The Parental Intelligence Newsletter

August 2007

Hi, this is Bob Collier inviting you to 'explore the psychology of happy and successful parenting', connect with bright minds, discover new ideas and sail outside the mainstream for a while without running aground.

All that and more.

In this month's issue of the Parental Intelligence Newsletter there are links to 20 articles and 31 notices and items of news. As always, I trust you will find in my latest collection of parenting, education and personal development ideas and information from around the internet something that will make a positive difference to your life - and, through you, to the lives of your children.

Please scroll down to pick and choose whatever is of interest and useful to you.

Thank you for being here! I appreciate this opportunity to be of help to you in your parenting adventure and wish you all the happiness and success you would wish yourself.

See you next month!



"The possibility of stepping into a higher plane is quite real for everyone. It requires no force or effort or sacrifice. It involves little more than changing our ideas about what is normal." - Deepak Chopra, MD


Are Children Inherently Bad?
by Aletha Solter, Ph.D.

The notion that human beings are born with an evil nature pervades Western civilization's attitude towards children. The idea is that children are born with unacceptable impulses and tendencies that would not disappear unless the children were taught to control themselves, thereby denying their own inner nature. The proponents of this theory consider it the parents' job to civilize and tame the barbarian nature of children.

This theory assumes that children would naturally hit and bite other people, would never want to use a toilet, learn to share, cooperate, or help another person, and would lie, steal, and destroy property unless they were disciplined and taught moral values and society's rules.

Parents are urged to punish children who "misbehave" so that the children will feel bad and guilty. Guilt is considered to be the great motivating force behind socially acceptable behavior. The children then learn to give up their nasty, uncivilized ways because they love their parents, want to please them, and want to be loved by them.

This belief has done more harm than any other belief invented by humanity.

Read more ...

Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) As Fraud
by Fred A. Baughman Jr., M. D.

With no proof that ADHD is a disease with a confirmatory, physical abnormality, the ADHD "epidemic," has grown from 150,000 in 1970, to five million in 1997. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, Ritalin production, in the US, rose 700%, between 1990 and 1997 and, the AMA, Council on Scientific Affairs has seen fit to conclude:  "…there is little evidence of widespread overdiagnosis or misdiagnosis of ADHD or of widespread over prescription of  methylphenidate" (Goldman, et al. 1998).

Every patient's right of informed consent requires a complete, honest portrayal both of the condition to be treated (including its course, untreated) and of the treatment(s) proposed (and how it/they will alter the course of the condition).  Lacking either, the informed consent would be incomplete--invalid.  Few,  if any, questions about ADHD can be answered without an honest answer to the question:  "Is ADHD a disease with a confirmatory  physical (including chemical)  abnormality, or  isn't it?"

Read more ...

DSM: Diagnosing for Money and Power
Summary of the Critique of the DSM
by Ofer Zur, Ph.D., and Nola Nordmarken, MFT

The DSM has undergone a sociopolitical, economically driven evolution since its inception in 1952 when it emerged as a diagnostic tool for physicians who framed it in the medical model. Emerging from a psychoanalytic perspective, pathology was seen to reside within the individual, resulting in expression through neurotic conflict. Subsequent revisions in 1980 and 1987 evolved toward a more firmly biopsychological perspective. In a response to insurance companies' need for increasing specificity in diagnosis, we saw an increase in the number of available diagnostic labels from 297 in 1994 to 374 in 2000. The current criterion focuses on medication management of behavioral symptomology over psychotherapy. The primary elements that have survived all revisions are the intrapsychic focus and the power of political and economic agendas. Many clinicians are unaware that the DSM is more political than scientific, that there is little agreement among professionals regarding the meaning of vaguely defined terms and that it includes only scant empirical data.

Read more ...

Leaving well alone: A natural approach to the third stage of labour
by Dr. Sarah J. Buckley

The medical approach to pregnancy and birth has become so ingrained in our culture, that we have forgotten the way of birth of our ancestors: a way that has ensured our survival as a species for millennia. In the rush to supposedly protect mothers and babies from misfortune and death, modern western obstetrics has neglected to pay its dues to the Goddess, to Mother Nature, whose complex and elegant systems of birth are interfered with on every level by this new approach, even as we admit our inability to understand or control these elemental forces.

