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Parental As Anything: A Bookclub Reflection

On Friday 12 May 2023, our Parent Education Committee hosted a Book Club focused on Maggie Dent's book 'Parental As Anything'.

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Parents and guardians from our school community gathered to discuss various themes and ideas presented in the book, fostering an enriching environment for learning and growth. We extend our gratitude to all the attendees who contributed to the insightful conversations.

We delved into a range of topics, offering participants a platform to exchange ideas and gain valuable insights into effective parenting strategies, for example:

  1. Rooster versus Lamb: Is That Always the Case? Parents engaged in a thought-provoking discussion about understanding and embracing the unique personalities and temperaments of their children. By exploring the dynamics between the more assertive “rooster” personalities and the gentler “lamb” personalities, attendees discovered the importance of nurturing individual strengths and finding effective ways to support each child’s development.
  2. Discipline Versus Punishment: A Nuanced Approach Parents explored the distinction between discipline and punishment, emphasizing the importance of guiding children through difficult situations without resorting to punitive measures. The discussion centered around explanations and the removal of privileges as a means to help children understand their actions and learn from their mistakes, rather than simply being a form of punishment.
  3. The Impact of Rushing: Participants delved into the effects of rushing on children’s well-being and development. The consensus was that slowing down and allowing children the time and space to explore and engage with their surroundings is crucial for their overall growth and learning. By fostering a calmer and more unhurried environment, parents can help promote a sense of balance and mindfulness in their children’s lives.
  4. Embracing Risk and Natural Exploration: The importance of taking calculated risks and allowing children to engage in natural exploration emerged as a key topic of discussion. Parents recognised the value of providing opportunities for children to test their limits, encouraging skill development and confidence. They emphasised the need to strike a balance between safety and allowing children to experience challenges, thus fostering their resilience and independence.
  5. Priorities of Play and the Outdoors: Parents highlighted the significance of unstructured play and the benefits of spending time in nature. The discussion centred around leaving play areas set up and accessible, enabling children to engage in spontaneous play and connect with the natural world. By prioritising play and nature experiences, parents acknowledged the positive impact on children’s well-being, creativity, and overall development.
  6. Children Being Children, Beyond Academics: Participants emphasised the importance of recognising and valuing childhood for its own sake, rather than solely focusing on academic achievements. Parents discussed the need to create a balanced environment that allows children to explore their interests, engage in imaginative play, and foster their emotional well-being. Encouraging a holistic approach to development, attendees acknowledged the long-term benefits of nurturing well-rounded individuals.

The ‘Parental As Anything’ Book Club provided a platform for our school community to come together and engage in meaningful discussions about parenting strategies and philosophies. By exchanging ideas and insights, parents shared valuable knowledge and tools to support their children’s growth and well-being.

We extend our sincere appreciation to the Parent Education Committee for organising this enriching event, and we look forward to future gatherings that foster a sense of community, collaboration, and continued learning. Remember, parenting is an ever-evolving journey, and by actively participating in such discussions, we can enhance our understanding and make a positive impact on the lives of our children.


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