The Parental Intelligence Newsletter

January 2008

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 24 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!



"Think about it - if we all stamped 'failure' on our foreheads the first time we fell over, none of us would be able to walk would we?" - Ian Sharp, NLP Catalysts


Teaching Through Love Instead of Fear
by Pam Leo

Can you imagine threatening your partner or good friend by counting "One... two... three..." if he or she did not do what you wanted?

One of the big issues in schools today is "bullying." Parents and teachers struggle daily with how to stop this behavior. Without realizing it, adults teach bullying behavior to children by modeling it when they use the threat of their physical size or power to make children do things. When I hear a parent counting "One... two" at a young child, I always wonder what the child has been told will happen if the parent gets to three.

Read more ...

Natural Born Bullies
by Robin Grille

The media attention given recently to the phenomenon of bullying in schools, is truly a cause for celebration. Finally our world has begun to take seriously the plight of children: the most powerless sector of the community. Initiatives under way in schools are designed to intervene by identifying bullies and their victims, and then providing counseling and education in more effective social skills. Programs have been developed to teach school bullies alternative behaviors, impulse control, conflict resolution and negotiation skills. The victims of bullying are offered support, protection, and trained in assertiveness wherever practicable.

Though this allopathic approach may yield some benefits, the problem with it is that it's only a partial solution.

Read more ...

Getting Out of the Way
by Naomi Aldort

My husband and I are often complimented on our children's behavior and demeanor. People think that we discipline them. We don't. It is ourselves we discipline.

We meet our children's needs, provide for their protection, and expose them to life's possibilities. We do not, however, meddle in their play, their learning, their creativity, or any other form of growth. We love, hug, feed, share, listen, respond, and participate when asked. Yet, we keep our children free of insult and manipulation resulting from "helpful" comments and ideas - influences to which children are so sensitive in their state of dependency.

Read more ...

Children Don't Really Misbehave
by Thomas Gordon, Ph.D.
Most parents and teachers think of children as either "behaving'' or misbehaving.'' This labeling of behavior as "good" and "bad" begins when the child is quite young. In our [P.E.T. and T.E.T.] training programs we try to help parents see that children don't really misbehave.

Interestingly enough, the term is almost exclusively applied to children - seldom to adults.
Read more ...

Myth: Daycare is harmless and able to meet the needs of infants and young children
by John W. Travis, MD

Fact: Daycare, whether rendered by the most prestigious university center or ordinary down-the-street care, usually means caregiver roulette--frequently changing caregivers are today endemic to millions of young children. This discontinuity of care is disturbing primarily because it affects the ability of children to trust their primary caregivers. This in turn affects their ability to relate to others, to learn, to develop an optimistic orientation to life, and to become responsive and responsible members of society. Substitute care can provide appropriate nurturing--but most substitute care, as it is now, does not. Concerns are for both the consistency and the quality of care provided.

Read more ...

Myth: It is possible for both parents to have a full-time career and fully meet the needs of a young child
by John W. Travis, MD

Fact:It may be possible to experience the joys of parenting and the stimulation and ego gratification of a career as well as the material benefits of two incomes--but not concurrently, if we are to fully meet the needs of our children. Our children need at least one of us, mother or father, to serve as primary caregiver at least during the child's pre-verbal years, i.e., the first two or three years of life. This is not to challenge the reality that career fulfillment may be as important for women as for men, but to advocate for a shift of focus--for this very short but critical period--to meet the needs of the very young, who cannot speak for themselves, and are totally dependent on us to meet their needs.

Read more ...

Why We Never Ask "Is it Safe for Infants to Sleep Alone?"
Historical Origins of Scientific Bias In the Bed-sharing SIDS "Debate"
by James J. McKenna Ph.D.

The "debate" about where infants should sleep and which hazards associated with different sleep environments are worth solving has never taken place on a level social or scientific playing field. Moral beliefs about how and where infants and children should sleep in western cultures are both tied to, and reflected in, the methods and conditions used to study infant sleep. Data collected on solitary, bottle-fed infants currently serves as the "gold standard" in research methodology, despite the fact that both breastfeeding and forms of co-sleeping are reaching historic highs. Thus, the pediatric sleep research community increasingly finds itself at odds with the behavior of the families it attempts to serve. This incongruity illustrates how tenacious traditional social/medical values and conventional understandings of infant sleep have become and why contemporary families feel so confused, frustrated, and unsupported.

Read more ...

