The Parental Intelligence Newsletter

July 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 14 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!



Neuro-Linguistic Programming: Liberating Parents

A new and different parenting book from Australian NLP Consultant and Life Coach Keith Gilbert.

"... this is what Liberating Parents is all about.  It is training for parents so that you can learn the essential processes for creating, maintaining and enjoying mental and emotional health and wellbeing. And when you have these skills and use them on a daily basis then you become a model for your children of a balanced, creative and free individual… which is exactly what you want for your children!"

A highly recommended read and a mere $5.00 for the e-book version! See what you think. Invest in a copy of Liberating Parents at, or visit Keith Gilbert's Neuro Linguistic Parents website for more information about the book and for information about NLP and his parenting workshops.

While you're there, you may be interested in another of Keith's books: Teenagers: Your Essential Guide to the Weird World of... Adults.

"Learn how adults use language to influence you to behave as expected.   Learn how adults use language to influence you to be a particular type of person.  Discover the mental tools that really do give you the freedom to choose.  Explore the possibility of living an extraordinary life beyond the limitations of adult beliefs."

Find out more about Keith Gilbert's work (including his Personal Development Workshops for Teenagers) at

I'm a big fan already.


Myth: Fully Meeting An Infant's Needs, Sometimes Called Attachment Parenting, Is Impractical and Exhausting
by Meryn Callander

Fact: Having and raising a child in our culture today is a monumental undertaking--no matter what style of parenting caregivers choose. Although the stresses of parenting cannot be fully alleviated, they are minimized when parents fully meet their children's nurturing needs.

When mother and baby are together during the early weeks and months, natural attachment-promoting behaviors and the intuitive caregiving of the mother--and father--may unfold. Trust and love blossoms. With attachment parenting, many parents report feeling "tied together" rather than tied down. The parent-child relationship becomes a compassionate and a cooperative, rather than an adversarial experience.

Read more ...

How To Build A Baby's Brain
by Sharon Begley

Scientists are just now realizing how experiences after birth, rather than something innate, determine the actual wiring of the human brain. "Only 15 years ago," reports the Families and Work Institute in the just-re-leased study "Rethinking the Brain," "neuroscientists assumed that by the time babies are born, the structure of their brains [had been] genetically determined." But by last year researchers knew that was wrong. Instead, early-childhood experiences exert a dramatic and precise impact, physically determining how the intricate neural circuits of the brain are wired (NEWSWEEK, Feb. 19, 1996). Since then they have been learning how those experiences shape the brain's circuits.

Read more ...

10 Qualities of Teacup Parenting: Is Your Kid Too Fragile?
by Vanessa Van Petten

We have all heard of helicopter parenting. You know, the kind of parents that are uber involved in every aspect of their child's life and sort of buzz and run circles around them as they grow up.

I work with a lot of parents and kids, I hear from a lot of parents and kids, and I spend all day reading about parents and kids today. Something about the term helicopter parenting wasn't fitting right with the kinds of questions and problems that parents and youth bring to me and talk about.

Teacup parenting is a much better fit.

Read more ...

Just Wait Until Your Kids Become Teens
by Ronit Baras

About 16 years ago, I went to visit a family member, who had her first child at the age of 42. I was very happy for her and traveled for 2 hours to see her precious new baby. She was so overwhelmed by the 10 days of the "mom experience" she had had - sleepless nights, initial breastfeeding pains and crying - that for about 3 hours, she kept saying to me, "Ronit, just wait until you have a baby, then you'll see", and I just smiled.

You see, motherhood can be hard at first, but when she said that, my own daughter was already 3 years old and I loved every minute of raising her and considered it a lot more rewarding than difficult.

Read more ...

4 Things I Wish I Knew When I Was 15
by Ronit Baras

In my life, age 15 was the turning point. 4 months before my 16th birthday, I woke up and discovered that the life I lived was an illusion and I opened up to a new life.

For me, 16 was the sweetest thing there was. Life was divided into before and after - before my awakening and after it. Later on in life, there were many times when I wished I could send my 15-year-old self some wisdom to make her life easier.

Here are the things I would send back in time.

Read more ...

Should an 18 Year Old Really Know What They're Going to Do For the Rest of Their Life?
by Stacy Zheng

A couple months ago, this exchange occurred between me and one of my parents' co-workers, whom I shall call "J".

"So, what do you want to do in college?" J asked me, right after we were introduced.

