The Parental Intelligence Newsletter

16 May 2010

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 issue of the Parental Intelligence Newsletter there are 27 article links, 2 audio links, 6 video links and 10 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 time!



"Do not kiss your children so they will kiss you back but so they will kiss their children, and their children's children."  - Noah ben Shea



Wired to Wonder
by Todd Kashdan

Our brains are hardwired for worry-and there's good reason why. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors had to keep an eye out for danger at every turn: If I eat those plants, will I get sick? Is that man with 18-inch biceps who smells of charred human flesh a threat to me?

Yet it was only when our ancestors ventured off beyond the boundaries of what was known that they could add to their knowledge and skills. They had to discover absolutely everything for themselves. In other words, they had to be curious.

Read more ...

Superman and Wonder Woman
by Ronit Baras

I do not really have a problem with aspiring to be some ideal person, like Wonder Woman or Superman. I think it is natural to want to be all that and to want life to be successful, happy and easy. What I find problematic is the feeling of completion people talk about only if all those self-requirements are met. In other words, I do not have a problem with the desire to be wonderful but with its close link to perfectionism.

Read more ...

Fears and the Fathering Paradigm
by Jeff Sabo

This post is for the Dads - Dads who are struggling, and the partners and children of those Dads. It's for Dads who have felt their partners accept new parenting paradigms and are struggling to keep up, or even follow. It's for Dads who may be resisting their partner's journeys. It's for Dads who are having a difficult time letting go of who they were before they had children, or shedding the chains of their own upbringings, to fully embrace the parent-child relationships that drive so much of their lives now. This letter is not a critique, or a call to unschooling, or anything more than a simple reiteration of a message that you have heard before, but may no longer believe ...

Read more ...

PBS's 'This Emotional Life': The Challenge of Early Attachment
by Julianne Idlemann

No childhood is perfect. Nor does any child require one that is. But in order for the attachments to develop smoothly in a new family, there is one key element that predicts relative success--the parent's understanding of their own relationship history, especially the relationships of their childhood. Parents who were born into less than ideal circumstances don't necessarily have trouble building good relationships with their own children, as long as they have come to terms with their own formative relationships. When a parent is able to relate what researchers call a "coherent narrative" of their early life experience, it's possible to predict that their own children will form normal, healthy attachments in relationship to them. No matter how imperfect their past may have been.

Read more ...

Why is breast milk best? It's all in the genes
from ScienceDaily

Is breast milk so different from infant formula? The ability to track which genes are operating in an infant's intestine has allowed University of Illinois scientists to compare the early development of breast-fed and formula-fed babies. They say the difference is very real.

Read more ...

Thank you for that item to Alexandra Polikowsky

50 Reasons for Breastfeeding Anytime, Anywhere
by PhD in Parenting

Once again, there has been an incident where someone went up to a breastfeeding mother and told her she had to cover up or leave. Once again, the media feels to need to create a breeding ground for ignorance by asking questions like "should there be any restrictions on breastfeeding in public?" The answer to that stupid question (and yes…there are stupid questions), is simply NO. There should not be any restrictions. There is a myriad of reasons why women should and are able to breastfeed anytime, anywhere.

Read more ...

Breastfeeding in the Land of Ghengis Khan
by Ruth Kamnitzer

In Mongolia, there's an oft-quoted saying that the best wrestlers are breastfed for at least six years - a serious endorsement in a country where wrestling is the national sport. I moved to Mongolia when my first child was four months old, and lived there until he was three.

Raising my son during those early years in a place where attitudes to breastfeeding are so dramatically different from prevailing norms in North America opened my eyes to an entirely different vision of how it all could be.

Read more ...

Top Parenting Bloggers Discuss: Ideal Child
by Ronit Baras

The question "What's an ideal child?" comes up many times in my parenting workshops. I find it fascinating to discover and re-discover that some parents have only a vague idea of what an ideal child should be like, yet they are disappointed with their own children for not being ideal.

Furthermore, much of these parents' daily energy is spent on maximizing their kids' academic achievements, but in their definition of the ideal child, there is no mention of academic achievement.

Read more ...

