I am employed as a psychology lecturer/researcher at a Perth university. My main area of research concerns families with young children, especially mothering and “the good mother syndrome” – why, as mothers, we will never get it “right”. I also research “good fathers” – what IS a good father, exactly? And what does that say about mothers again?

I am passionate about parenting. I believe that parenting has become professionalised in the 21st century, where parents are led to believe that they should be aiming for a specific outcome (the perfect child), and there is a belief that there is a right way to parent, and a wrong way to parent. My argument is that, while this pertains to fathers, it especially falls on mothers to mother the “right” way. There is no right way, and in fact, all you need is to be “good enough” at mothering. It’s time to stop the guilt trip, and just enjoy parenting.

We hear about different types of parenting all the time. We hear about cotton wool parents, helicopter parents, tiger parents, intensive parents, free-range parents, and so on. I propose a new type of parenting. I’m going to call it Calm Down Parenting. Everybody, just chill. Calm down. Johnny won’t eat his beans? Calm down. Charlie insists on carting around a manky stuffed rabbit everywhere? Calm down. Sally wants to wear the same shirt every day? Just calm down.

You can read about my specific research projects by clicking on the pages (above right). I am always looking for research participants. If you would like to be added to my databases, or if you would like to be updated about my research, please see details on each of the project tabs.

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