"Well," I hedged, "I plan to sleep in, hang out with friends, and watch shadows elongate." Pause. There was no flicker of recognition in J's eyes; my sarcasm went over his head. "Um, basically-not much."

J looked at me in askance. "I mean, what do you want to do?"

And this was when the College/What Are You Going To Do With the Rest Of Your Life? Interrogation started.

Read more ...

Summer For Some Kids
by Kim Kotecki

What happened to the lazy days of a child's summer vacation?

When we first moved to Madison eight years ago I spent the summer working for a summer daycare/day camp. We had third through fifth graders. The daycare hours were 7AM- 6PM. This was the first time my eyes were opened to the reality of what summer vacation is like for many modern kids. As one of the many "teachers" we tried to give the kids unstructured time, in order to let them feel like they could enjoy the lazy days of summer. Honestly, though, there is only so much you can do.

Read more ...

The Root of the Problem
by Kim Kotecki

How old were you when you did your first stress-relieving deep breathing exercise?

The NBC station in Charleston, SC recently did a story on the way a local middle school is reacting to the stress levels of their students. They now provide weekly announcements which include deep breathing and positive thinking exercises.

Read more ...

Camps help kids get slice of good nutrition
by Jessica Marcy

Jeanie Redick thinks it's unfair what a number of kids are forced to eat these days: prepackaged, artificial, fatty gunk with too much sugar, too much dye and too little nutritional value.

The Roanoke County nutritionist and mother of five has a fun solution to the dietary problems many kids face: nutrition camp.

Read more ...

Thank you for that item to Tammy Cox

The Mac-and-Cheese Effect
Why family dinner makes working parents (especially moms) feel better
by Emily Bazelon

The family dinner is ambrosia and nectar and manna, too, researchers have long told us. It helps prevent teenagers from abusing drugs and alcohol or smoking, and it protects them from stress, asthma, and eating disorders. It boosts kids' reading scores and grades. By the time all the virtues of dinner togetherness have been extolled, you can only feel that if you love your kids, you have to get home in time to sauté the stir fry. ...

Actually, the link between family dinner and idyllic child-rearing is a little more complicated than our collective bending of the knee might suggest.

Read more ...

Is "I Love Lucy" Educational?
by Jan Hunt, M.Sc.

During a debate on legislation that would require a minimum of three hours of "educational and informative" television each day, a USA Today article quoted readers' viewpoints on the definition of "educational and informative". One show that brought about disagreement among readers was "I Love Lucy," a favorite of mine.

The view of many adult panelists was expressed by a Detroit reader: "While some of life's valuable lessons may be included in shows designed primarily for entertainment, that does not qualify them as educational. Education can be fun, but it is a disciplined activity. 'I Love Lucy' just doesn't fit the bill."

The children who wrote to USA Today took a different view ...

Read more ...

The eLearning Future Is No Longer Five Years Away
by Gary Dietz, Educators' Ezine

I've been a part of the real-time collaboration segment of the online learning world for over 10 years. Early on, educators used to say, "Cool demo of that online collaboration stuff. But why do I need to use this again? I'm a teacher." And in the industry press, the broad adoption of real-time collaboration in education always seemed to be "5 years away." Recently I've noticed that perspectives are changing on that point.

Let's examine the conversation about real-time teaching over the Internet as if it were the first conversation I had about digital cameras with my grandmother eight years ago.

Read more ...

Not the Usual Game Application
by Mike Musgrove

One of these days, the thinking goes, some positive lesson learned in a game's virtual world might just inspire young people to go out and change the real world for the better.

That's the hope behind a new wave of serious-minded games in development, which aim to educate audiences about issues like the environment and the death penalty. Former Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O'Connor is overseeing one in-the-works game that puts players into the shoes of a judge charged with sorting out the First Amendment issues raised when a school tries to discipline students for wearing T-shirts with provocative messages.

Read more ...

Are you still living by the finger?
by Jonathan Fields

As I watched my 6-year old daughter update her blog this morning (yes, she has a blog, no, you can't see it, it's passworded for family only), I noticed her doing something pretty unusual.

Between each word, she'd hit the space bar four or five times.

I'd seen her doing this before and told her she only needed a single hit of the key between each letter, but, for some reason, it wasn't sinking in.  Until I finally realized what what happening.

She couldn't get past the finger rule.

Read more ...