Assuming Positive Intent
by Jeff Sabo

Assuming positive intent calls upon us to seek out the good in others before we judge them. Obviously, partners would go along way toward achieving a highly positive relationship if they assumed positive intent in the other, but today I am far more concerned with how parents assume it in their children.

Read more ...

How Are We Programmed to See Teens?
by Vanessa Van Petten

I work with many adults who want to know more about teenagers-how they think, what they like, how to engage them.  I used to think that I could address this by simply giving solutions and ideas. Yet, I began to notice a pattern.  I would give the solutions, parents would take diligent notes and then when parents got home the solutions didn't fit with them.  They would email me and ask me for more specific answers for their kind of kid.

I realized that this was not about the solutions, but rather, I had to de-program parents before they were even receptive to hear them!

Read more ...

"What do you want to be when you grow up?"
by Greg

Unfortunately, kids today are the victims of a "bait-and-switch" cultural paradigm when it comes to school. They are told they will "love school" and that they will get to "learn cool things" and "do fun stuff." And because they trust us, they believe it. They enter school with all kinds of questions and they are sure they will get to find the answers, curiosity is their modus operendi. Then school kills that curiosity. Here is the problem, the adults that run their world have lost a vision for the purpose of school and its function in the world is growing more irrelevant every day. A logical question is, "Why should we keep 'doing school'?"

Read more ...

Epilogue to: "What do you want to be when you grow up?"
by Greg

I received my copy of The Power of Pull by John Hagel III, John Seely Brown, and Lang Davison yesterday and sat down with a cup of tea this morning and started to read. I made it to page four and had one of those serendipitous moments when I discovered the epilogue to my last post, "What do you want to be when you grow up?"

Read more ...

The Real Cost of Public Schools
by Andrew J. Coulson

We're often told that public schools are underfunded. In the District [Washington DC], the spending figure cited most commonly is $8,322 per child, but total spending is close to $25,000 per child -- on par with tuition at Sidwell Friends, the private school Chelsea Clinton attended in the 1990s.

What accounts for the nearly threefold difference in these numbers?

Read more ...

Thank you for that item to Steve Kaufmann

Prescriptive vs. Personalized
by Joe Bower

The factory model metaphor has reached the end of its shelf life.

Life is organic.

Read more ...

Nevermind the pedagogues, here's edupunk
by David Cohen,

Can edupunk revolutionise education, or is it just a bit daft?

Read more ...

All education is DIY
by Alex Reid

There's been much talk around the web regarding Anya Kamenetz's book DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education, which obviously connects with a conversation about the changing nature of higher education which is a long time topic here. Clearly I am interested in the potential of digital media to change education. I have often written about changes I see happening or think will happen. I write even more about the possibilities I see and interesting, productive ways to intervene in this situation. At the same time, I remain skeptical of the potential of a non-institutional educational system working as a substitute for higher education for the majority of students.

Read more ...

Thank you for that item to Stephen Downes

The only sustainable answer to the global education challenge is a real diversity of approaches, including homeschooling and unschooling
by Clark Aldrich

No monopoly has ever reformed itself. It is only through competition between entirely different entities that new ideas are nurtured and given the opportunity to evolve.

Read more ...

Your Child's Education: The Buck Stops Here; Accepting Responsibility and Consequences
by Linda Dobson

Whatever  you are thinking about  your children's education at this point, one  thing  should  be  perfectly  clear:  Our  days  of  throwing  blame  for  the condition  of  public  school  between  politicians,  teachers,  unions,  and  the schools themselves are over. These folks are  either unwilling  or unable to create positive change.

If unwilling, the current agenda is suspect and should not be supported, either by money or participation. If unable, then the  torch  must  pass  to more capable, caring hands.

Read more ...

Should Unschooling Be Illegal?
by Karen Braun

The blogosphere is all a buzz, both positive and negative, because ABC put out an obviously biased and heavily edited piece on "unschooling." Many who spoke against unschooling in various comment sections worried about about whether the parents thought through the consequences of their "lazy parenting" and whether these poor children were going to get into college or get hired. MomLogic sums up the negativity when she opines,

    "Sounds like this kind of hands-off training should be illegal, right? It isn't."

