The Parental Intelligence Newsletter

April 2009

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 11 articles and 23 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!



"A wise person knows how to improvise. Real world problems are often ambiguous and ill-defined, and the context is always changing. A wise person is like a jazz musician, using the notes on the page, but dancing around them, inventing combinations that are appropriate for the situation and the people at hand." - Barry Schwartz


Annalisa Barbieri: I gave birth at home - and here's why
from The Independent (UK)

This week a study - the largest of its kind - was published in BJOG: an International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. It showed that giving birth at home was "as safe" as giving birth in a hospital.

Periodically, we get studies like these. They come, they make a bit of a splash and then they go again. What they're saying however is so fundamental that we can't ignore it. Because a woman's experience of labour can shape her entire life, even the relationship she then forms with her child.

Read more ...

Thank you for that item to Laureen Hudson

Closeness and Dependency
by S. Boyd Eaton, M.D., Marjorie Shostak, and Melvin Konner, M.D., Ph.D.

A key feature of the care of infants and young children among hunters and gatherers is proximity between mother and infant. Close physical contact is the rule, and the infant's dependent needs and even their mere demands are routinely indulged. The Kung San have been more carefully studied with regard to this pattern than any other hunting and gathering group. Young infants are in physical contact - contact, not just proximity - with someone (usually the mother) for at least 90 percent of the time during the first few months of life, and this declines only gradually to around 25 percent in the middle of the second year. This is direct skin-to-skin contact with the physical warmth and stimulation that implies. Infants and young children sleep on a mat beside the mother (the equivalent of sleeping in the same bed), with the father usually also nearby.

Read more ...

Deciding Together
by Alfie Kohn

Even babies can be allowed to choose. They have very clear preferences for when they want to eat, how they prefer to be held, where they like to be tickled, which toy they'd rather play with, and so on. It's important that we tune in to what they're telling us and try to honor their requests whenever possible rather than insisting on a fixed schedule for eating and sleeping, or interacting with them in a way that entertains us but doesn't really please them.

Read more ...

A New Initiative for Peace in New Zealand
by Robin Grille

Psycho-historians and social scientists have long argued that the most certain way to ensure peaceful, just and sustainable societies is to renounce violence and authoritarianism in the raising of our children. Well, the New Zealanders are taking an interesting step in this direction. Our friends across the Tasman have put a bill before parliament to stop parents smacking their kids. What has led the Kiwis to take this extraordinary step, and would this measure eventually produce the gains [in] social harmony, justice and peace that psycho-historians and psychologists have predicted?

Read more ...

Creative Play is an Academic Pursuit
by phdinparenting

When people are talking about creative play, they often seperate it from academics. Reading, writing and arithmetic (the basic academic skills), as well as more advanced sciences and humanities are seen as crucial things to learn in school, to get you into a good college, and to get you a high paying job.

But what about creative play?

Read more ...

Rethinking the Classroom
by Jamie Littlefield

Most people believe that the majority of learning takes place inside the walls of a classroom. But, all it takes is a quick look around to discover that real learning is happening everywhere.

A research paper from the DaVinci Institute predicts that classrooms will lose their identity as the "touch-point" for education. Instead, they'll be replaced by more authentic, hands-on experiences:

Read more ...

Parents Push For Online Learning
from WBALTV Baltimore

Maryland parents made a pitch to Annapolis lawmakers Tuesday to create a virtual classroom where children would go online for lessons.

Public schoolteachers would be using computers to assist in their instruction and teachers would give instruction live over the Internet to students in their own homes, according to the bill.

Read more ...

Is School Necessary?
by Peter Coyote

Well, a reader sent me a shock in the comments section yesterday, and I thought I'd share it. Her name (actually I'm not sure if it's a woman or a man, but I think of her as a "her") is Silveradocoyote, and she piqued my interest by writing about Education...something I've been researching for "The Book"(soon to be a running joke). She referred me to an interesting fellow named John Taylor Gatto, who was Teacher of the Year for New York City and the entire State of New York one year, and wrote a highly critical essay on schooling as we understand it. You can read that article at: "" Essentially his article suggests that our school system is doing exactly what it was designed to do: bore the crap out of "lower-class" kids; teach them obedience and low-status.

Read more ...

Great Thinkers on Self-Education: Grace Llewellyn
by Jamie Littlefield

Grace Llewellyn is one of the pioneers of the teenage unschooling movement. As a middle school English teacher, she felt torn between her desire to help students learn and the repressive tendencies of institutional schooling. Llewellyn later resigned from her position and wrote a book with a radical approach to learning, The Teenage Liberation Handbook: How to Quit School and Get a Real Life.

Read more ...

