Transcript for
Navigating the first year of parenting

Runtime 00:32:30
Released 6/3/23

Sarah (00:00): The one GP is the only person who really made an effort to connect with us. He connected with us because we saw him together because we’ve been seeing him for years. He was the only person who connected with us, everyone else went straight to the baby, and I understand that, at that point, I needed additional medical care for the baby but I felt like I was forgotten, like I was just a carrier. Yeah, just secondary. 


Narrator (00:25): 

Welcome to the Emerging Minds podcast. 


Bec Edser (00:30): 

Hi, everyone. Welcome to the Emerging Minds podcast. My name is Bec Edser and today, I’m joined by first time parents, Sarah and Claudius, and their little boy Christopher. Emerging Minds has connected with Sarah and Claudius as lived experience family partners through the development of our online learning course, Practice strategies for infant and toddler assessment. 



We’re interested in hearing today about how they have overcome some of the challenges they’ve experienced to develop a strong and nurturing relationship with Christopher as well as hearing about the benefits that they have experienced from having a supportive and child-focused GP. I would like to thank them for taking the time to share their insights into their pregnancy and new parenting journey with us today. 



Please be aware that this podcast mentions an experience of suicidal thoughts. If at any point you find you are struggling, please talk with a friend, colleague, your supervisor, seek help or you can call Lifeline on 13-11-14 or Beyond Blue on 1300-22-4636. So welcome Sarah and Claudius and Christopher. I’m wondering if, Sarah, you could tell us a little bit about your son Christopher. 


Sarah (01:47): 

Little Christopher here… Well, Chris is 11 months and a week old now. He’s turned one on the 1st of December so he’s just currently going through a big learning patch where he’s absolutely obsessed with these flat books. They’re his favourite thing. So he’s a really cheerful child. We’ve put him in childcare very early for the social interaction because we decided very early on to only have one child so we wanted to make sure that he had plenty of social interaction. 


Claudius (02:16): 



Sarah (02:17): 

Yeah, which is good because it’s showing. He’s very bright and interested and happy and loves people so much more than we do. 


Bec Edser (02:25): 

Claudius, what has it been like for you becoming a new dad? 


Claudius (02:28): 

It’s been a challenge. You really discover things about yourself that you never knew existed before. Some things, warm and fuzzy and other things, you don’t expect. You look back at yourself and sometimes, it makes you think about your own childhood. When he was really young, in the first few weeks, I found, for me personally, I was going through immense feelings of guilt. I felt really guilty in his first week. 



I’d done something bad that I brought him into a world that he was going to have to suffer through. But I think that was just a personal experience and just something that I had to reconcile with myself but it’s something that we all have to go through. But in the end, it didn’t last long but it was one of the more surprising things that I experienced early on. Very unexpected. 


Bec Edser (03:32): 

Was there anyone who you went to for support at that time? 


Claudius (03:37): 

Our GP really was an immense help. He clarified very, very quickly that those feelings were really associated with exhaustion and that we weren’t doing anything wrong. We were looking after him. We were providing him with food and security and comfort, shelter, and we weren’t doing anything wrong. It was more personal aspects like feelings of exhaustion that were generating those thoughts. 


Bec Edser (04:11): 

Now, you seem to be growing in confidence as a dad. 


Claudius (04:15): 

Yes. Yes, very much so. It’s a lot easier to take him out. I have to say that now that he’s developing to be his own little man, it’s a lot easier. Before he started to develop his personality, he had no idea really what he wanted. It’s a lot easier when he can communicate what he likes and what he doesn’t like. His current favourite thing when we do things together is riding on my shoulders. It’s the world. That or flying, it’s like he’s flying and moments like that, it reinforces that you’re doing the right thing and he’s enjoying your company and enjoying the activities. When you can get that feedback, it helps. It boosts what you’re happy doing, what you think would be a good activity to pursue. 


