The Parental Intelligence Newsletter

December 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 21 articles and 33 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!



"There's no entity whatsoever in your mind that is trying to make you fail. You have a memory and you have an imagination. They are the tools you use to create the life you want." - Matt Furey


Does the Santa Legend Endanger Trust?
by Jan Hunt
A close friend and I had an interesting discussion recently about the Santa Question. Is it OK to tell a child that Santa Claus is real? Is this a harmless "white lie", an innocent and loving attempt to give a child the pleasure of make-believe, and the reassurance of fitting into our culture, or is it essentially and inescapably a lie that can affect the child's critical capacity to trust?
Read more ...

Taking Children Seriously
by Scott Noelle

We live in a society that doesn't take children seriously. Sure, we care deeply about children's welfare; we do our best to help them to grow into healthy, successful adults.

But we, as a society, rarely take children seriously the way they take themselves seriously.

Read more ...

Childhood is Now
by Pam Leo

I often hear people say, "Kids today are different, I would never have behaved that way as a child." Are kids today different or is it kid's lives today that are different? In her book The Continuum Concept, Jean Leidloff points out that, "Natural logic forbids belief in the evolution of a species with the characteristic of driving its parents to distraction by the millions." As new parents we are all told, "Enjoy your children now while they are little." Yet how much of the day do we spend enjoying our children? Many parents spend more of their day struggling with their children than enjoying them. How has this come to be? What is making parenting today more often a struggle than a joy?

Read more ...

Aware Parenting for Health
by Melissa J. Macdonald

If you were having a cuppa with a friend and they started talking about their feelings and got emotional or started to cry, what would you do? We all handle these situations differently but I think most of us would listen to our friend, with empathy and understanding. We would want them to explore the emotions they were feeling and work through it so they could 'get it off their chest' and feel better. We would sit there and just simply be with them.

Why is it then, that we so often do not allow our own babies and children the same support and encouragement to release their emotions?

Read more ...

The Debate on Spanking is Closed
by Jordan Riak

Whether or not any child, in any circumstance, on any pretext, should be subject to physical battery and whether or not such treatment is beneficial to that child are questions that have long since ceased to be matters for serious discussion among the informed. I assume that I am writing for an informed readership that has no interest in a rehash of the reasons why the deliberate traumatization of a child by its caretaker, in any degree, is always wrong.

Read more ...

High on life: the biggest health care fraud in history?
by Laura J. Snook

It was probably nailing my teacher's coat to the desk while he was still wearing it that did it. That and glueing his packet of peanuts to the classroom ceiling, at a precisely-calculated five millimetres beyond his furthest reach.

It was the climax of what I - and most of my pre-teen classmates - considered a sustained comedy campaign, a bit of light-hearted high-jinx designed to redress the teacher-student balance of power. It wasn't my first and nor would it be my last, even though this particular incident triggered a catastrophic sense of humour failure in said faculty member, who mysteriously vanished overnight.

Had I been born a decade or so later, I doubt I'd be writing this today.

Read more ...

Give a dog a bad name - the sticking power of labels
by Mark Tyrrell

'Give a dog a bad name and hang him.' Once we have labelled someone, our - and even their - expectations of their behaviour from then on seem to be almost wholly determined by that label.

Read more ...

Meta Patterns & Genius - A Simple Game To Increase A Child's Intelligence
by Dr. Silvia Hartmann

As a side effect in my life long study of human excellence, genius and creativity, I have discovered ONE particular thinking pattern that makes ALL THE DIFFERENCE in:

- understanding the world
- problem solving
- innovation and creativity
- and even inner harmony.

This is a meta filter which people LEARN, they are NOT born "that way", and it is a really profound one that makes the difference between a great thinker and someone who isn't, at the end of the day.

This filter is about whether a person sorts all manner of incoming information by difference, or by similarity.

Read more ...

How To Improve Reading Comprehension
by John Wesley

Reading is all about information. It's not about the number of words you read, but the amount of value you extract from them. The key to improved reading comprehension isn't moving your eyes across a page more quickly. It's about creating a mental framework that helps you process words and ideas.

