mistakes.
“In the old days physical abuse was more common and widespread, yet today we have serious emotional and social issues to deal with,” John says.
“Kids used to grow up in bigger families with one parent at home. They likely had more freedom and contact with extended family and the wider community.
“Today what we see a lot of are suburban nuclear family homes where both parents work and the children don’t always know their neighbours’ names.”
Side note – On the latest episode of This Glorious Mess, Bec Sparrow shares the right age you should be letting your child have Instagram. Post continues after audio.