Just as some may believe the parents in this clip haven't thought through the consequences of this, I don't believe many who oppose them have thought through the logical consequences of making this illegal.

Read more ...

Twitter & Professors: Unschooling with Micro-Blogging
by Kyra Gaunt, Ph.D.

I am a HUGE fan of Jamie Oliver and his Food Revolution. Like him, I am standing for an UnSchooling Revolution particularly in the Liberal Arts of colleges and universities today. We need a MICRO SCHOOLING or unschooling movement that focuses on changing lives not teaching subjects. Of course I love what Sir Ken Robinson asserts in The Element--that finding your passion is a lost art in most schools today. College and universities are no different than K-12 education. Perhaps worst since they were schooled out of their creativity, the ability to express and pursue what matters to them, for over 12 years by they time they reach my classroom.

Read more ...

Unschooling Undefined
by Eric Anderson

Unschooling is a word coined by negating the idea of schooling; it starts off with a negative definition. What, specifically, is it about schools that unschoolers want to do without?

Read more ...

The Difference Between Natural Learning & Unschooling
by Beverley Paine

For some families the terms natural learning and unschooling are interchangeable. Others see natural learning as the Australian term, unschooling as the USA term and informal learning as the UK term.

Read more ...

Education should be more like World of Warcraft... I mean the iPad... No, Facebook. The quest for silver bullets through new popular media/technology
by Clark Aldrich

Here's the best way to establish some cred as an education visionary: Take the newest example of consumer media/technology and argue that education should be more like it.

I'll even help you write your presentation.

Read more ...

Extreme mobile learning - a proposal
by Steve Kaufmann

I listened to a series of lectures and interviews today on the views of education renegade John Talyor Gatto, while jogging. I found the MP3 files at an interesting website. I will be going back there for more audio material to download.  I agree with some of Gatto's views, and disagree with others. I will discuss these over the next few days or so. That is not the main point of this post.

What struck me today, as a I jogged around the local schoolyard listening to these interviews, was that I am better able to focus on things that I listen to when I am running, than when I sit in a chair.

Read more ...

Reality Bytes: Eight Myths About Video Games Debunked
Henry Jenkins

A large gap exists between the public's perception of video games and what the research actually shows. The following is an attempt to separate fact from fiction.

Read more ...

The Emerging Technology Disaster in Early Childhood Education
by Michael Mendizza

On Fast Company's article A is for App ...

Intelligence is innate, not learned or accumulated, and universally present in every cell of the body and all of nature. To suggest that an iPhone will improve this vast innate intelligence is dehumanizing. How dare you?

Rather, technology is causing the human brain and everything attached to it to become more like the technology it is interacting with - more conditioned and mechanical, especially when this brain-machine intercourse is encouraged, as your cover story does so well, early in the development sequence.

Read more ...

What Self-Esteem Is and Is Not
by Nathaniel Brandon

Four decades ago, when I began lecturing on self-esteem, the challenge was to persuade people that the subject was worthy of study. Almost no one was talking or writing about self-esteem in those days. Today, almost everyone seems to be talking about self-esteem, and the danger is that the idea may become trivialized. And yet, of all the judgments we pass in life, none is more important than the judgment we pass on ourselves.

Having written on this theme in a series of books, I want, in this short article, to address the issue of what self-esteem is, what it depends on, and what are some of the most prevalent misconceptions about it.

Read more ...


Natural Moms Podcast #140: Safe Babywearing

A podcast from Carrie Lauth's Natural Moms Talk Radio:

"On Friday, March 12, 2010, the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a warning about carrying babies in sling carriers.

Is babywearing dangerous? Are some baby carriers safe? How can a parent distinguish which ones are safe and which ones aren't?

My guest this week is Stephanie Banguilan of Stephanie is a childbirth instructor who also hosts babywearing classes in her Georgia hometown."

Listen at

Spoken word (and video) files related to Unschooling

A page at homeschooling legend Sandra Dodd's website devoted to audios of herself and various other people discussing the "ins and outs" of Unschooling (plus links to some videos).