With a bit of practice, anyone can read faster and more productively.

Read more ...

Math: Live from a classroom near you
by Lauren Radomski

Third-graders Matthew Monke and Adam Swanson spent three recesses indoors this week - and they didn't seem to mind.

In fact, they looked pleased as punch Thursday as they huddled over a computer at Cleveland Elementary, their extra recess work culminating in a short video clip: a MathCast.

MathCasts are brief, student-produced segments designed to enhance student learning and educate the public about Every Day Math, the new elementary math curriculum implemented in Fergus Falls this year.

Read more ...

Changing Paradigms
by Marc Prensky

The answer to why we are having so much trouble implementing technology in our schools may have less to do with the technology, and more to do with the changing educational paradigm that the technology has enabled. Because of twenty-first century technology, education no longer means the same thing as it did in the past.

Read more ...

Student Exchange, Without the Jet Lag: Educational Collaboration in a Virtual World
by Rob Baedeker

Leslie Bank, a tenth grader at Turlock High School, in California's Central Valley, has a favorite place to visit. "It's a cool lake, and it's up in the sky," she says. "I like to go there and explore."

Her gravity-defying getaway is located in Second Life, the online, 3-D virtual world developed by San Francisco-based Linden Labs. Second Life participants create avatars, or customizable digital selves, to navigate a virtual landscape with an over-the-shoulder screen view of their persona as it walks, runs, or flies through or over mountains, forests, buildings, and all manner of objects created by users employing Second Life's internal 3-D modeling tools.

But Bank's involvement with the virtual world goes beyond extraterrestrial rambling. She's one of the first students to participate in the Pacific Rim Exchange (dubbed PacRimX), a cross-cultural project that will link several high schools in the Modesto, California, area to Kyoto Gakuen High School, in Kyoto, Japan, via a group of private "islands" in the Teen Second Life Grid (a separate Second Life space that exists apart from the Main Grid and is open only to kids 13-17 and approved adults).

Read more ...

The Indigenous Internet: New Technologies Link Ancient Cultures
by Ken Ellis
They huddle together on the playground, giggling behind clipboards, shyly rehearsing the interview questions they are about to put to their elders in a jumble of English and Choctaw. "Why did you start chanting?" "What stories did your grandmother tell you?" "What's your favorite Choctaw dance?" For this group of students from Pearl River Elementary School in Philadelphia, Mississippi, the interviews provide information about their tribe's rich history they won't find in any textbook. Moments after their interviews, the students will present their stories and digital photographs to a global audience, as part of the International Education and Resource Network's (iEARN) First Peoples' Project.

Read more ...

For non-geeks, it's definitely time to regroup
by Kumari Kelly

Used to be, "geek" wasn't anything you wanted to be in life.

The term implied strangeness; an unrelenting preoccupation with some outside-the-mainstream interest; a certain social awkwardness. Calling people geeks, well, you might as well have branded them losers, nerds, the proverbial dorks.

Today, though, geeks are proud -- and rightfully so. Known most commonly for their computer prowess, the geeks of the world now sit in positions of untold power, shaping the very way we live today. Think about it: They brought us the iPod, iPhone, Blackberry, OnStar, french-fry grease-as-automotive fuel, the fridge with a TV in the door and so much more.

Read more ...

Learning What Is Not Necessary
by Stephanie

Recently on a local homeschool list, the discussion turned to the idea of how we define what is "important to learn".  Can you really say that there are things that  are not necessary to learn and how do you make that determination? Some people had good arguments about the benefits of having kids learn things that they may or may not be interested in and others made the argument that kids, if given a wealth of exposure, will learn what they need to know.

I think that all homeschoolers wrestle with these types of questions, regardless of their homeschool philosophy.

Read more ...