Bec Edser (05:05): 

Yeah. So when Christopher was very little and you are not necessarily getting that obvious reciprocation from him, it sounds like your GP helped to really reassure you that he was absolutely appreciating the nurturing that you were showing towards him and that this was being displayed in different ways that are hard to appreciate when you’re so lacking in sleep. 


Claudius (05:28): Our GP stressed that, especially at his young age, if there was something that he didn’t like, he would voice it. He would show that he didn’t like it. So long as we fed him at the right times, we kept him comfortable, kept him warm or cool, made sure he was… He was well looked after. Like I said earlier, the feelings that I had in the early weeks were very much related to exhaustion because unbeknownst to us, he loves a routine and we didn’t know that at the time. So he was sleeping for about 60 minutes and then waking up. Do you remember? 


Sarah (06:13): Yes. I remember that night that you came in holding him crying because you were worried about the feelings of guilt but you also hadn’t slept for about 48 hours at that point. 


Claudius (06:22): Yeah. That was- 


Sarah (06:22): It was hard. 


Claudius (06:26): Yeah. That was a day. So we very much had to split our observation into shifts. 


Sarah (06:31): Yeah. 


Claudius (06:33): So instead of just going until we feel tired, we had to separate ourselves into… I took the night shift, yeah? 


Sarah (06:43): Yeah. It was 12-hour shifts so one of us was awake at any time. I think that there needs to be more support for fathers like this whole two weeks and go back to work thing is, this is not viable. It doesn’t work. Claudius took six weeks off unpaid because we needed him because Christopher was our first and he was a very fragile little boy and everything. So yeah, we basically didn’t see each other for that whole six weeks. We just took turns. 


Claudius (07:08): Well, for his first week, he was in infantile intensive care. He was in the hospital and we spent a week at home worried about him constantly because… When he was born, he had inhaled some fluid and his lungs weren’t responding terribly well in the first week but he was in good hands but it doesn’t negate the fact that as first time parents, you’re worried about your child. It’s in a hospital in a crib under observation. It’s a very confronting experience. 


Sarah (07:48): We learned a lot about ourselves during that time too because there was one night where they rang us up and said, “We need to put nasogastric tube back in because he’s not eating properly,” so we both freaked out. We rushed to the hospital because I needed to see him. But as soon as we got there, I was calmed down but Claudius got really upset seeing him under the lights and everything. 


Claudius (08:06): It was oxygen. 


Sarah (08:16): Oxygen, yeah. This was just after COVID had just hit South Australia as well so the borders were open, it was going rampant. It was just an awful time. 


Bec Edser (08:17): That sounds like a challenging time for you both. Sarah, when you look at Christopher now, as we all are today, we can see that he’s a very happy little 11 month old. He’s starting to crawl and stand up. Is there a certain amount of pride that you are starting to take in what the two of you have been able to nurture in him? 


Sarah (08:40): Absolutely, absolutely. 


Claudius (08:42): Very much. 


Sarah (08:42): We’re proud of his ability to… About the fact that he goes to the books, I’m proud of that. We are very strict about his screen time so I’m proud of that because we’ve actually successfully kept that going for nearly 12 months and he’s growing into a person who… I love his personality. He’s such a happy, loving, caring little boy. I’m very proud of who he is already but I love every step that makes him less of a part of me and more his own person because it’s… It’s hard to explain but it’s incredible to watch. You’ve seen it, haven’t you? 


Claudius (09:16): I have seen changes occurring with Christopher over the last four, five, eight weeks, that’s truly remarkable. It is hard to define. When you see a little person like Christopher is, start to become aware of their surroundings and express their own feelings from seemingly nothing, it’s an incredible thing to witness. You’re seeing the creation of something new, something unique. 


Bec Edser (09:51): What would you say to other new parents who are just starting this journey that you were both starting out on 11 months ago about what babies need to get to this stage? 