How I Parent

A short and hopefully useful instantly downloadable e-book about how I parent my own children.

Read more about that here

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:

When someone you love dies
Death through the eyes of a child
The natural birth/death connection
Still Born
Growing a Community
Creating a School/Community Garden
The Fluoride Debate: are we poisoning our kids?
The Northern Territory Intervention
Many Hands: Creating parental support
Adopting an older child: a woman's journey

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

Kindred Magazine on Facebook

Natural Child News

In the latest issue of the Natural Child Project newsletter:

* Quote of the Month
* Read over 100 more quotes on attachment parenting and unschooling:
* New Article: Empathic Parenting: Being There for our Children and for Others by Tamara Parnay
Read the full article:
* Attachment Parenting Research
* Attachment Parenting News
* "The Baby Borrowers" letter-writing campaign
* Unschooling United
* The Natural Child: Audiobook Edition - now available! Jan Hunt's first book, The Natural Child: Parenting            From the Heart is now available on Audio CD (3 discs) at
* The Natural Child Project gift shop. Please visit
* The Unschooling Unmanual, co-edited by Jan Hunt and her always-unschooled son Jason, is now available. The book offers inspiration and encouragement for both seasoned and prospective unschoolers, and a compelling introduction to learning and unschooling. To read reviews or to order the book, visit Please help to get the word out by sharing this link!
* Parenting Card of the Month. Draw a free random card now at
* Telephone counseling: attachment parenting and unschooling support: Parenting counselor Jan Hunt, M.Sc., author of The Natural Child and A Gift for Baby, can help you find creative solutions that meet the needs of all family members. Jan offers telephone counseling worldwide, with a special focus on attachment parenting and unschooling. Sessions may be covered by insurance, and she can place the call to you. For more information or to schedule a call, visit or call 877-593-1547.
* Attachment Parenting Directory now includes 109 families: find like-minded friends in your area! Please visit our Directory to find friends in your area and add your family to the list.

Subscribe to 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."

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

Heart To Heart Parenting

A new book from Robin Grille, author of Parenting For A Peaceful World.

"An empowering book for parents, Heart to Heart Parenting is more than just a 'how to' book about raising happy and resilient children - it aims to help you create a deep and lasting relationship that is unique to you and your child. Using techniques that are based on connection rather than shaming, manipulation or punishment, Robin Grille introduces you to insightful and practical ways to benefit your child's emotional wellbeing and development."

Find out more here

2008 - The Year of Homebirth Awareness!

"The time has come to speak out as women and mothers about how our lives have been changed by the beauty of birthing at home. We cannot stand by as more women go through the conveyor belts of our maternity hospitals without speaking the truth - Birth is safe, interference is risky, birth belongs at home.

Join all of us in speaking out with just one action a day, however small, and be the ripple effect as each of us across Australia speaks out to inform, normalise and honour birth."

Get all the details at the Joyous Birth website

The Big Push For Midwives

"The Big Push for Midwives is a nationally coordinated campaign to advocate for regulation and licensure of Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and to push back against the attempts of the American Medical Association Scope of Practice Partnership to deny American families access to legal midwifery care."

Find out more about the Big Push for Midwives

How to be relaxed with your pregnant image

This new hypnosis session from Mark Tyrrell of "has been inspired by women who come in for help because they feel 'disgusted' by their own 'overweight' pregnant bodies. The session 'Love your pregnant body' really motivated women not just to accept their pregnant bodies, but to respect and even start to love the way they are when pregnant."

Get the details here

Women Who Care

"Women Who Care is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping Women in Need. The goal of Women Who Care is to empower women and assist them in having experiences that will enrich their lives and the lives of generations to come. The long-term goal is to have a Women Who Care Center where women can receive medical care, massage, acupuncture, chiropractic care and counseling. This will be a gathering place for like-minded health professionals as well as a haven for anyone in need of Love and Nurturing."


"Mindfulness is a word. Nothing more, nothing less. As a word it is a symbol or a sign. As a sign or symbol it points to a way of looking at life in general and one's own life in particular. Mindfulness points one in the direction of being aware of the present moment."

The website of life coach Ozzie Gontang.

Thank you for that item to Tammy Cox

Free E-Book on Parenting with more fun!

Visit the website of UK Teen Coach Sarah Newton for this free e-book on parenting with more fun from Becky Cortino - "Are We Having FUN Yet?"