This is Your Brain on Advertising
by Amber Haq

Do you ever get the creepy feeling that advertisers know how to put a lump in your throat, inspire subconscious brand loyalty, or make your mouth water? Just wait: It could get worse. An emerging technique called neuromarketing that uses brain scans to measure human response to promotional messages is starting to catch on in Europe-and soon ads may become even more effective at prompting you to pull out your wallet.

Read more ...

Fighting The Fool
by Dr. Silvia Hartmann

If you sit back for a moment and consider some of the worst decisions you've ever made, and it really matters not if you want to think about personal issues, or professional things, you will find without a shadow of a doubt that these were made from fool states of high stress when reason and logic had abandoned the building.

It is a fact that the reason people are getting consecutively more stressed out, the older they get, and that's because as they are around for longer, they are fire-fighting more and more foolish decisions which have caused chaos and havoc in their lives. Some people end up fire fighting the whole time in the end, with never a moment's respite, because of past decisions that have landed them in totally untenable situations.

Read more ...

5 Survival Tips for Difficult Conversations
by Sheila Heen

I suspect everybody on the planet has a tough talk "To Do" list - the list of difficult conversations we really should have, but keep putting off.

Talking with your significant other about their parents, asking your best friend about the money they owe you, telling your co-worker to quit making loud personal calls. Oh, and explaining the birds and the bees to your… now 10-year-old. Well, that one he may have figured out without you.

We put these difficult conversations off because we dread the reaction, we don't want to start a fight, or don't want to handle it badly or sound petty. Interestingly, the way we bring things up (or respond to their attacks) actually makes it more likely that we'll do damage.

Read more ...

How to Change Your Mood FAST
by Hollis Polk

Have you ever been unfocused before an exam, when you really needed to concentrate instead?

Or have you ever been really nervous before giving a lecture, when instead you needed to be confident?

Or perhaps you've been down in the dumps when you needed to be 'on' and positive at a social event?

We've all had the experience of wanting or needing, for one reason or another, to be in a different mood that the one we were actually in. Most of us just give in, accept our moods, and do the best we can. But there is a quick, easy way to shift your mood when you must, or even just when you choose to. No drugs, no pills, no cost, no side effects!

Read more ...

Thinking Around Corners - A New Perspective On Creative Thought
by Tom O'Leary

In Japan, blind corners are everywhere. The roads are narrow and walls extend right out to meet the curb. It is inconvenient at best, deadly at worst. From the driver's seat of a car there is just no way to see what is around the corner.

The only help is a mirror on the other side of the intersection. If you look into the mirror, it is like you are standing in a different position. It is like you cross the road, and now have a clear view straight around the corner. This is the only way to see around blind corners. Looking from this different position makes the way forward obvious.

Read more ...

How Not To Be Disappointed This Christmas - A Practical Tip
by Silvia Hartmann

Many years ago, when I was living in circumstances not quite like today, I invented something in the spur of the moment which is fascinating and has significantly improved my life.

It actually started four months earlier, for my birthday in fact.

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:

Ultrasound Scans: Are they Worth the Risk
Plastics in our Home and our Child's Toys: Which ones are Safe?
Teenagers and Sex: Are they ready?
How to Talk with your Teenager about Tough Issues
Grade Wool and Wheat, not our Kids
Are there enough Fish in the Sea: Sustainable seafood consumption
Why I love to Vacuum
When a Child is Shy

For more information and to subscribe please visit the Kindred Magazine website

Natural Child News

In the latest issue of Natural Child News:

Quote of the Month: "It is part of the mythology of childhood..."
New article: "The Nursing Toddler" by Norma Jane Bumgarner
AP Research: Food dyes and sodium benzoate affect behavior
A Gift for Baby full online preview
New booklet: The Unschooling Unmanual (update)
The Natural Child Audiobook - reduced price
Gift Shop: 50+ unique gift items help support our work
Parenting Card of the Month: "Your child has years and years..."
Talk with Jan
AP Family Directory AP Directory
Advertise with us
Support The Natural Child Project
November sponsors

Subscribe to the Natural Child News here

Connection Parenting

A standout book by parent educator Pam Leo recommended by the Alliance for Transforming the Lives of Children.   