Sarah (10:02): Trust yourself like back yourself in. That’s something that our doctor said. Well, we are very, very lucky to have a good doctor. My biggest thing, I would say, “Back yourself in.” You know more than you think you do, a lot of this is actually quite instinctive. 


Claudius (10:16): Sometimes, you do have to listen to that voice inside your head that says- 


Sarah (10:23): The good one. 


Claudius (10:24): No, no. It’s okay. What you’re doing is… It’s okay. Just take a breath, just wait. 


Sarah (10:30): Yeah. Also, that you’ll get so much advice, don’t listen to it if it doesn’t work. That’s something that I had to work out for myself because I have a tendency to listen to everybody but some people gave us advice that just wasn’t good. Also, that it does get easier. As he’s got his own personality, now he can tell us what he wants even if he doesn’t use words and that is so much easier than when he was a newborn and trying to work it out because you have to learn yourself what you want too. Which whenever they said that to me, I’m just like, “That doesn’t make sense,” but it’s true. You really do need to learn every step of the journey. 


Bec Edser (11:07): Yeah. As a parent myself, I can absolutely appreciate that, Sarah, that not all the advice is going to be right for your family. And so, you’ve told us a bit about your really supportive GP. Could you talk to us about some of the other practitioners that have been there with you through your pregnancy and postnatal journey? 


Sarah (11:29): Yeah. So when I first came down pregnant, my GP was on holidays so I went and saw a different GP someone from the same practise that I’ve never seen before. Unfortunately, it was the opposite end of the spectrum in terms of supporting us. The pregnancy was a planned surprise. We were hoping to get pregnant but we didn’t expect it to actually happen as fast as it did. So when I found out I was pregnant, I was terrified and I’m on mental health medication for BPD. 


(11:58): So I’ve gone to the GP like, “I think I’m pregnant,” did the test. She’s like, “Yep. You’re pregnant,” and that was it. And then, I’m just like, “Well, now what?” and she’s like, “Oh. Well, we’re going to take you off all your medications because they’re no good for the baby.” She was not supportive, didn’t tell me what the next steps were. I’m terrified. I’ve got no experience with children, no experiences with pregnancy, and no mental health meds now so- 


Claudius (12:21): That was a bit of a freak-out. 


Sarah (12:22): That was awful. So when I was about eight weeks along, I ended up having a mental health breakdown because I had no support, had no meds. Ended up in the hospital for mental health which was horrible because of course, they couldn’t do anything because I’m pregnant now. My body wasn’t mine anymore. It belonged to the baby which was awful because here, I am out of control. So I managed to get an appointment with our regular GP, our very supportive GP. I said to him, when I went in there, “I need to either go back on my meds, have an abortion, or I would kill myself. They’re the three options. I can’t do anything else,” and that’s when my GP was… He was amazing. He’s like, “We’ll get you back on your meds. They’re fine for the baby but you need to live through this. We need to keep you alive,” and he’s the only GP who actually focused on me. Everybody else focused on the baby and I was serious at that stage like I was so far gone. I didn’t know what to do. 


Claudius (13:13): That was a few weeks in. 


Sarah (13:16): Oh, it was about 8 to 10 weeks. 


Claudius (13:18): A bit of a headache. 


Sarah (13:18): That was a headache. If the first GP had been a bit more supportive, I wouldn’t have got to that point but because she’s just like, “Oh, you’re pregnant. You’ll be fine,” that wasn’t fine. 


Claudius (13:27): It was a very dispassionate and impersonal. There wasn’t anything really joyous about that initial confirmation. 


Sarah (13:39): Yeah, no. We weren’t happy. 


Claudius (13:42): It was actually surprising, to be honest. I don’t know why it was like that. I don’t understand why there wasn’t more- 


Sarah (13:51): She didn’t even say congratulations. 


Claudius (13:53): Yeah. There- 


Sarah (13:54): Yeah. 


Claudius (13:55): No. It was very clinical? 


Sarah (13:57): Yep. Very clinical. 


Claudius (13:59): Disconnected. 