Medical interference in pregnancy, labour and birth is well documented, and the negative sequellae are well researched. However, medical management of the third stage of labour- the time between the baby's birth, and the emergence of the placenta- is, to my mind, more insidious.

Read more ...

Getting a Good Night's Sleep: Another Perspective
by Dr. Sarah J. Buckley

As a GP [family physician], writer and current full-time mother of four, I have many concerns about the standard advice that mothers are being given about young children and sleep in such sources as Queensland Health's article "How Does Your Child Sleep?"(Playtimes, Oct 2001) and Richard Ferber's book Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems.

Part of Ferber's controversial methods, sometimes called "Ferberizing," include leaving children alone to cry for increasing periods (so-called "controlled crying"). Such sources suggest shutting crying children in their bedrooms for prolonged periods so that they learn to go to sleep alone.

Advising parents to ignore the cries of a distressed child, for however long, does not produce a loving and trustful parent-child relationship.

Read more ...

Stressed-out families
by Kim Kotecki

Jason shared an alarming number the other day - 38.5. That is the average number of minutes parents spend in conversation with their children each week. Yikes. December 5th is "Communicate With Your Kids Day!" Just the fact that "they" had to make a day encouraging people to do this says a lot. I was inspired to explore this subject a step further.

Read more ...

Playful Parenting - Engaging Your Child's Sense of Play and Rediscovering Your Own
by Laura Ramirez
Read the complete article here

Play Time
by Trish Konzak

Children need to play. This observation might seem obvious, but lately, it is my rallying cry. It has to be. There is so much discussion among parents and educators about the relative benefits of academic versus developmentally appropriate preschools, and as testing rules the day, proponents of the academic model seem to be gaining ground.

But I am a parent, and I have been a preschool teacher for more than twenty years, and my experience and training tell me one thing loud and clear.

Read more ...

Einstein May Never Have Used Flashcards, but He Probably Built Forts
by Lory Hough

In some ways, this headline is almost funny, the idea of a young Einstein, wild hair flying, throwing his mother's quilt over a couple of chairs and crawling underneath.

But to Elizabeth Goodenough, M.A.T.'71, a headline like this is not a joke. We're a busy-by-design society that's become so concerned with turning kids into baby Einsteins that something critical to childhood, something that Goodenough holds sacred, is fast becoming extinct: free play.

Read more ...

Imaginary Friends Are Good For Children
by Anushka Asthana

Imaginary friends, the mysterious characters who often take up residence in family homes, are hugely beneficial to children, according to new research.

A study from the Institute of Education found that the invisible pals offer companionship and emotional support, aid creativity, boost self esteem and create a 'sense of self'. Parents should not worry even if their child dreams up multiple companions, it said.

Read more ...

Revealing Your Child's Magnificence!
by Rob Stringer

What do parents & teachers have in common with a 500 year-old Italian sculptor? You might be amazed!

Michelangelo is reported to have said that within every block of marble dwells a great sculpture waiting to be released, and that his job was to remove the excess material-revealing the work of art within. Was he just being modest? We'll never know, but his comments give us a model to follow when it comes to helping our kids achieve great results in school (and in life!) How?

Read more ...

Simulation Nation
by Marc Prensky
Articles in the media on the use of some particular technology in schools are generally pretty formulaic. Typically, they begin with a glowing quote from a teacher, who bubbles, "I use [insert technology] with my classes, and it's the greatest thing since sliced pasta."

Then they throw in a few case studies, ideally from different parts of the world and various types of schools (say, urban and rural) for the requisite diversity. Toss in a few more highly enthusiastic instructors and a ringing endorsement from a student, and -- boom -- you're home free. "I should look into that," thinks you, dear reader.

If that's the kind of article you are looking for, keep looking, because this article on computer-simulation technology is, rather, about how and why yet another technology that could be enormously powerful for our kids' learning is getting short shrift in our educational system ...

Read more ...

Math doesn't suck, says Winnie Cooper from the 'Wonder Years'
by Erin Richards

Known in real life as Danica McKellar, the brainy brunette who achieved fame on "The Wonder Years" and then academic acclaim at UCLA (she co-authored a new math theorem) has just released a book: "Math Doesn't Suck: How to Survive Middle School Math Without Losing your Mind or Breaking a Nail."