Mindful Mothering: The Art of Being Present
by Danielle Conger

Mothers today juggle so many activities, appointments and duties that they may more closely resemble carnival entertainers than icons of love and calm. Of course, being an icon is over-rated, but we could all probably benefit from the ability to slow down some, become more focused and find a greater sense of calm and well-being.

Mindfulness-borrowed from the Buddhist practice of being present and aware of one's thoughts, actions and environment-can add a powerful tool to our mothering repertoire, allowing us to take better care of ourselves and those around us.

Read more ...

The Power of a Relationship
by Sarah Newton

As I begin to step into my own power and claim what I am really here to do, I realised that when all is said and done, I stand for one thing and one thing only and that is, "The amazing impact a positive and healthy relationship between adults and teenagers can have on the world. I believe that if we all improved our relationships if only by 5% then the world would be a better place."

Read more ...

The Cheapskate's Guide to Educating Yourself
by Scott Young

Tuition costs are rising. Textbooks might as well be printed on gold. You're contemplating selling a kidney on the black market to pay off your student-debt. Does learning have to cost that much?

Here's some tips for keeping costs down at school ...

Read more ...

'Coursecasting' now a higher-education staple
by Laura Devaney
Delivering lectures via podcasts no longer is the province only of those universities on the cutting edge of technology: Through the use of software and programs that make it easy to produce and distribute podcasts, colleges and universities increasingly are making course lectures available for downloading online.

Most of today's college students are "digital natives" who have been surrounded by technology nearly their entire lives, and they expect their college or university to create a collaborative experience that integrates familiar technologies such as podcasting and on-demand video into their learning environment, supporters of the phenomenon explain.

Read more ...

Are iPod-banning schools cheating our kids?
by Mike Elgan

The Associated Press published an article last week about high schools increasingly banning iPods because some kids use them to cheat. The article, reprinted in USA Today and hundreds of other newspapers, reported one example where a school "recently enacted a ban on digital media players after school officials realized some students were downloading formulas and other material onto the players." I don't want to second-guess the individual decisions of specific teachers and school principals. But the ban does raise questions, the most interesting of which is: Should iPods or other handheld gadgets instead be "required" during tests?

Read more ...

Superman Finds New Fans Among Reading Instructors
by Elissa Gootman
Some parents and teachers regard comics, with their sentences jammed into bubbles and their low word-to-picture ratio, as part of the problem when it comes to low reading scores and the much-lamented decline in reading for pleasure. But a growing cadre of educators is looking to comics as part of the solution.

Read more ...

Five Steps to Unschooling
by Joyce Kurtak Fetteroll

Some people understand unschooling as soon as they hear about it. Others wander about in a fog of confusion, wondering how unschoolers can be so certain about something that seems so counterintuitive to everything we've picked up about how kids need to learn. Maybe a few, well-defined steps in the unschooling direction could lead out of at least the very pea-soupiest part of the fog.

Read more ...

Web Playgrounds of the Very Young
by Brooks Barnes

Forget Second Life. The real virtual world gold rush centers on the grammar-school set.

Trying to duplicate the success of blockbuster Web sites like Club Penguin and Webkinz, children's entertainment companies are greatly accelerating efforts to build virtual worlds for children. Media conglomerates in particular think these sites - part online role-playing game and part social scene - can deliver quick growth, help keep movie franchises alive and instill brand loyalty in a generation of new customers.

Read more ...

Teen Millionaire
by Kevin Sites
Ashley Qualls doesn't sound like a typical high school student. Maybe that's because the 17-year-old is the CEO of a million-dollar business.

Ashley is the head of, a website she started when she was just 14 - with eight dollars borrowed from her mother. Now, just three years later, the website grosses more than $1 million a year, providing Ashley and her working class family a sense of security they had never really known.

Read more ...

Thank you for that item to F Fey via Shine With Unschooling

It's never too late to have a happy childhood!
by Jamie Smart

There's a classic NLP technique called "Change Personal History" developed by Bandler & Grinder. You know how if a person's feeling blue then they seem to remember sad memories etc, whereas when you're feeling happy, you remember the good times & have a generally sunny outlook?

Read more ...

The Foundations of Wellness
by John W. Travis, MD

I've spent nearly 30 years exploring wellness, and I think I did it backwards.

First I began a wellness center and spent twelve years working with adults who wanted to improve their level of wellbeing.

Simultaneously I was becoming more uncomfortable with the increasing levels of addiction, depression, violence, chronic illness, and eco-cide going on around and within me. I felt as though our wellness tools were woefully inadequate to ever change what I had come to recognize as artifacts of Western culture.

