The Parental Intelligence Newsletter

24 October 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 links to 35 articles, 1 audio, 4 videos and 8 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!



"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up." -  Pablo Picasso


Giving Birth at Home
by Sarah J. Buckley, M.D.

Giving birth at home is a safe and satisfying choice for families who want the best possible start for themselves and their babies.

Families who choose homebirth have a much higher chance of enjoying a natural birth, and a much lower chance of experiencing unnecessary medical procedures, with outcomes that are just as safe, compared to healthy mothers and babies birthing in hospital.

Read more ...

5 Breastfeeding Myths You Probably Believe Are True
by Christie Haskell

There are so many barriers and roadblocks to successful breastfeeding that make it so hard for so many women who want and do try. Medical professionals often get in the way of breastfeeding -- sometimes even lactation consultants can give bad advice.

No wonder our country's breastfeeding rates are so low, eh?

The number one weapon we have against bad information and advice is to SQUASH IT LIKE A BUG!

Read more ...

Enough with the Dire Predictions
by Pamela Jorrick

Maybe I'm just feeling moody these days, but I have been really annoyed with other peoples' dire predictions concerning children lately. The negative outlooks start even before babies are even born. I teach Childbirth Classes, and so I talk to a lot of pregnant women. It is just awful how many horror stories about birth that people choose to share with women who are about to go through it. I don't know if it's therapeutic for the teller or what, but it sure isn't kind or necessary, and here's a news isn't the least bit helpful!!!

Read more ...

Thank you for that item to Susan Gaissert

Can We Subconsciously Prime Kids to Behave?
by Vanessa Van Petten

In 1996, researcher John Bargh did an experiment to see if he could influence behavior with a simple activity. The researchers had three groups of participants. The first group had the "Rude Condition" they had to unscramble a list of rude words like bold, aggressive, disturb. The second group, called "Polite Condition" had a series of polite words like patient, respect and respectful. The last group, the "Neutral Condition" had words that were neither polite nor rude. When a participant was done unscrambling words, they were instructed to walk down the hallway and tell the researcher they were finished. Unbeknownst to them, the researcher would be in a long fake discussion with someone when the participant arrives. The experiment was to test how long it would take for each group to interrupt the researcher to tell him that they were done.

Read more ...

The Neuroscience of Reverse Truths
by David Krueger MD

In traditional science, truth is arrived at by proffering a hypothesis, then accumulating data to prove or disprove it. The data force the conclusion. Reverse truths work the opposite -- the hypothesis or belief creates the data. Our assumptions select what we perceive of the world and determine what meaning we attach to our perceptions. Believing is necessary in order to see.

Astute parents have known this principle for generations.

Read more ...

Bodyguards of Beliefs
by Ronit Baras

A group of 3-year-old kids rushed to the playground. One of them fell off and started crying. All the rest rushed to him, put their hands on the crying boy's leg, the crying stopped in a second and a group of 3-year-old kids continued to rush to their games.

A month earlier, I had taught them how to heal with Reiki. I had done a Reiki course and told them my teacher had said that kids have a natural energy in their hands that can heal and work magic.

Read more ...

"Yes" parenting
by Ronit Baras

Parenting can be really challenging at times. Any parent will tell you that sometimes the challenge is so big they feel out of control - not control over your kids, but control over your reactions to what your kids do or do not do. After all, you are the "captain" and it is your job to run the "ship".

Read more ...

The Golden Rule of Social Neuroscience
by Mark Brady

Anybody who's anybody has had somebody take an active, authentic interest in them. In organized families, it's usually the parents and/or older siblings. They frequently apply The Golden Rule of Social Neuroscience which is: It takes a more organized, integrated brain to help organize a less organized, less integrated brain. This organizing principle is responsible for much of the early development in our lives, including general intelligence. It is our parents' more organized brains that help with organizing ours - mostly through contingent communication and by finding creative ways to soothe our discomforts and ease our anxieties.

Read more ...

8 Ways to Raise a Mindful Child (PHOTOS)
by Karen Maezen Miller

Parents are rightfully concerned about the capacity their children have to pay attention, express empathy and cope with the stresses that infiltrate their lives. Should we then coerce our children onto meditation cushions? Impose artificial silence, stillness or philosophical indoctrination? Before you do that, take a closer look.

Children are exemplars of the art of being.

Read more ...

Thank you for that item to Heather Brown

Introverts are Not Retarded or Anti-Social
by Straight Dope Dad

Summary: The world is full of extroverts and reflects their extroverted ways. This is hard on introverts. The Dos and Don'ts of working with an introverted child.