Read more ...

The Call for a New Learning System
by Milton Chen

Perhaps, in 2020, a clear-eyed historian will be researching how the United States, spurred on by pressing need, finally began to shift its thinking on public education.

In doing her research, she might well discover a key, transformative document, a report from the Task Force on Time, Learning, and Afterschool titled "A New Day for Learning." The task force, supported by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, called for nothing less than "a new learning system." (Being a diligent researcher, she might dig farther and see that, seventy-five years ago, Charles Stewart Mott, a General Motors cofounder, had been interested in a more flexible school calendar to support the schedules of parents working in his factories in Flint, Michigan.)

Read more ...

Synching Up with the iKid
by Josh McHugh

Nathaniel Hawthorne's novels are pretty daunting fodder for the average English class, no matter how they're approached. But Diane Hamstra, a teacher at Park Tudor School, in Indianapolis, found a way to get her tenth-grade students to dive enthusiastically into the nineteenth-century moralist's dark thicket of language.

Hamstra used a software application called DyKnow Vision to let her students analyze various passages from the books on computer screens at their desk. She then posted their work on a large-screen monitor at the front of the classroom (the computer lab, in this case), and the students discussed the displayed examples. Hamstra has also had students analyze similar passages using pen and paper.

The difference is startling. Using the software, the students' responses "were deeper than with pen and ink," Hamstra says.

Read more ...

The School of Second Life
by Wagner James Au

For those who grew up on computer and video games over the past thirty years, it's no surprise that games have become a full-fledged educational tool, merging play with learning in a way that speaks to the digital generation's technical literacy. Adding heft to this development, the Federation of American Scientists recently published the results of a year-long study suggesting that games have the power to teach analytical skills, team building, and problem solving on the fly.

Among the most powerful platforms for game-based teaching is Second Life, a virtual world superficially similar to online role-playing games such as World of Warcraft or Sims Online but embedded with numerous features that can make it an ideal pedagogical resource.

Read more ...

The Edible Schoolyard
by Roberta Furger
The apple crisp is baking in the oven and the smell of bubbling cinnamon, sugar, and apples fills the air and makes the kitchen feel warm and cozy -- the perfect contrast to the cold and windy November morning just outside the door. Groups of students sit with their teachers around large farm tables set with tablecloths, centerpieces, and plates painted with delicate blue flowers. Some are talking and laughing, others are just enjoying the delicious aroma, waiting anxiously for their homemade dish to be served.

Welcome to the kitchen at the Edible Schoolyard, located on the campus of Martin Luther King Junior Middle School in Berkeley, California.

Read more ...

Womanhood and Homeschooling
by Cindy

Some years ago, I sat in a circle of homeschooling mothers, confused by the universal complaint among them that they couldn't find time for themselves within this lifestyle.  I was confused because I had found the exact opposite to be true in my own life:  I was free to discover through my children deep Truths that had been hidden from me as well as opportunity to explore new and exciting ideas, perspectives, and interests.  There appeared to be two camps within this circle of mothers ...

Read more ...

What is Hypnosis?
by Mark Tyrrell of Uncommon Knowledge

I'm a hypnotherapist trainer and I use hypnosis with my clients every day.

As a hypnotherapist, it can be a good idea to have an alternative professional title on hand - such as the innocuous 'trainer' - to avoid the inevitable questions. I was chatting at a party the other day when a friend of a friend asked me the dreaded question - "What do you do for a living?" I say 'dreaded question' because as soon as you mention 'hypnosis' you usually get a barrage of all kinds of half-baked assumptions and mythology.

Read more ...

Your Beliefs Are Hypnotic
by Adam Eason
I would like to tell you about a lady that I worked with a few years ago. She was written about in Woman's Own magazine here in the UK and I got an enormous amount of PR as a result. However, she came to see me to reduce her weight: She was 22 stone.

She was so large that I had to work with her in the reception area of my clinic on the sofa as she was too big to sit in the reclining chair I had in my consulting room.