Listen at


Penelope Leach talks about crying

"Essential First Year is a new research-based guide to baby-care from Dorling Kindersley, written by the world-renowned authority on child development, Penelope Leach.

Here Penelope Leach talks about crying and how it can affect your baby in later life."

Watch at (2 mins 31 secs)

Thank you for that item to Hand in Hand Parenting

Kiss and Tell: The Giraffe Confessions

An old favourite of mine - Escape Adulthood Challenge #11: You're Not the Boss of Me. Kim and Jason Kotecki feed giraffes mouth to mouth. Eeew. But good fun!

Watch at (3 mins 11 secs)

Learning by doing

Gever Tulley and The Tinkering School.

"The Tinkering School offers an exploratory curriculum designed to help kids - ages 8 to 17 - learn how to build things. By providing a collaborative environment in which to explore basic and advanced building techniques and principles, we strive to create a school where we all learn by fooling around. All activities are hands-on, supervised, and at least partly improvisational.

Grand schemes, wild ideas, crazy notions, and intuitive leaps of imagination are, of course, encouraged and fertilized."

Watch at (4 mins 8 secs)

LearnAR - eLearning with Augmented Reality

"LearnAR is a new learning tool that brings investigative, interactive and independent learning to life using Augmented Reality. It is a pack of ten curriculum resources for teachers and students to explore by combining the real world with virtual content using a web cam. The resource pack consists of interactive learning activities across English, maths, science, RE, physical education and languages that bring a wow-factor to the curriculum."

The demo video (3 mins) seems at first not to have a soundtrack but it does.

Watch at

Daniel Floyd's Animated Lecture Series on Video Game Issues

A series of video "lectures."

"Originally created as a presentation for an art history class at SCAD, loosely modeled after Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw's Zero Punctuation reviews. Made to be presented on screen in the classroom."

Here's the link to the first episode on YouTube. There are related videos in the series on that page. The videos are varying lengths around 7-10 minutes.

Watch at

Thank you for that item to Kirby Dodd

Dayna Martin on Australian TV

American Unschooling advocate Dayna Martin on Channel 7 Australia's Weekend Sunrise show on 15 May 2010 (scroll down to the archive and click on the "Unschooling" thumbnail). 3mins 15 secs.

Watch at



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 FREE 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.

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

Facebook Groups & Pages

I gave birth at home. Not brave. Not crazy. Just educated.

"For all people that have either given birth at home or want to learn more about home birth. For those that wish they had given birth at home, and those that work in the field of home birth. This is a place to share information concerning home birth and related topics, as well as personal experiences, victories and struggles. This is a place to learn and be supported, and intentionally hurtful or antagonistic remarks are not welcome."

Australian Unschooling Retreat

The Facebook group for those attending or interested in Australia's first ever Unschooling Retreat at Tallebudgerra Creek, Gold Coast, Queensland in September (see details of that in this issue).

Be Questioned: 20 Questions for Unschoolers

A questionnaire for unschoolers designed to help more people understand how differently "Unschooling" can look in different families. Twenty respondents so far at the time of writing.

Find out more at

Unschooling Grows Up: A Collection of Interviews

An unschooling blog with a page of links to interviews with grown unschoolers.


Saturday, July 10 - Saturday, July 17, 2010

At The Hop Farm, Paddock Wood, Tonbridge  Kent, England

"HESFES is the Home Educators' Summer Festival. Children who are in school are also very welcome.

It is run by a cooperative of volunteers and is non profit making and entirely self funding.

Now in its 13th year  the event will once again see people from all over the UK and abroad come together for a week of fun."

Get all the exciting details at

14th International Rethinking Everything Conference

Friday, September 3 - Tuesday, September 7, 2010

At the American Airlines Training & Conference Center, Fort Worth, Texas, USA

"Founded 17 years ago as the Rethinking Education conference and officially morphing in 2009 to Rethinking Everything, we're setting bright new standards for progressive families ...

At the heart of Rethinking Everything is the awareness that the most important way we can effect positive, enlightened change in the world is by entirely rethinking the nature of childhood and the environments we create to support the THRIVING of children and their families."