Read more ...

Thank you for that item to Kim Wildner

Unpacking Praise
by Chris White, M.D.

Last week I summarized an article by Alfie Kohn on praise, and then tried to add some clarifications that I thought to be important. Judging by some of your responses, I need to try another pass at it this week. I am going to do this in a very exaggerated manner to make the distinctions clear. As regular readers of my blog know, I do not usually like to reduce the complexity of life into black and white, but I think it may be helpful to start out this way with praise.

Read more ...

Interview with Chris White
by Nora Isaac

In August of 2009, freelance journalist Nora Isaacs sat down with Essential Parenting's founder Chris White to ask him some "essential" questions about his life's work and his parenting courses. Here is the result of their conversation.

Read more ...

Kids Haven't Changed; Kindergarten Has
by Laura Pappano, Harvard Education Letter

In the ongoing battle over kindergarten-has exploratory play been shunted aside for first-grade-style pencil-and-paper work?-one of the nation's oldest voices in child development is weighing in with historic data.

The Gesell Institute for Human Development, named for pioneering founder of the Yale Child Study Center, Arnold Gesell, and known worldwide for its popular parenting series Your One-Year-Old through Your Ten- to Fourteen-Year-Old, will share the results of an 18-month study at a conference in New Haven, Conn. on October 15.

Read more ...

Thank you for that item to Rahima Dancy

Treating Kids Like Pets
by Joe Bower

When teachers or parents make success, rewards, gifts, excellence, treats, fun, grades or opportunities artificially scarce, we alienate and marginalize the very children who need us the most.

Read more ...

Bullying (quite possibly the longest blog post EVER)
by Lisa Russell

These news stories about kids getting bullied are sad. But what's even sadder is that so very few people see how bullies are rewarded and encouraged. Adults model bullying behavior in so many ways, but fail to connect the dots and see that children learn by example. Bullying behaviors are an adult privilege in our culture.

Read more ...

Teaching Tony Danza
by Joe Bower

The idea that we simply need better incentives for teachers (or students, for that matter) to do a better job lends itself well to the Old School - which I've maintained is not a place but a state of mind that thinks very little of the mind. If you listen to Danza carefully, he makes the same assumption, as most education defomers do, that merit pay and teacher evaluation are one and the same.

Read more ...

Schools can't teach most skills. They never have, and never will. Now what?
by Clark Aldrich

Schools just can't teach leadership. They can't teach project management. They can't teach stewardship. They can't teach innovation. They just can't. They never have, and never will.

When politicians or other leaders gather around in committees and ask,"what skills should schools be teaching?" they have already lost. They are asking a flawed question that will inevitably lead to incredibly expensive failure.

Read more ...

Self-learning in New Brunswick
by Steve Kaufmann

I received an email yesterday, about an interesting experiment in New Brunswick, that shows that kids can learn languages better, and become more autonomous learners, if just allowed to listen and read without interference from teachers. The formal instruction in the language can wait, it seems.

Read more ...

Peter Thiel Has New Initiative To Pay Kids To "Stop Out Of School"
by MG Siegler, TechCrunch

Today at our TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco, Clarium Capital President Peter Thiel sat down with our own Sarah Lacy to talk about a whole range of issues. But at the end of the dicussion, he disclosed a bit of news.

Thiel is starting a new initiative that will offer grants of up to $100,000 for kids to drop out of school. Yes, you read that right. Though that's not how Thiel puts it. Instead, he calls it "stopping out of school."

Read more ...

A Childhood Is a Terrible Thing to Waste: School-Induced Stress
by Linda Dobson

I collect information about education in general - and public school and homeschooling, in particular - the way children used to collect trading cards. How many children today have time to collect trading cards? I ask this not because trading cards are so great, but because my collection of backed-up articles on which to report is way to full of reports about stressed out children.

Read more ...

Race to Nowhere: Film Review
by Susan Gaissert

As a bystander, watching the speedy parade of schoolers rush by-hurrying from one extracurricular activity to the next, doing homework late into the night, taking SAT prep classes and AP classes and heaven knows what other weighty acronymic tickets to the future-I often wonder if they are racing to nowhere, spinning their wheels in a futile effort to achieve some mythic state of perfection that will bring monetary security and happiness. Vicki H. Abeles, the director of the shattering new documentary Race to Nowhere, has wondered, too, and she has molded her concern into a powerful piece of reporting about the world American children live in today.