"Connection parenting is parenting through connection instead of coercion, through love instead of fear."

Breaking News!

The complete book is now on audio CD, read by the author.

Sign up for Pam Leo's newsletter for more information on this exciting development as it becomes available:

Click here and scroll down

Latest News from Touch The Future

The Origins of Love & Violence - a comprehensive DVD and research database archiving James W. Prescott's life work which documents the impact of early sensory deprivation on the developing brain.

More information on that here

Work is continuing on The Nurturing Project, a revolutionary approach to mentoring parents, the people who care for young children.

Read about the Nurturing Project here

"We are just beginning to produce a comprehensive multi-hour personal interview series with Joseph Chilton Pearce. The transcripts are breathtaking.

We are adding audio and video to Touch the Future's website, a long overdue and important enhancement.

Plans are taking shape for an online forum where people from around the world can connect and share insights and information.

Support is easy. Almost everyone can do something and we appreciate everything you do."

Make a donation to Touch The Future here

Place an order for books, DVDs and audio CDs

Become a member

A statement from Beverley Paine

Beverley Paine is a pioneer of home education here in Australia and somebody I greatly admire for the work she's done and continues to do to help other parents, and for who she is. Beverley has asked me to include the following statement in this issue of the Parental Intelligence Newsletter and I'm more than happy to do so:

Clarifying my position regarding home education and child abuse:

I feel the need, due the actions of a home educator who appears intent on linking my name to the support of child abuse, and who has denied me the opportunity to make a clarifying statement by removing a brief comment I added to a blog entry about me on December 10th, to make the following statement:

"Beverley Paine is committed to supporting home educating parents who practice non-violent and attachment parenting.

Since 1989 she has worked towards the goal of the establishment of consistent and transparent guidelines and regulations for the provision of home education, including being a member of a legislative review panel considering home schooling in South Australia.

Her approach is inclusive and seeks to build bridges between disparate groups.

Her desire is to help families grow towards enlightened parenting and educational practices that respect and honour the individual learning and developmental needs of all children.

She has worked with teachers and bureaucrats in schools for improvements in school education as well as with teachers, bureaucrats and home educators for improvements in the provision of home education."

Visit Beverley Paine's Homeschool Australia website to find out more about her work

Develop Your Child launches in the US

"It is with huge pleasure we announce our partnership with the awesome Dorothy Eckes who will be introducing our work into the US with immediate effect. To celebrate this launch and the launch of our all new licence training programme in February 2008, details here, we are offering a special 50% reduction - or the $ = £ on these trainings only. To find out what attracted Dorothy to DYC see this web page.

If you resonate with us please contact: Dorothy Eckes in the US, or Alan Wilson in the UK

We have plans for more fabulous training in the UK, Ireland, Denmark, Australia and New Zealand - yippeeee!!!!"

Kids are really different these days DVD Christmas offer

"Following on from the November 2006 conference of the same name, Develop Your Child announces a brilliant new DVD that explores how and why young people are wonderfully different these days and the impact on parenting, teaching and our future."

Go here for DYC's special Christmas offer - ends December 31st.

Parenting For A Peaceful World

Owing to strong demand, Australian psychologist and psychotherapist Robin Grille's Parenting For A Peaceful World has gone into its fourth print run!

Find out more about this exceptional book at Robin's website Our Emotional Health.

Plain Talk About Spanking

This publication is offered free of charge as a 16-page booklet. It also can be conveniently printed in booklet form from this link. Copyright is waived on condition that the text is left unchanged and reprints are offered free.

"Educators, healthcare professionals and others working in child-related fields who would like to receive Plain Talk About Spanking in quantity for distribution to students, patients, clients, members, etc., should contact us to discuss their requirements."

For more information and to order booklets, or help support the free distribution of Plain Talk About Spanking in booklet form by making a donation, please visit:

Parents and Teachers Against Violence in Education (PTAVE)

A message for 2008 from Executive Director Jordan Riak

Pinky McKay Newsletter  

"This newsletter is brought to you by Pinky McKay, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, certified infant massage instructor, mother of five and author of Sleeping Like a Baby, Parenting By Heart and 100 Ways to Calm the Crying."