Get all the exciting details at

First Ever Australian Unschooling Retreat

Friday, September 3 - Tuesday, September 7, 2010

At Tallebudgerra Tourist Park, Tallebudgerra Creek, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

"Come together with other natural learning families for the first ever Unschooling Conference in Australia! Join us for connection, community, support and fun!"

Get all the exciting details at

Re: Psychiatry must be kicked out of the medical profession without any further delay!

A reply to an email I was copied into. Fred Baughman, M.D., author of The ADHD Fraud comments on the psychiatric labels scam.

"Our emotions be they elation, depression or anxiety are a barometer of how we are doing at the game of life.  If you reject what your feelings/emotions are telling you, these signals become muddled and lose their attachment to specific failures or successes--whichever the case.  Psychiatrists often claim depression, anxiety, etc. are endogenous--arising from within, not traceable to life events.  If they don't take the time to hear a patient's life history surely they will not discover its root.   Intent on making a disease pronouncement and drugging they never take the time--they quickly, expeditiously apply the DSM 'disease' label, scribble a script and on [to] the next normal if troubled patient.  But be certain of one thing--each is a symptom, never a disease.  There are no diseases in psychiatry.  In the extreme, emotional chaos may result, with the recovery of a sense of well being a long road back, with every life's hurdle needing to be met and surmounted.  In any event the failures at life must, sooner or later, be confronted and the hard work of life, with the assist of loved ones, family and friends, must be done, and must be done successfully--no shortcuts.  This is why the illusion of psychiatric drugs as 'treatment' is such a dangerous illusion--it never requires that those life's hurdles be successfully met.  These drugs--exogenous chemicals/poisons always damage the brain (and body too)--our main organ of adaptation--increasingly with dose and time and are only a pain pill for the mind--targeting symptoms/pains but never a defined physical abnormality/disease as in the practice of medicine.  Does this really make sense--damage our organ of adaptation and call it 'treatment.'  It is nothing but a pain pill.  This is why--unlike the actual practice of medicine--there are no psychopharmacologic cures.  If psychiatry and/or psychology were to stick to helping in the life's struggle outlined above with no lies as to the nature of psychiatric diseases and mental health they would be participant, with loved ones, family and friends in real cures but their allegiance is no longer to patients but to Big Pharma, something they never divulge to patients.  Thus it is that 'successful' drug treatment of mental pains and symptoms leave the issues of life-adaptation and progress un-dealt with and accumulating, with dysphoria, in whatever forms it may take still awaiting.  Second the drugs over time with accumulating patient-years of exposure surely damage the body and brain to the point that such damage goes from occasionally evident to permanent and truly physically and neurologically disabling.  The risk/benefit ratio it turns out is not sometimes a net negative, it is invariably a poisoning, never a cure and always does net harm, often shortening one's life as do all but placebos.

The number of Americans on government disability due to mental illness skyrocketing from 1.25 million in 1987 to over 4 million today is an iatrogenic, physician-psychiatrist induced epidemic that will only mount in the future.  The utter, complete fraud based on the fiction of psychiatric diseases has to stop.  There is no way to reform psychiatry, an arm and a leg--not just an arm--of the pharmaceutical industry.  Psychiatry is not a legitimate part of the medical profession that deals with the healing and normalization of physical abnormalities--it must be banished from the house of medicine.  Until it is, medicine and all medical school faculties remain a co-conspirator in psychiatric/psychotropic poisoning for wholly illusory, invented diseases--for profit!  Given that the 'patients' are normal to begin with--disease-free--and that the drugs they are consigned to are poisons there is no conclusion to reach but that net harm invariably results.

The only reason psychiatry exists today is due to its illusions of diseases and illusions of cure and 'treatment' by drugs-extremely expensive, always-damaging drugs.

Psychology should be re-invigorated, starting with the few of courage and honesty in their ranks who have not capitulated to psychiatry and the 'chemical imbalance' model."

Thank you for reading the Parental Intelligence Newsletter!

The next issue of this newsletter will be published on 30 May 2010

Subscribe now and stay in touch

Published by Bob Collier, Canberra, Australia  

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

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