She believed that she was very ugly. She felt ugly. When she was very young, her father used to come home from work drunk and tie her up in the garage and beat her. Her mother was an alcoholic who lived in fear of her husband and never did anything to protect or assist her daughter.

Read more ...




Guiding Stars of the New Parenting Movement

Be sure to download your FREE copy of my Guiding Stars of the New Parenting Movement e-books while you're here if you haven't done so already.

There are two volumes so far. These e-books are FREE with my compliments and are packed with valuable insights and useful ideas to help you in your parenting adventure.

Volume 1 - an introduction to the work of Michael Mendizza, Robin Grille, Laura Ramirez, Jan Hunt, Pam Leo, Pat and Larry Downing, Alfie Kohn, Marc Prensky, Kali Wendorf and Jan Fortune-Wood:

Download it from here

Volume 2 - an introduction to the work of Aletha Solter, Kim Wildner, Naomi Aldort, John Travis and Meryn Callander, John Breeding, Scott Noelle, Beverley Paine and Alan Wilson

Download it from here

Kindred Magazine

In the latest issue of Kindred magazine:

*  The Secret - New Age Chinese Whispers
*  MASKquerade - The ugly truth behind the beauty industry
*  9 Safe Cosmetic and Skin Care Alternatives
*  A Call from the Wild - How today's children need nature and how the future depends on it
*  Weapons of Mass Induction - How television affects your opinions, your will and your life

And much more.

Kindred is available by subscription from Borders bookstores, quality newsagents and now in the US from selected Barnes & Noble stores.

Visit the Kindred magazine website for more information, to subscribe to the magazine or sign up for the free monthly newsletter

Natural Moms Interview with Jan Hunt

Listen to Jan Hunt, founder of The Natural Child Project, speak with Carrie Lauth of Natural Moms Talk Radio on parenting, education, and child advocacy.

Naomi Aldort on YouTube

Naomi Aldort's first YouTube video!

"Every parent would happily give up ever scolding, punishing or threatening if she only knew how to ensure that her toddler/child/teen would thrive and act responsibly without such painful measures. The book, Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves by Naomi Aldort is the answer to this universal wish. It is not about gentle ways to control a child, but about a way of being and of understanding a child so she/he can be the best of herself, not because she fears you, but because she wants to, of her own free will."

Watch the video here - 3 mins 48 secs

Homeschool Australia Newsletter

In the latest issue:

* Quick Notes - 5 items
* Schools Are For Fish
* What's New on Beverley's Websites
* News - 4 items
* Favourite Quote
* Homeschool Blogs
* Homeschooling Networks and Community
* Homeschool Resources
* Free Curriculum Resources
* Letters
* End of Month Funnies
* Home Education Camps

Read the latest issue here

Develop Your Child

Visit Develop Your Child's fantastic new look website - "reflecting our unique approach in coaching respectful family relationships, it includes loads of new free resources."

Latest News: The Breakthrough Project

The purpose of this project is to get each member of a family to take a different view to their relationship with each other. It uses life coaching and related techniques to create this change.

Dr Sarah J Buckley MD

"Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering, Sarah's 'fifth baby', is off and running! Launched on the website 18 months ago, GBGM is now being sold all over the world, from Iceland to Japan, Brazil to Bali, with a US edition due out in August 2008..."

Visit Sarah's blog for her schedule for 2007 and good news about gentle parenting.

Gentle Birth World Congress

September 27-30, 2007
Portland, Oregon, USA

The Congress participants are obstetricians, midwives, nurses, childbirth educators, lactation experts, alternative health providers, risk managers, lawyers, hospital administrators, healthcare executives, birth advocates, parents and more. This is the ONLY conference where ALL DISCIPLINES come together to discuss and create solutions to the problems facing maternal/child health today.

More information about that here

Thank you for that item to John W. Travis

In Defense of Childhood

Protecting Kids' Inner Wildness

A book by Chris Mercogliano

Hardcover, Published July 2007

As codirector of the Albany Free School, Chris Mercogliano has had remarkable success in helping a diverse population of youngsters find their way in the world. He regrets, however, that most kids' lives are subject to some form of control from dawn until dusk. Lamenting risk-averse parents, overstructured school days, and a lack of playtime and solitude, Mercogliano argues that we are robbing our young people of "that precious, irreplaceable period in their lives that nature has set aside for exploration and innocent discovery," leaving them ill-equipped to face adulthood.

