Competitive Parenting Fueling Mental Health Crisis in Australian children – Anne Hollonds

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Australia’s National Children’s Commissioner on Monday warned that “competitive parenting” is fueling a mental health crisis in Australian kids.

Anne Hollonds, who was appointed as the children’s commissioner by the federal government in August used her first interview in the role to call for kids to have more time to relax and play.

Hollonds, a psychologist, has previously served as the director of the Australian Institute of Family Studies.

She called for an end to `competitive parenting,’ citing research that has found that children with hands-on and pushy parents are more likely to develop mental health issues, most commonly anxiety.

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“The culture of criticism and judgment and competition (about parenting) doesn’t help any of us and ultimately is bad for our kids.

“We need a more supportive and compassionate culture – then families who are struggling would feel able to reach out for help.’’

Hollonds also urged parents and teachers to “reset expectations” on homework loads with Australian students regularly spending three hours every night on school work.

“In our very cramped lives, and with a crammed (school) curriculum, we have to ask if there’s enough time for kids to play.

“We tend to load up their days, and expect schools to cram a lot into those days. Many people today would say kids are experiencing stress as a result of too much to do,’’ he said. (Xinhua/NAN)

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