Sarah (14:00): Yeah, absolutely. Like she just diagnosed people with pregnancy so many times in the day that she just didn’t care anymore but I was terrified because like I said, it was a planned surprise. We wanted a baby. We were trying to get pregnant but I’d accepted it wouldn’t happen due to some trying in the past with other partners. Turns out, I just got really lucky actually. So I fully had accepted I wouldn’t get pregnant. So when I did get pregnant, it was such a shock. I really needed someone to tell me it was going to be okay and I didn’t get that from her. 


Bec Edser (14:32): What kind of difference did it make for you when your regular supportive GP was able to provide you with this alternative response? 


Sarah (14:40): Just a whole bundle of weight that was just lifted off of us. Honestly, if I hadn’t had that, I wouldn’t have made it through with the pregnancy. There was no way. It’s terrifying enough to be pregnant as it is without carrying that load as well. 


Claudius (14:57): It is a lot of responsibility and I think it’s a lot more responsibility than you really consider. You’re responsible for another human being. You don’t have a choice in the matter. It is there, it’s yours, it’s inside of you for nine months, and you have to look after yourself and you have to look after the baby that’s growing inside you at the same time. That responsibility, it’s one of the ultimate responsibilities of a human being and I don’t think in enough forethought is given to it. 


Sarah (15:31): Right. No one tells you how hard it’s going to be until you get pregnant. “Oh, yeah. I was sick for the whole nine months,” or… Yeah. No one tells you that beforehand. 


Claudius (15:39): No, no. You’ll be morning sick for the first few weeks and then you’re fine. 


Sarah (15:42): Huh. 


Claudius (15:42): No, no. 


Sarah (15:42): No, no. I was sick all the time. 


Claudius (15:46): Sarah was sick every day to the morning that he was born. 


Sarah (15:51): Yeah. It was- 


Claudius (15:52): Morning sickness every day, all day until he was born. 


Sarah (15:57): Our GP, like I said, was the only GP who treated me a person. Everyone else just treated me like an incubator and I hated the loss of independence. I actually loathe that because I’m a very independent person. When he was born, I quit breastfeeding within the first three months because I… Well, actually, I never actually breastfed but I quit because I was expressing, I quit within the first three months. I just wanted myself back. I wanted my body back. I hated that and Christopher’s fine. He doesn’t need… Fed is best and everything and I don’t think anyone really talked about that. I certainly never had anyone mention to me that you won’t be yourself for years. I feel like myself again now and it’s an amazing feeling. But now, our family is complete but I’m back to being me again. Thank gosh. 


Claudius (16:40): Yeah. 


Bec Edser (16:41): Were there any practitioners who supported you through the decision to transition to formula feeding? 


Sarah (16:48): Actually, no. I never talked to anyone about it. I just did it. I just did it because my stepmom passed away and my dad needed a lot of support because they’d been married for 22 years and I couldn’t support him and keep expressing and I was going to go back to work so I pretty much just said no. I spoke to Claudius about it and said, “What do you think about this? This is where we’re standing,” and Claudius is absolutely supportive. He’s just like, “I want you to do what’s best for you. Chris will be fed regardless, you do what’s best for you.” 


Claudius (17:19): It’s not as though you had refused to give him, because you’re expressing you had supplies and what was it? It was three months. 


Sarah (17:28): Yeah. About three and a half- 


Claudius (17:29): Yeah. If I remember correctly, when you came and you expressed to me that you wanted to stop, it was getting to be too much work and you needed to get back to you normal routine, I reassured you that you’d given him three months worth and that’s a fair amount and it was becoming uncomfortable and it was hard. 


