Lunchbox/Soapbox: Catherine Deveny on Pernickety Parents

Lunchbox/Soapbox: Catherine Deveny on Pernickety Parents

There has never been more time, energy and thought spent on the raising of babies, toddlers and children – and it is detrimental, counterproductive and narcissistic, argues 1970s parent Catherine Deveny. In this Lunchbox/Soapbox polemic, she espouses the benefits of benevolent neglect, quality boredom and independence as a result of parental indifference, and rails against the obsession with child-rearing that is leading to a dysfunctional co-dependence – which inevitably affects us all.

We’ve previously published a transcript of Catherine’s speech, which generated heated debate in its comments and a response penned by novelist and mother Jessie Cole.


Portrait of Catherine Deveny

Catherine Deveny

Catherine Deveny has been a comedian, writer and professional speaker for 23 years.

She’s the author of seven books and over 1,000 columns for the Age newspaper, and is an ABC regular. She has appeared on Q&A five times — sitting next to John Elliott, Tony Abbott, Corey Bernardi, Peter Dutton and Archbishop Peter Jensen.

Listen to Lunchbox/Soapbox: Catherine Deveny on Pernickety Parents