Read more ...

Free Range Learning: Book Review
by Susan Gaissert

Laura Grace Weldon, so perfectly named, has graced the Carnival of Unschooled Life many times with her beautifully written, carefully thought out, and inspiring posts. When she sent me a copy of her book, Free Range Learning: How Homeschooled Changes Everything, I was thrilled.

With good cause. Laura has written a new classic. Parents who are contemplating homeschooling, or who have made the decision to homeschool and are looking for good solid resources, will find what they need in Free Range Learning.

Read more ...

Five No-Cost Ways to Improve Children's Education
by Linda Dobson

1. Get rid of tests.

But how do we know if they're learning anything?

Talk to them, you know, like they're real human beings.

Read more ...

Creating your own curriculum
by Kelly Loeper, The Journal, Queen's University

It's only been a week since the start of classes and universities, high schools and elementary schools are now buzzing with the routine that school brings.

Carlo Ricci's daughter is currently engaged with this routine in the second grade; however, his youngest daughter is not.

"Both my children make the choice of whether they choose to attend school," said Ricci, an associate professor at Nippissing University.

He's one of many parents engaging in the "unschooling" education movement.

Read more ...

Here To There
by Eileen Smithdeal

Almost fifteen years ago, when our oldest son was two, I began to research homeschooling. Believe it or not, even that recently, homeschooling was an empty desert compared to what it is now! The first book I read on the subject was probably the Colfax's book, Homeschooling For Excellence. I liked the book, and I was encouraged to read more. The more I read, the more I loved the idea of learning at home. I knew that homeschooling was what I wanted for my children.

There was one problem in my preliminary research, however.

Read more ...

Thank you for the above two items to Sandra Dodd

Cooking With What's in the Bag
by Carrie Pomeroy

Recently, I was talking with a poet friend who belongs to the same community-supported (CSA) farm that my family and I participate in. Like us, my friend's family invests an up-front share in the farm every year and commits to at least one day of harvest work. In return, we receive a weekly canvas bag bulging with fresh produce - everything from favorites like snap peas and cherry tomatoes to, well, not-so-favorites, like celeriac.

As my friend and I relaxed on her porch, catching up after a long time between visits, she asked if the kids and I "would take the summer off" from homeschooling.

I explained that there really wasn't anything for us to stop doing, since we don't use a curriculum or follow a set schedule. "So what do you do?" she asked. A community college professor with two children in school, my friend seemed genuinely curious. But whenever I try to answer that question, I always feel as if I'm picking my way across a stream on slippery, shifting rocks.

Read more ...

College Without High School: An Interview with Author Blake Boles
by Maya Frost

Blake Boles has written a remarkable how-to handbook that is destined to change the lives of young people across North America. In College Without High School: A Teenager's Guide to Skipping High School and Going to College, he offers a step-by-step plan to help students envision their best educational experience and make the most of the time they would have spent in high school.

Read more ...

Who is Directing Our Lives Anyway?
by Wendy Priesnitz

When we fall into a habit of accepting what the "experts" tell us to think, we lose the power to think for ourselves. That is why so few people challenge the thinking behind Columbus Day, the mainstream medical monopoly, nuclear power plants, "the war on terror," junk food, reality television show, corporately funded universities, or schools. And that's too bad because these things have not come about as the result of us thinking about what would make our own lives - and those of our families and communities - better on a day-to-day basis.

Read more ...

Blame Games
by Oliver James, The Observer

Proponents of the genetic view of what makes us different from our siblings had high hopes for the Human Genome Project - it was going to identify the schizophrenia gene, the gay gene and so on.

The first disappointment was when the project found far fewer genes than was expected (around 25,000). This led Craig Venter, the leader of much of the research, to conclude that 'the wonderful diversity of the human species is not hard-wired in our genetic code. Our environments are critical'.

Read more ...

Thank you for that item to Barry Turner

ADHD: Has this diagnostic fad run its course?
by Stephen R. Herr, The Christian Science Monitor

The idea of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) as a credible diagnostic term has passed and it is time that we accept that and move on. Fads and disappointments are not new to the field of psychology nor is the need for people to get beyond them.

Read more ...

Thank you for that item to Joe Bower

A Career Guide for Your Right Brain: The Adventures of Johnny Bunko
by Marelisa Fábrega

"The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You'll Ever Need", written by best-selling author Daniel H. Pink, is a cutting-edge career guide that will show you how to find a career you can thrive in. And it's written in Manga-style (a Japanese-comic format)!  Pink is the author of "A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future", and in "The Adventures of Johnny Bunko" he follows his own advice by creating a compelling story that will appeal to your right brain.