Read all about it here

The effects of spanking are obvious

Some pertinent observations on the subject in a recent letter to The Ottawa Citizen.

Hold On to Your Kids

A book by Gordon Neufeld and Gabor Mate.

"This book is about the pivotal importance of children's relationships to those responsible for them and the devastating impact in today's society of competing attachments with peers. However it is much more than a book on peer orientation: it is about parenting with relationship in mind. This book restores parents to their natural intuition, confronting such relationship devastating devices as time-outs and using what children care about against them. Offering effective strategies for preserving and restoring the child-to-parent relationship, this book provides refreshing natural alternatives to today's contrived methods of behaviour control."

Discover more about the book here

Homeschool Australia

"From the end of July 08 this website will no longer be updated but will remain online as an archive."

No more Homeschool Australia Newsletter, alas, but you'll still find here a cornucopia of information about homeschooling from Australian homeschooling pioneer Beverley Paine.

Bookmark the Homeschool Australia website!

12th International Conference on Rethinking Education

Thursday, September 4 - Monday, September 8, 2008

Westin Park Central Hotel, 20 minutes from Dallas-Fort Worth airport in Dallas, Texas, USA

You are enthusiastically invited to attend!

"Join hundreds of unschooling families from around the globe as we rethink the meanings of education, learning, parenting...and life! Rethinking Education supports attachment parenting, unconditional love, support for each person's unique journey of life experience, freedom with responsibility, unschooling and you. YOU are the vital ingredient at this conference, as we come together and revel in the magic and mystery of kindred spirits and each other's rich diversity, as we challenge ourselves to trust the extraordinary process of living and learning, the wondrous ability to improve the ways we communicate, discovering new ways of listening to one another, giving full support to our dreams, no matter how wild or ordinary, large or small."

Please visit the Rethinking Education Conference website for more information about this exciting event!

iTunes University

"The road to knowledge is wider than ever."

"iTunes U puts the power of the iTunes Store to work for colleges and universities, so users can easily search, download, and play course content just like they do music, movies, and TV shows."

Cool. A sign of the times and a step toward a fully mobile education for all.

Get the exciting details at

The Montessori Foundation

Curious about Montessori education? Here's the official website:

Radio Free School

"Tantrum space for un-schoolers at radio free school, the weekly radio show by for and about people who eschew factory learning. Open season on all things we might bump up against."

Believe it or not, online for 12 years, now in a new home.

We Shine - A Celebration of Unschooling

Date: June 17 - 21, 2009

Location: Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

Hotel: Crowne Plaza Fallsview

"This Sacred Gathering of Shining friends exists so that we can be gloriously immersed in a real-life unschooling community in order to form a deeper connection with our families, with each other, and within ourSelves.

We gather with those who understand the depth and breadth of what unschooling means, and also with those who are newer to this glorious path, but are drawn to walking in its direction. We also Trust that those who gather together truly understand what it means to allow our children to Shine by celebrating them for being exactly Who They Are."

Visit the We Shine Conference website for information and updates

Radical Unschoolers Network

"The radical unschooler's network is a social forum for RU families...and those interested in the RU lifestyle."

RU stands for Radical Unschooling, of course, not Rugby Union (a bit confusing for me, that).

Get some insight into what unschooling families actually do with their lives.


How to Screw Up Unschooling

More about unschooling (must be the month for it), but this page of people's ideas about how to screw up unschooling is worth any parent reading because most of it can equally be described as 'how to screw up parenting' - and as somebody once said (don't recall who), "If you want to know how to be successful, find out what failures do and don't do it." Maybe there's something in that.


And finally ...

Learn Nothing Day

If unschoolers are "learning all the time", when do they ever get a day off? Good question.

From the website of homeschooling legend Sandra Dodd:

"Unschoolers need a holiday. When people ask if they homeschool in the summer, they say yes. When people ask when they have a break from learning, they say never.

This has gone on for a long time now.

July 24, 2008 will be the first (and maybe last) annual Learn Nothing Day, a vacation for unschoolers, though it may be celebrated by anyone who wishes."

You can read all about Learn Nothing Day here

Enter the Learn Nothing Day photo/image contest here

Can you learn absolutely nothing for one whole day? Definitely a challenge.

Thank you for reading the Parental Intelligence Newsletter!

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

Subscribe now and stay in touch

Copyright © Bob Collier, except where indicated otherwise

Published by Bob Collier, Canberra, Australia  

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

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