What It IS
by Jeff Sabo

One of the topics I try to touch on when I write is the relationship between the structure of work and the significantly less rigid (hopefully) world of unschooling at home. When we first started unschooling, I was pretty focused on making the "transition" between what I had to do and be during the day, and what I wanted to be on evenings and weekends. Over the years, I have gradually (and sometimes seismically) shifted that outlook until I've reached where I am today. Now, I continually look for ways to make my work day more unschool-ish, when possible.

Read more ...

The Self-Imprisoned Bird and a Great Secret of Change
by Tom Russell

After any decision to modify our life, even something as simple (and productive) as the resolution to watch less Television, frazzled feelings, an inner ache, a confusion and/or emptiness soon surface. The cage wants us back!

Why do we go back, often without much of a stand at all? The answer is not really fear of change, I've found. The answer is fear the change might cause more upheaval than we can handle.

Read more ...




Does your child have ADHD or regularly display behaviours typical of ADHD? If so, then you are invited to participate in a 30 minute online survey regarding parents' understanding of ADHD-type behaviours. Whether you believe ADHD is a medical condition or not, as a parent or guardian, you are considered the expert for your child and so your views will be highly regarded. To complete the survey go to Your assistance in this important research is much appreciated.


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!"

My favourite parenting book ever.

Visit Keith Gilbert's Neuro Linguistic Parents website for more information

Join the Liberating Parents group at Facebook

How I Parent

A short and hopefully useful instantly downloadable ebook about how I've parented 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 ebooks while you're here if you haven't done so already.

There are two volumes so far. These ebooks 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

"Kindred magazine is created to support and give voice to the embryonic but powerfully essential movement towards conscious parenting and conscious living happening all around the world. It is in honour of that revolutionary movement everywhere, be it large or small, public or personal, that Kindred addresses issues ahead of mainstream media. It brings cutting edge research and information from pioneers in all fields relating to the well being of our human family and the world we live in.

Courageously exploring social, political, spiritual, global and environmental issues, it is the first and only such magazine in Australia and one of only a few in the world."

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

Subscribe to Kindred Magazine's between issues newsletter Kindred Spirit

Kindred Magazine on Facebook

Natural Child News

The Natural Child Project's free monthly newsletter.

Subscribe to Natural Child News here   

A personal message from The Natural Child Project founder Jan Hunt

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."

Get all the details at

Parenting For A Peaceful World
"Robin Grille, author of Parenting for a Peaceful World, and also Heart to Heart Parenting, shares some profound information about children and parenting practices around the world and throughout history."

A video created by Jacob Devaney for Culture Collective, narrated by Aja Swafford, written by Robin Grille.

Watch it on YouTube (7mins 48secs)

Learn more about Robin Grille's work at

Intact America

"Intact America is a new nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating the practice of unnecessary male circumcision in the United States. Learn how easy it is to care for your intact son, and why you should say NO! to circumcision."

Visit the website

Become a Fan on Facebook

Thank you for that item to John W. Travis

Trusting Our Children, Trusting Ourselves

Taking the struggle out of childrearing, and raising self-directed and happy children

"This comprehensive, indispensable 7 CD set contains six keynotes given by Naomi Aldort at the Rethinking Education conference in Dallas, Texas. It covers practically all the major parenting issues in one amazing package."

More information at the Education Revolution website

Organic Parenting

A book by Koko Preston published on Monday, January 26, 2009, and recommended by Naomi Aldort.

"It is totally possible to raise children who are a joy to live with from newborn into adulthood, and Organic Parenting tells you how. In Organic Parenting, Koko Preston boldly yet kindly tells us what babies, children and teenagers need in order to fully actualize their own potential, while being deeply connected and responsive to others. I encourage every parent who follows my teaching to read Organic Parenting!" --Naomi Aldort, Ph.D., Author of Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves

Find the book here

Attached at the Heart

A new book by Attachment Parenting International co-founders Barbara Nicholson and Lysa Parker. Recommended by the Alliance for Transforming the Lives of Children.

Visit the Attached at the Heart website and blog for all the exciting details

Flying Start

A parenting book by Emma Sargent, NLP Trainer and co-director of The Extraordinary Coaching Company. Recommended by Dagmara Elminowska.

Here's a review of the book in Rapport Magazine, July 2006

Read some testimonials here

Radical Parenting in Spanish

Vanessa Van Petten's Radical Parenting initiative is now also a blog en español - "Padres Radicales".

Read about it in English here

Vaya directamente a Padres Radicales

New Facebook Groups

Children are not produce. They do not spoil

"For those who have the clarity and understanding that children are (just as adults are) deserving of that which brings them Joy! And they are deserving simply for Being Creations of this Universe."