Sarah (17:54): Some women enjoy it, I didn’t. He never took to the breast and I didn’t enjoy it so I recognise that some people will do it, some people will push themselves through, my decision was not to do that because I just couldn’t do it. But our GP had, by that point, we’ve gone through the blues and everything because we both had it quite badly. We’d gotten through that stage and he’d already reassured us that he’s a healthy, happy child. We are very fortunate to live in Australia with really good healthcare and stuff. Yeah. With that backing from him, even though I hadn’t actually spoke to him about the breastfeeding, having that backing from him, knowing that we could make a decision based on our best knowledge, it was like there, in the back of my mind, that helps. 


Bec Edser (18:38): It really does sound like your GP did quite a lot of normalising with you, reassuring you both that it can be a really tough stretch in the first few months. And so, you can go through times where you might feel pretty flat but also really reinforcing all of the positive things that you were doing to care for Christopher. 


Sarah (18:58): That was rare. The one GP is the only person who really made an effort to connect with me. Everybody else connected with the child, not the child, the foetus. But yeah, he was… Well, actually, probably us. He connected with us because we saw him together because we’ve been seeing him for years. He was the only person who connected with us, everyone else went straight to the baby and I understand that, at that point, I needed additional medical care for the baby but I feel like I was forgotten, like I was just a carrier. Yeah, just secondary and my wishes and wants… Especially in the hospital, almost forcing breastfeeding on people. 


Claudius (19:36): The first experience with trying to introduce Christopher to breastfeeding was actually a little bit traumatic. 


Sarah (19:45): An absolute disaster. 


Sarah (19:45): It was awful. 


Claudius (19:47): It was quite traumatic. 


Sarah (19:48): Yeah. 


Claudius (19:51): To say that one of the midwives literally grabbed Christopher’s head and shoved him against the breast really roughly is not an exaggeration. 


Sarah (20:00): No, not at all. 


Claudius (20:02): It was actual fact. After 15 seconds of trying to latch on, he was getting frustrated, Sarah was getting frustrated, and it ended up with him being in tears and Sarah being in tears and that’s not an experience. 


Sarah (20:17): No, and I know that some of it is because they’re under understaffed, underfunded, really busy. I fully understand there’s a lot of reasons why. 


Claudius (20:27): But something like that, it should be more than a job, having a baby come to the breast is a fundamental part of human nature and a part of our evolution. It shouldn’t be a job or a click and connect. It’s not going to work that way. 


Sarah (20:48): No, it’s not a piece of Lego and because, of course, he had to go straight to the NICU, I never held him after he was born. I didn’t see him for what? Five hours after he was born? So I never had any skin on skin contact because he had to go because he wasn’t breathing properly when he came out. So that really wouldn’t have helped the issue either but I was also terrified. I’ve just been through an awful pregnancy. I’ve never held a newborn up until I held my own son and he was so small. He weighed less than that cat who’s a tiny cat. He was only… I don’t know but he was so small and fragile and it was terrifying. 


Claudius (21:22): He was just over three kilos. 


Bec Edser (21:24): There can be a lot of messages for new parents that you should just intuitively know what to do with your baby right from the start. 


Sarah (21:31): Absolutely. No, that’s not the case especially if you don’t have siblings, if you’ve never been around kids. I know that they do prenatal classes and maybe I missed out because it was at the beginning of COVID so my prenatal classes were done online so they weren’t quite same and I also missed the last one because I gave birth. 


Claudius (21:47): There is a difference between theory and practise and you can tell somebody weeks worth of theory and when it comes to the practise, it’s not the same. 


Sarah (22:02): Oh, absolutely. We were in a very, very fortunate position with Christopher being in NICU so we had the support of the NICU nurses. Plus, I was in the hospital for an extra day because I had cholestasis. Women who give birth and are out in four hours, I don’t know how they do it. The bleeding, the mess, the pain that you’re in. I had a very easy birth and I was still- 


Claudius (22:23): You had a very easy birth and you didn’t have an epidural. 


Sarah (22:26): I didn’t have an epidural or anything. I had no pain relief. I had Panadol. 


Claudius (22:31): Kind of epic, she did it off Panadol and that was it. 