Visit to subscribe and to learn more about Pinky Mackay's books

Why Love Matters: How Affection Shapes a Baby's Brain

"Hailed by the Guardian as "hugely important", an "excellent book" by the Financial Times, and "new and important" by the Daily Telegraph, Why Love Matters is an essential read for all who those who are involved in the care of children, from expecting mothers through to policy makers. Distilling the current science into easy-to-understand prose, Sue Gerhardt has provided a founding text for the future health of modern society."

Find out more at

Thank you for that item to Pam Leo

Audio CDs from Jennifer Day

"AEM Founder/Director Jennifer Day has taught and facilitated internationally for more than thirty years. Specializing in emotional intelligence coaching and facilitation, teacher-training and parenting, she is the author/co-author of six books translated into ten languages, and has designed and facilitated seminars and trainings for organizations, schools, parents, teachers and the general public in the US, Hawaii, the Caribbean, the UK and Europe."

Visit for more information

The Everyday Parent

The Everyday Parent (formally Talking Teenagers) is the newsletter of Sarah Newton, Britain's best known teen coach and author of the book Help! My Teenager is an Alien.

"The aim of this newsletter is to give you bite size tools, techniques and strategies to support you in moving towards a more enjoyable and healthy relationship with the teenagers in your lives."


Autonomy in the Family

"Autonomy in the Family is a coalition of three groups that seek to encourage independent and critical thinking about the family and the family structure. We believe that individuals flourish in freedom and in settings that encourage and nurture both individual and family autonomy."

Find out more

Kids close to their parents are more independent as adults

"A close relationship with parents is often viewed as a sign of dependence, but a new research has found that young adults who share a strong bond with their parents exhibit greater independence in their personal lives than those who have a distant relationship."

Visit for the full story

Thank you for that item to Rick King via

The Happy Child

Changing the Heart of Education

"In this thought-provoking new book, best-selling author Steven Harrison ventures far outside the box of traditional thinking about education. His radical proposal? Children naturally want to learn, he asserts, so let them direct their own education in democratic learning communities where they can interact seamlessly with their neighborhoods, their towns, and the world at large. Most learning systems apply external motivation through grades, rankings, teacher direction, and approval. The Happy Child suggests that a self-motivated child who is interdependent within a community can develop the full human potential to live a creative and fulfilling life. Harrison focuses on the integration of the whole child, the learning environment, and the non-coercive spirit of curiosity-driven education."

Learn more about this book here

Children Come First

"Children Come First is an educational corporation dedicated to cultivating a life-long love of learning among children and their families. Its purpose is to enrich the education of children as society's greatest asset in the 21st century and work with groups which are organized and operated for similar purposes."

Read an interview with CCF's founder Olgy Gary

New Additions to the AERO Bookstore!

Childhood and Society
by Erik Erikson

Multiple Intelligences: New Horizons in Theory and in Practice
by Howard Gardner

Should We Burn Babar?: Essays on Children's Literature and the Power of Stories
by Herbert Kohl

The Unschooled Mind: How Children Think and How Schools Should Teach
by Howard Gardner

Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?: And Other Conversations About Race
by Beverly Daniel Tatum

AERO's Organization Search Has Commenced

The Alternative Education Resource Organization's Mission is: "Building the critical mass for the education revolution by providing  resources which support self-determination in learning and the natural genius in everyone."
"We are now putting on an international organization, network, and group search for those connected with alternative education / learner-centered approach to education in some capacity. This search will eventually yield in a brand new free resource to be offered on our website. Please help this resource become one of the most powerful research and informational tools online today in the world of educational alternatives by e-mailing all of the contact information you have for every organization, network, or group connected you know of!"
The e-mail address to send the organizations to is:

George Lucas on the power of emotional intelligence

George Lucas and Daniel Goleman discuss the many ways that social and emotional learning enhance the education process.