My first big step backwards occurred in the mid 1980s ...

Read more ...

Boosting healing with metaphor
by Judy Rees

The use of metaphor has a long tradition in the healing arts. It's a natural way to describe illness, health and healing: so natural, in fact, that we rarely notice it. Nobody is surprised to hear phrases like 'fighting infection', 'pain killers' or 'heart attack'. It can take a few minutes to realise that these phrases are metaphorical - that they refer to one thing (physical illness) in terms of another (a violent incident).

Many complementary approaches make extensive use of metaphor, acknowledging that the metaphors the client uses to think about themselves and their condition can have a powerful influence on the outcome. And metaphor is at the heart of the commonplace distinction between conventional and complementary approaches: 'the body is a relatively simple machine' versus 'the body is a highly complex system which can be influenced in many ways'.

Read more ...

Dealing with the overabundance of food choices
by Kavit Haria

Food is everywhere. Depending on who you are and where you live in the world you could have a love hate relationship with food or food could be cause for celebration and a pleasure that is meant to be enjoyed. Unfortunately though there are many people in many places that are not using food to sustain life but they use it as an indulgence, a vice that needs to be controlled. I know this sounds harsh, but we must be honest with ourselves.

There has been no other time in history that we have been faced with as many food choices as we are today.

Read more ...

Children are 'scared of hospital clowns'
by Sarah Womack

Don't send in the clowns.

Hospitals are being urged not to decorate children's wards with paintings of clowns in case they upset young patients.

State-funded research has found that in a survey of more than 250 children aged four to 16, all disliked the use of clowns in hospital decor, with even the teenagers seeing them as "scary".

Read more ...

Thank you for that item to Fiona Nicholson via Autonomous Education UK


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

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 Connecting Connection Parents:

Click here and scroll down

Connection Parenting interview on Martin Luther King Day

"You are invited to join Pam Leo on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday January 21, at 4 PM Eastern time. She will be doing a call in phone interview about her book and new audio book, Connection Parenting, with Rebecca Thompson of the Consciously Parenting Project."

To learn about the call and to register to be on the call go to:

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.

Trusting Our Children, Trusting Ourselves

Naomi Aldort Parenting CDs & Tapes - "Taking the struggle out of childrearing".

Trusting Our Children, Trusting Ourselves
and others.

Take a closer look here

Speaking 4 Baby

The website of Claire Winstone, M.A., psychotherapist and educator.

"The "4" relates to the four assumptions that are the cornerstones of Speaking 4 Baby's philosophy:

1. Learning begins at conception (memory maybe even earlier),

2. Babies remember and are profoundly impacted by prenatal and birth experiences: physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually,

3. "A person's a person, no matter how small." (Dr. Seuss). All babies are persons, and all persons were once babies,

4. It is in our interest, and that of society, to treat babies with respect, love and protection, and to support and facilitate the unfolding of nature's plan in the way we bring our infants into the world and welcome them."


Gentle Beginnings Baby Massage DVD with Pinky McKay

"Would you like a simple parenting tool that can...

Help you understand your baby's body language?

Help your baby relax and sleep better?

Relieve tummy pains, colic and constipation?

In this beautiful DVD, Certified Infant Massage Instructor, Internationally Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), mother of five and respected baby care author, Pinky McKay will show you how to calm and connect with your baby as you follow her simple step by step instructions to massage your baby."

Visit for more information

Baby Green

caring for your baby the eco-friendly way

A book by Jill Barker.

Read a review of the book here:

Visit the author's website:

Child-Friendly Initiative

"Child-Friendly Initiative is a grassroots, non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of children. CFI members all over the United States work to transform their neighborhoods and communities into places that honor and respect children and support families."

Conscious Woman

"Conscious Woman, Inc. is a new online community that focuses on women's health, children's health and welfare, and the environment. Conscious Woman actively and aggressively promotes informed choice through compassionate education, love and support."

The Consciously Parenting Project

"The Consciously Parenting Project is a collaboration of professionals and families who are dedicated to providing information, resources and support for conscious decision-making in all areas of family life.  We are committed to providing the most up-to-date research and information possible so that parents can truly make informed decisions.  The Consciously Parenting Project is comprised of an on-line community, educational opportunities for parents including articles, tele-seminars and in-person workshops, and an extensive resource list on a wide variety of parenting topics."

Spiritual Parenting

Mimi Doe is the author of Nurturing Your Teenager's Soul and other books. This is her blog:

Spiritual Parenting with Mimi Doe

Academy for Coaching Parents International

Take on the Role of a Lifetime!