Sarah (22:33): Yeah. That’s a whole nother story because I didn’t believe I was in labour because I didn’t match up to what the machine… The machine wasn’t saying I was in labour. So therefore, I wasn’t in labour except this one nurse who held her hands on my stomach and went, “I reckon I could feel her contractions.” Nobody believed me. I was nine centimetres dilated before they believed I was in labour. So I’m pretty sure from the time from believing I was in labour to giving birth was two hours? 


Claudius (22:57): No. No, no. It wasn’t even that. So the doctor came in and said that you need to be taken to a room because you had nine centimetres dilated. You started having your contractions as they were wheeling your bed to the room. 


Sarah (23:10): Oh, you mean the… Yeah. So I was going into transition as we were going into- 


Claudius (23:13): Yeah. You were going into your transition as they were wheeling you to the room and within about 45 minutes of being in the room, Christopher was born. 


Sarah (23:21): So I went through the whole of my labour with no support. Also, because I wasn’t screaming because I had a social anxiety and I was sharing the room with somebody. So of course if I’m not screaming, I’m not in pain, right? 


Claudius (23:33): Yeah. 


Sarah (23:34): That’s a whole thing. But anyway, yeah. No, that’s just another one of those disconnects where they don’t see the person as a person. Like I’m saying to them, “I am not feeling right. What is going on?” “Oh, you are just going through Braxton Hicks, you’ll be fine. It’s going to get worse,” it probably didn’t get worse, by the way- 


Claudius (23:51): No- 


Sarah (23:52): That was at the worst point when they said it was going to get more painful- 


Claudius (23:55): Yeah. It was at its worst. 


Sarah (23:56): So I understand that hospitals are very short-staffed but they do treat the mothers too much like… What would you say? Almost like in a mould like if you are not having the right perfect contractions on the tagger, then you’re not in labour and they don’t listen when you say, “Actually, I’m probably in labour because I’ve been contracting for…” Being the first baby, it was irregular but I’ve been contracting painfully since about 2:00 in the morning because it woke me up. 


Claudius (24:24): And it was 6:00 when I got there. 


Sarah (24:27): Yeah, yeah. I was there because my water had broken but he was early monitoring which I do so yeah. 


Bec Edser (24:34): Thank you for sharing this experience, Sarah. Listening to you both describe these experiences. It sounds like you’ve really been there absolutely every step of the way, Claudius, which may or may not be similar to the way in which you were parented yourself. I’m interested to hear from you, what is it that has influenced you having that kind of commitment and involvement as a father? 


Claudius (24:58): I can’t imagine myself being disconnected from him. In my growing up, my dad wasn’t as connected with me as I am with Christopher. I feel in myself that I have a lot that I want to share with him, my knowledge of things because I’m a bit scientifically minded. I love space science, astronomy, chemistry, the physical sciences: biology, physics, chemistry, geology. It’s my hope that one day I can share that passion with him and take him out, show him the stars, watch space stations and satellites fly overhead, look at rocks, identify rocks, do physics experiments, and teach them basic chemistry things, that I’ve learned. For me, I think some of the greatest memories that I’ll have is sharing that information, that knowledge, that experience that I’ve gained with him and hoping that he finds some happiness and joy in the learning of it. 


Bec Edser (26:18): So Claudius, I wanted to ask you one more question in relation to the helpful support that you’ve all experienced from your GP. Sarah earlier described the instance of the integral support she received from your GP with regard to her medication and the effort he made to connect with you. For you, Claudius, what have been some of the ways that your GP has demonstrated to you that your role as a father is important and really valued in this parenting partnership? 