"Joseph Chilton Pearce and I agree.
In Defense of Childhood, a new book by Chris Mercogliano, is a must read for anyone interested in children, education or a sane society.

Chris explores how the changing environment is changing our children. The innate genius of childhood, what Chris calls the inner-wild, is being caged, tethered, domesticated by irrational adult fears and polices that blossom in fear. A thirty year history as director of the Albany Free School, working with regular and highly challenged children, gives Chris a unique perspective. Everyone needs to read this book!!"
- Michael Mendizza, co-founder of Touch the Future and co-author with Joseph Chilton Pearce of the book Magical Parent-Magical Child.
Read more about In Defense of Childhood here

Kids Free 2B Kids

Kids Free 2B Kids is a group of Australians concerned about the increasing sexualisation of kids in the media, advertising, and clothing industries. It was founded in February 2007 by Melbourne mother of two, Julie Gale, with support from other parents.

Visit the website

Thank you for that item to Michael Grose

Young Media Australia

Young Media Australia is a unique national community organisation whose members share a strong commitment to the promotion of the healthy development of Australian children. Their particular interest and expertise is in the role that media experiences play in that development.

Ad-Proofing Your Kids

Kids are bombarded with advertising messages everywhere they turn. Helping them understand how advertising works can help protect them from being exploited by advertisers.

Get some helpful tips from Common Sense Media

DVDs to Help Babies Learn 'May Hinder Skills'

"Educational DVDs and videos which claim to enhance the cognitive development of infants may hinder rather than help their language skills, according to a study published today." [August 7, 2007]

More about that also from Common Sense Media

The I AM! Affirmation Book: Discovering the Value of Who You Are

"This best-selling book has 106,000 copies in print. World leaders, teachers, parents and children around the globe love The I AM! Affirmation Book. It is a proven tool which helps children to build self-esteem by helping them "discover the value of who they are." Children are encouraged to love and believe in themselves, step into their genius and greatness and make a positive contribution to the world."

Visit the I AM Foundation website

Parents' Action for Children.

In 1997 Rob and Michele Reiner joined forces with leading child development experts to help raise public awareness about the critical importance the prenatal period through the first early years plays in a child's healthy brain development. Already a renowned film director, Reiner turned his talents to helping educate parents on this, and other topics of interest to the caregivers of our youngest children.

Catch up with recent developments at Parents Action for Children

Planet Orange

An interesting website about financial literacy for kids. "Discover Planet Orange and open your eyes to the world of money!"

Thank you for that item to Bright Horizons

Rethinking Education 11th National Conference

"The incredible, life-changing & liberating 11th national conference on Rethinking Education is Labor Day Weekend: Thursday, August 30 - Monday, September 3, 2007 at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Irving, Texas, just minutes from Dallas and the DFW Airport. A complimentary shuttle runs to and from the hotel - airport 24 hours a day.

Our exciting website contains up to date information on our diverse, thought-provoking program, registration, and all details! Out-of-the-box, fun and "nuts and bolts" unschool sessions for adults, teens, tweens and kids of all ages, all  weekend... 5 glorious days!"

More information about that here

2007 Live and Learn Unschooling Conference

The 6th annual Live and Learn Unschooling Conference will be in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina near Asheville, September 5-9, 2007.

Visit the conference website for the details

International Freedom in Education Day (IFED)

An International Freedom in Education Day (IFED), an idea originating this year in France, is proposed for Saturday, September 15th, 2007. The aim is to promote the idea of the importance of free choice in education, and to spread information about the alternative ways of learning that are available, or are being fought for in various countries. The focus will be on Home Education, but alternative and free schools are also welcome to take part in this global event.

Find out more at the website of the Journée Internationale Pour la Liberté de l'Instruction (JIPLI)

Thank you for that item to Beverley Paine

Australian Home Educators Article Database (AHEAD)

"Inspired by a proposed future change to Australian Federal Government Policy that if implemented will affect the Home Education community, this group has been set up for the storing and sharing of information in relation to our various home education styles and in turn the way we have chosen to live with/parent our children."