"Daniel Goleman and George Lucas may have taken very divergent career paths -- one is a renowned psychologist and author of the best seller Emotional Intelligence, and the latter is a celebrated filmmaker -- but they share many things. In addition to growing up near each other in the hard-baked farmlands of central California, they both believe the classroom should be a rich emotional environment that frequently touches and teaches the soul. They recently had a chance to sit down and talk about these issues."

Read the discussion here

Eli Gerzon

"Eli Gerzon is a self-educated American who writes and speaks about education and travel. Born and based in Boston, he runs his own natural landscaping business when he's not travelling around the world. He went to private school then public school until the age of fifteen when he began homeschooling or "worldschooling" as he likes to call it."

"Where the whole world is your school instead of school being your whole world."

Find out more at

We Are Unschoolers

A new Yahoo! group started by unschoolers for unschoolers.

"This group is for the KIDS who are unschooled."

Visit the group here

Upcoming Unschooling Conferences

A diary of unschooling conferences for 2008 from 'radical unschooling' legend Sandra Dodd.

Quotes for Unschoolers

"This page is new in October 2007, inspired by various convergent happenings and thoughts. This page will probably be a directory to quotes by different people, or might become the database for a quotes generator, and might be categorized by topic someday, but for now it's a place to put things."

Digital Natives Blog

"The Digital Natives project is a collaboration between the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School and the Research Center for Information Law at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland. Digital natives, a term made popular by Marc Prensky, are young people whose use of technology is completely ingrained in their lives -they have grown up always-on and constantly-connected. Unlike those even a little bit older, these Digital Natives didn't have to learn to "be digital," they learned in digital the first time around.

The project's goal is to better understand young people's experiences with digital media, including Internet, cell phones and related technologies. By gaining insight into how digital natives make sense of their interactions in this digital landscape, we may address the issues their practices raise, learn how to harness the opportunities their digital fluency presents, and shape our regulatory and educational frameworks in a way that advances the public interest."

Visit the blog here

Wellness Junction

"Wellness Junction is on a mission to help millions of people take back control of their health and get on the path to wellness.

Founded in mid-2007, Wellness Junction is a wellness magazine on the web. We publish thoughtful, informative and useful articles exploring health and wellness in the 21st century."

Find out more at

The Rainbow Machine

"The Rainbow Machine is a portal into the mind and methods of an outstanding practitioner of NLP."

A new book from British neurolinguist and clinical hypnotherapist Andrew T. Austin.

Please visit for the details

The Addiction Project

"The Addiction Project is a result of major changes in the way we look at addictions. With success rates for traditional rehab and AA in the single digits, and addictions on the rise, it is time to look at how the brain works.

Wendi Friesen and Scott Sandland have achieved remarkable success with addicts who have failed at numerous attempts to stop alcohol and substance abuse.Why is this method working when drug and alcohol rehab methods typically have a 90% failure rate?"

Discover the details at

Happiness Books by Andrew Matthews

Andrew Matthews is an Australian author, cartoonist and speaker. His books about happiness are International Best Sellers and they're fun to read!

Find out more about Andrew Matthews here


Goal setting, life coaching for proactive teens and social networking for emerging leaders

"It's free, simple and features; your personalized goals focus guide - vision board - affirmations generator - mental rehearsal/visualization generator - your Amazon wishlist and loads more inside."

Explore this interesting idea at [link removed subsequent to website being hacked]

Internet Based Moms

"Internet Based Moms is the leading online community for moms who have a home business or want to work from home."

Sign up for the weekly newsletter here

And finally ...

Over 100 NEW cool things for the young at heart!

What's new at Kim & Jason's Lemonade Stand?

Find out here!

Thank you for reading the Parental Intelligence Newsletter!

The next issue of this newsletter will be published on or about 14 January 2008

Copyright © Bob Collier, except where indicated otherwise

Published by Bob Collier, Canberra, Australia  

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

Parental Intelligence