The controversy around Steve Irwin continues.
Firstly, there were the less than kind (and unsolicited) comments from the person I shall forever think of as 'Germaine Sodding Greer' (apologies but blame Bridget Jones).
Now talkback radio is awash with discussion about the authenticity of the eulogy delivered by Bindi Irwin at Steve Irwin's memorial service and the pressure being placed on this child to carry on the work of her father.
Alison Garton, a professor of psychology at Western Australia's Edith Cowan University, has come forward to express concern following Bindi's appearance at the memorial.
Newspaper reports focused on Bindi with headlines such as 'The Future of the Dream' and 'The Little Wildlife Warrior'. Even John Stainton, Steve Irwin's manager, predicted Bindi's fame could exceed that of Steve's in five years.
It does sound a little overwhelming. The danger of setting up such high expectations is that failure to meet them can have a devastating impact on the child.
Of course, these are extraordinary circumstances. Bindi hasn't led the life of your typical 8 year old. She's been around her father's work all her life and was already filming her own television series.
But still, too much?
Easy to point the finger when this situation can just as easily be mirrored in our own lives. We all have hopes and expectations for our children. It's natural. It's where we cross the line between encouragement to gross intervention that it becomes problematic.
An article in the Sydney Morning Herald this week covered the issue of parents doing homework on behalf of their children. Such behaviour illustrates the practice of what has become termed the "parachute" parent, who rescues their child from difficulties.
Elbie Van Coller, school counsellor.
Then there's the infamous sports parent. We've all heard stories like this.
This past Friday, I attended my daughter's first sports day.
She's only small. I'm not in the least athletic, apart from unravelling a chocolate bar (I hold the world speed record). I had no major expectations and said all the right things about 'having fun' and 'just giving it your best shot.'
Then, suddenly, she was coming first and someone was yelling rather loudly. I was shocked to find it was reserved British me, up on the chair, screaming at the top of my lungs.
I surprised myself and not in a good way. I was, of course, otherwise well-behaved (as in I didn't trip up her nearest rival) but I could suddenly see how easy it could be to morph into a pushy parent.
Professor Garton makes a very valid point if it's generalised beyond the Irwin family. We all need to manage our expectations of our children. Me included!
Postscript: My colleague, Alison Tuck, a child psychologist, also posted on this subject here.
Cartoon from Sydney Morning Herald
Psychologist voices Bindi Irwin concerns
Stop doing the homework, overzealous parents warned