On Facebook? Visit "Children are not produce. They do not spoil" here

Joyous Learning

"Australian home education site - homeschoolers, unschoolers, natural learners, school-at-home, unschooling, curriculum-based including Steiner- and Montessori-style."

Visit "Joyous Learning" here

Stop Worrying About The Kids

New from Hypnosis Downloads.

"Some parents bring about undue suffering for themselves and others by needless and excessive worrying over their children. When does sensible precaution become unhelpful and even destructive worry?"

A podcast on the subject and more information is right here

The Kog

The Kog is the online gazette of the Kern Association of School Psychologists. The February 2009 edition - "The Money Issue" - has some particularly fascinating reading about 'what's really happening' in America's public school system: "Top 17: State & Federal Educational Programs That Need To Go..."

You'll find them listed here:
The 'YouTube bonus' in the February edition is Pink Floyd singing the classic song "Money" at the 2005 Live8 concert in London. Terrific performance. If David Gilmour had a beard, that could be me up there (Ha ha, I wish).

Yes, it's April. The latest edition of The Kog is right here: Imaginary Friend Issue

Here's an interview with The Kog's Editor, Don Asbridge, published on April 14, 2009

Rethinking Education is rethinking EVERYTHING!

"You are invited to attend our 13th annual international conference!

Join hundreds of families from around the globe as we rethink the meanings of education, learning, parenting...and life!

Rethinking Education is rethinking EVERYTHING in 2009!

Our conference supports attachment parenting, unconditional love, support for each person's unique journey of life experience, freedom with responsibility, unschooling and you."

When: Labor Day Weekend, Friday, September 4 - Tuesday, September 8

Where: Marriott Solana Hotel & Spa, Westlake, Texas, USA (1/2 hour west of Dallas)

Early registration deadline is Thursday, April 30th.

All the exciting details are at:

Rethinking Education is now on Twitter!

Alternative Education Bloggers Wanted!

A message from Isaac Graves, Outreach Coordinator of the Alternative Education Resource Organization (AERO):

"If anyone is interested in helping out with AERO's blog, please get in touch!  We are generally looking for news, event information, new resources, and selected reports on conferences and things of that nature.  Representatives from various alternatives are encouraged.  Imagine how great it would be to receive weekly updates from Montessori, Waldorf, Public Alternative, Homeschool.... +everything AERO already offers."

Depression Myths

"Myth 1: Difficult life situations cause depression

Difficult life situations are not the cause of depression, what causes depression is how we cope with the difficult life situation. One person can suffer from a tragic experience and not be depressed, while a relatively trivial problem can send someone else into a severe depression."

More myths, information about the new book How to lift depression [] by Joe Griffin and Ivan Tyrrell and about "The Human Givens Approach" is at

Dr. William Glasser

'Dr. Glasser is an internationally recognized psychiatrist who is best known as the author of Reality Therapy, a method of psychotherapy he created in 1965 and that is now taught all over the world."

Here's his bio

"In the late 70's, Glasser was introduced to control theory systems through the writings of William T. Powers.  In consultation with Powers, Dr. Glasser applied Powers' knowledge of how systems work to the field of human behavior.  That theory of why and how we behave is now called Choice Theory."

A book of that name written by Dr. Glasser was published in 1998: see this page at the William Glasser Institute website

Here's an entire website devoted to "Choice Theory" with an overview on this page:

Dr. Glasser is also the author of a book entitled Warning: Psychiatry Can Be Hazardous To Your Mental Health. Published in 2004.

"In this book Dr. Glasser explains that psychiatry, lured by billions of drug industry dollars, has completely rejected mental health for the false and hazardous concept of mental illness. He explains that the basic human problem is not mental illness, it is unhappiness. The book is written for anybody who takes psychiatric drugs, is involved in any kind of psychiatric treatment, or is unhappy and doesn't know how to regain his or her mental health."

Find that book here at the William Glasser Institute website

neuro-linguistic programming: The Technology of Choice workshop dates

Dates for Keith Gilbert's next neuro-linguistic programming: The Technology of Choice free one day workshops in Sydney, Australia:

Sunday 3rd May
Sunday 24th May

Please note: only six places per workshop, bookings essential.

Did I mention it's free? More information at

Read my report on the workshop I attended in February 2009 here

And finally ...

It's okay to love your children and homeschool!

Thank you to Beverley Paine of Homeschool Australia for her kind words about this newsletter in the above titled blog post. Beverley Paine is one of the pioneers of the home education movement here in The Land Down Under.

Here's a link to the blog post in its entirety and an opportunity for you to find out more about Beverley Paine and her work:

Thanks again, Beverley!

Thank you for reading the Parental Intelligence Newsletter!

The next issue of this newsletter will be published on or about 14 May 2009

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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