Visit AHEAD at Yahoo! Groups

The Education Revolution Bookshop

70 of the most important books on alternative education organized by topic.

Find out more about the books here

Shiller Math Behind The News

Join Larry Shiller every Thursday on Paltalk and watch, listen and chat live with America's "math evangelist." Ask Larry questions and see how he applies math and reason to everyday situations with incredible accuracy and helps people gain a keener understanding and appreciation of math and its ubiquitous place in the world by providing a unique and light-hearted perspective on the numbers and stats behind the top news stories.

Reducing Test Anxiety and Improving Test Performance in America's Schools

An overview of the purpose, research methods and major findings of the TestEdge National Demonstration Study. This study, funded by the U.S. Department of Education, was conducted by researchers at the Institute of HeartMath in collaboration with faculty and graduate students at Claremont Graduate University.

Joseph Chilton Pearce, a specialist in early child development and author of Magical Child, Evolution's End and The Biology of Transcendence stated: "Of all the HeartMath reports, this one holds the greatest promise. It is a gold mine of information, research and insight. ... That the biological basis for learning lies in the emotional structures of the brain and heart, not in intellectual schema and enforced modifications of behavior, is literally the liberation of childhood and the society as a whole."

Read the overview here

Online Learning: West Virginia Virtual School

"Throughout rural West Virginia, distance learning courses provide students access to foreign-language instruction when their own school can't hire a qualified classroom teacher."

Watch the video (4 minutes)

They Say You're Crazy: How the World's Most Powerful Psychiatrists Decide Who's Normal

A book by Paula J. Caplan.

"In a disturbing insider's look at how the mental health establishment decides who is normal and who is "sick," she charges that the DSM board's decision-making process, dominated by a handful of conservative white male psychiatrists, is arbitrary, condescending, profit-driven and riddled with personal biases and political consideration."

"Drawing on her years as an adviser-consultant to various related APA committees, she brings to light the association's lack of interest in outsiders' views and the sloppy design and execution of the research it accepts as authoritative."

More details here

Common Side Effects of Common Psychiatric Drugs

"The body is an extremely complex biochemical machine, with chemical reactions and flows that occur in harmony and rhythmically one with another. They happen in specific sequences, in certain quantities, and at exact rates of speed. When a foreign substance such as a psychotropic drug is introduced into the body these flows and inner workings are disrupted. The drugs may speed up, slow down, dam up, overwhelm or deny critical metabolic substances.

This is why psychiatric drugs produce side effects. This is, in fact, why they produce any effect at all. They do not heal anything."

Need to know stuff

The World's Healthiest Foods

A book by George Mateljan over ten years in the making.

"This book delivers a wealth of knowledge about how to choose, prepare and enjoy the healthiest foods in the world. It has become an essential part of my personal library on foods and nutrition." - Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, Editor of

Read more about the book here

The Human Givens Institute

The Human Givens Institute (HGI) is a membership organisation and resource open to anyone wishing to support the new school of psychology known as the human givens approach, which is enriching psychotherapy, education, social work, primary care and beyond.

Living Life to The Full

Living Life to The Full On-line is a powerful new life skills resource. The course has been written by a psychiatrist who has many years of experience using a Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) approach and also in helping people use these skills in everday life. During the development phase of the course, each module has been used by a wide range of health care practitioners and members of the public. Joining and using the site is entirely free - with thanks to sponsorship from the Centre for Change and Innovation at the Scottish Executive Health Department.

Life Mapping

Life Mapping is the website of UK based teen coach Penny Hopper.

Wonderful Web Women

At Last A Place Where You Can Learn From The Most Successful Women Internet Marketers In The World.

"Women need role models in this industry. And let's face it, women do some things differently to men - let's learn how to make the most of the way we approach business (such as our wonderful ability to network and share stories) from women who have created success in a male dominated industry."

Thank you for reading the Parental Intelligence Newsletter!

The next issue of this newsletter will be published on or about 14 September 2007

Copyright © Bob Collier, except where indicated otherwise

Published by Bob Collier, Canberra, Australia

Email: bobcollier[at]parental-intelligence[dot]com  

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