Claudius (26:51): Physical, he directly looked at me, directly addressed me. I think that was primarily it. When we were there as a couple and we shared our grievances, our feelings at the time, he addressed Sarah’s feelings and he explained to Sarah how to work on them. And then, he turned to me and he did the same with me and his advice to me was equal. It wasn’t any less, it wasn’t greater. He addressed my concerns with the same amount of concern and wholeness of advice, I would say, in how to work through my feelings and reassure me that I wasn’t doing anything wrong. There are times when in a slightly different context where I’m treated secondary, perhaps not consciously. But like for example, with his daycare, more often than not, if they need to contact one of us, they’ll contact Sarah first and only if they can’t contact Sarah, then they’ll try me. They’ll never contact me first. It’s not that it distresses me but it is just an interesting thing to note. 


Sarah (28:17): We noted it specifically because… So in our daily lives outside of Christopher, I have a senior position at work and I’m quite often uncontactable. I’m in meetings or I have to stay at work or I’ve got things I need to contact but Claudius is the one who will usually go and get him. So it would make more sense to just go directly to Claudius because they very rarely can get ahold of me anyway. But yet, they still always ring me first which is just that unconscious bias there, I think. Go to the mom and if not my mom then dad. 


(28:47): We both had really rough childhoods due to very different reasons. Both of our fathers were victims of generational abuse and they passed it on to us so we were very, very, very upfront with each other about stamping that out. We absolutely do not… Like I grew up being smacked so it’s okay to smack my own children, which no, we 100%, thank you, I committed to standing that sort of thing out. We don’t think, well, both of us, we want Christopher’s life to be better than ours. Trying to stamp out some of that latent sexism that’s around raising children as well where Claudius is equal to me. 


(29:26): Both of us were raised in what I would consider not exactly standard. My father was a stay-at-home parent when I was growing up which was really unusual back in the 80s. Claudius’ parents didn’t work so… Well, not… They didn’t work outside of the house, they worked at home. So we weren’t exactly raised in your standard husband, wife, 2.5 kids, white picket fence style anyway. 


Claudius (29:49): 

We want to make our lives better for Christopher but we also want Christopher to have all the opportunities and more than what we had when we were growing up. 


Sarah (29:59): I don’t want him to be scared of voicing his opinion because he might get hurt or all the things, the typical stuff that children do. 


Claudius (30:08): Don’t ask stupid questions? 


Sarah (30:09): Yeah. Right. I want him to grab confidence… We don’t ever raise our voices at home. He doesn’t know what we sound like when we’re shouting. We never yell at each other. We treat each other with respect so that he’s got that basis to learn from. Even though sometimes you just want to, “Haahhh,” just let it out. It’s not… We want him to be raised in a respectful household. 


Claudius (30:32): A good example is his little picture book. He loves his picture book to pieces. 


Sarah (30:39): Literally. 


Claudius (30:42): He’s going to break it but he’s 11 months old- 


Sarah (30:48): And it’s his book. 


Claudius (30:49): Why’d you get upset about it? You can encourage. You can say, “Don’t rip it.” Don’t scream at him. Don’t smack him. Don’t hit him. 


Sarah (30:58): Yeah. That’s the whole thing. If you hurt him for asking questions, he won’t ask questions. If you mentally or physically hurt him for questioning the way the world is, he’s not going to question it 


Claudius (31:12): If he asks a question, even if it’s a silly question and you just say, “Don’t ask stupid questions.” Well, he just won’t ask questions. 


Sarah (31:18): Yeah. We are so committed to that because that stops now. This is our line in the sand, that needs to stop and we can’t change the world but we can change it for him. 


Bec Edser (31:30): I think that’s a really lovely description of the commitment both of you have to parenting in ways that are intentionally different to the ways that you were both parented yourselves. It’s been an absolute delight having the three of you here today. I’ve really enjoyed our conversation. Thank you all so much for joining me. If you’re interested in our strategies for infant and toddler assessment e-learning course or any of our resources, please visit our website. Thank you for joining us today. 


Narrator (32:02): Visit our website at to access a range of resources to assist your practice. Brought to you by the National Workforce Centre for Child Mental Health led by Emerging Minds, the National Workforce Centre for Child Mental Health is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health under the National Support for Child and Youth Mental Health Program.

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