Incredible parenting with Incredible Years?: A Foucauldian analysis of New Zealand Government Perspectives on Parenting and their Implications for Parents and educators in Early Childhood Education


  • Shil Bae University of Canterbury, New Zealand


Incredible Years, Parenting Policy, Post-structuralism, Foucault, Early Childhood Education


This paper takes a post-structural approach, examining what and how issues are framed in the parenting policy, Incredible Years, through Foucault’s (1977, 1980, 1991, 2003, 2004) notion of  governmentality  and  discursive normalisation . By unpacking discourses of parenting produced by Incredible Years as an accepted parenting programme, it aims to reveal the  norm  of parenting that is promoted by the current system, and explores how this concept of  truth  in parenting influences the everyday life of families. The critical analysis of Incredible Years shows that the programme (re)produces the economic/neoliberal discourses as the normal/desirable norm of parenting, thus maintaining/reinforcing the existing power relations in society. The author argues that this notion of a curriculum for parents provides only a limited understanding of the issue, and intensifies inequality and injustice in the milieu. This paper aims to provide the insights for reconceptualising our understanding of parenting for future policy decisions and effective pedagogy.