Thinking about a career as a parenting coach? ACPI's 2008 classes begin on Monday January 28th.

Get all the details here

Sue Atkins

"I am passionate about making life with children easier and more rewarding, and I am extremely enthusiastic about helping parents to bring up happy, confident, well-balanced adults; today's children - tomorrow's future.

By introducing parents to new ways of thinking about themselves and their family relationships through one to one coaching, workshops and my books and CDs I help parents and their children to move forward and create positive change."

Visit to find out more

Jan Fortune-Wood

The Alternative Education Resource Organisation (AERO) has a sale on of home education and parenting books by Jan Fortune-Wood - Doing It Their Way, Bound to Be Free, and With Consent. Buy all three for the price of one.

"Each book normally retails for $20.00 plus shipping, but we are selling all 3 for only $19.95 and only charge you for shipping as if it were 1 book!"

Visit the AERO website for the exciting details


What happened to the person you were going to be?

A Film by Brooks Elms

"SCHOOLED reveals the transformation of an intense high school teacher (Daniel Kucan) as he discovers a rebellious [democratic] alternative school and learns to connect with kids as people. Two-time nominee at The Method Film Fest in LA (including Best Ensemble Performance) SCHOOLED also stars Alysia Reiner (SIDEWAYS), was co-edited by Frederick Marx (HOOP DREAMS), and features a haunting score by Andrew Hollander (WAITRESS). Written and directed by maverick newcomer Brooks Elms, SCHOOLED stormed education conferences around the globe including: New York, San Francisco, Dallas, and Sydney, Australia. SCHOOLED challenges fundamental ideas about children's empowerment, like no fiction film you've ever seen."

More information about that here

Beverley Paine's Australian K - 12 Home School Curriculum

"Use this website with Beverley Paine's Getting Started with Home Schooling - Practical Considerations to help you develop your own educational curriculum to suit your family situation, beliefs and lifestyle. The checklists can help you identify your children's current educational skill level in each subject area, as well as find any 'gaps' in their learning, plan what they need to cover or keep track of what has been learned."

Visit the Home School Curriculum website for more information


Ezine of unschooling and mindful parenting

Meet some of the major personalities in the 'Unschooling Movement'.

The Unschooling Unmanual

Just published!

The Unschooling Unmanual
features the writing of Nanda Van Gestel, Jan Hunt, Daniel Quinn, Rue Kream, Kim Houssenloge, Earl Stevens and Mary Van Doren.

"Through engaging personal stories, examples, and essays, the writers offer inspiration and encouragement for seasoned and prospective unschoolers alike."

Get the details at

Adam Khoo Learning Technologies Group

How To Empower Your Child To Excel In School & In Life!

"We believe that when children are equipped with the right attitude as well as effective learning strategies and life skills, they will be able to unleash their hidden potential and excel in all areas of their life."

Find out about Adam Khoo's Superkids and 'I Am Gifted, So Are You!' programmes at

Smoking hits teens' concentration

"Adolescents who ignore what they are told may therefore not simply be acting up - they could be suffering from a genuine problem."

Read the story here

Thank you for that item to Barry Turner

Laser-Focused Concentration Now!

A brand new program from Mike Brescia of Think Right Now!

"Laser-Focused Concentration Now! is a new mental training program that will help you develop razor-sharp attention skills naturally and automatically.

Distractions, procrastination, negativity, frustration - all are swept away effortlessly and replaced with an alert, creative focus that will help you rack up one impressive success after another!"

Take a look at the program here

In Children And Adolescents, Low Self-esteem Increases Materialism

"One of the first studies to focus on materialism among children and its development reveals a strong connection between an increase in materialism during adolescence and a decline in self-esteem.

Indeed, Lan Nguyen Chaplin (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign) and Deborah Roedder John (University of Minnesota) show that the relationship appears to be more than just a correlation, but a causal relationship -- low self esteem causes increased materialism and raising self esteem decreases materialism."

Read the Science Daily report here

And finally ...

The Kim & Jason Comic Strip Retires

News from Jason Kotecki:

"I have put off announcing this decision for quite some time, but it is official: I have decided to cease production on Kim & Jason as a daily comic strip."

Get the full story here

Thank you for reading the Parental Intelligence Newsletter!

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

Copyright © Bob Collier, except where indicated otherwise

Published by Bob Collier, Canberra, Australia  

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

Subscribe to the Parental Intelligence Newsletter

Read the current issue

Parental Intelligence