Read more ...

Smartphones, Batman and Virtual Mentors
by Karl Kapp

Question: What can we do with mobile learning and smartphones?

Answer: One application is that smartphones enable the concept of a Virtual Mentor to be employed to assist in a variety of settings. A virtual mentor is a live person who provides assistance to one or more individuals who are "on the ground" at a customer site working on a problem. The mentor remains at a central location so he or she can assist several teams of individuals at once remotely.

Read more ...

Toddlers Embrace iPhone Gaming Apps
by John Rice

Toddlers are eschewing books and more mundane toys for the interactivity offered by the smartphone. Sometimes, parents let their kids watch favorite shows on YouTube with the phone. Other times, they are downloading age-appropriate games that develop literacy skills or sing popular songs in several languages.

The American Academy of Pediatrics finds itself scrambling to keep up with the new technology ...

Read more ...

In Study, Children Cite Appeal of Digital Reading
by Julie Bosman, The New York Times

Many children want to read books on digital devices and would read for fun more frequently if they could obtain e-books. But even if they had that access, two-thirds of them would not want to give up their traditional print books.

These are a few of the findings in a study being released on Wednesday by Scholastic, the American publisher of the Harry Potter books and the "Hunger Games" trilogy.

Read more ...

Preparing Kids for the Unknown
by Lisa Belkin, The New York Times

There are many reasons not to start the push toward college before your child is even in preschool. You know most of them, but here's one you might not have thought of: There is no point in pushing children, because by the time today's toddlers turn 18, college - along with the book-based world for which college prepares you - will be an obsolete relic.

Read more ...

Thank you for the above two items to Dagmara Elminowska


Interview with Sandra Dodd

"Happiness Consultant" Amy Childs interviews unschooling legend Sandra Dodd. About 20 minutes. There's a link on the page to a longer 40 minute version.

Listen at


RSA Animate - Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us

"This lively RSA Animate, adapted from Dan Pink's talk at the RSA, illustrates the hidden truths behind what really motivates us at home and in the workplace."

Watch at (10 mins 48 secs)

RSA Animate - Changing Education Paradigms

"This animate was adapted from a talk given at the RSA by Sir Ken Robinson, world-renowned education and creativity expert and recipient of the RSA's Benjamin Franklin award."

Watch at (11 mins 40 secs)

Free to Learn

"Free to Learn is a 70 minute documentary that offers a "fly on the wall" perspective of the daily happenings at The Free School in Albany, New York."

Watch at

Mathew Davis on Unschooling

One of a series of interviews by Researcher, Author and Associate Professor Dr. Carlo Ricci. "Interviews and filming took place at the Alternative Education Resource Organization's 7th annual conference June 24-27, 2010 in Albany, NY."

Watch at (5 mins 48 secs)


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

Playing to Learn?

"Children love to learn, but at some point they lose that and become adults that don't like formal learning. Let's explore why "play" has gotten such a bad rap and figure out how to get it back in education."

A Prezi presentation from Maria H. Andersen of Includes some cool embedded videos.

View at

The World At Your Feet

An initiative from Sabirul Islam, "a young entrepreneur, global motivational speaker and author of the bestselling book "The World at Your Feet"."

"It's a lifelong dream to want to grow up and be someone unique and extraordinary who has achieved their vision. But for those growing up in backgrounds or being raised in families where level of aspiration are low, it's a challenge. As a young 'Teen-Trepreneur,' Sabirul's vision through 'The World At Your Feet' is to empower the minds of people across the world that belief and inspiration is a gateway to opportunity and success."

Thank you for the above two items to Dagmara Elminowska

LifeLike Pedagogy

"The school, as it is today, doesn't motivate the students, teachers, directors and not even the parents. It follows a certain model that doesn't create interest for the knowledge and doesn't encourage innovation. The classes are previously planned without the participation of the students and sometimes even without the participation of the teacher. With classes this way, the result is limited. In order to change this disinterest, we should give the student the freedom of choice, through which an interest for education is created, allowing the children to learn more and better. Using freedom of choice and search for happiness as its basis, the Lifelike Pedagogy developed itself to allow life to enter the classrooms through all the possible ways. Connecting the school to the world, the students are taught via the experience of real problems and real enterprises. We are talking about the students being free to create and to discover by themselves what they need to learn in order to achieve their goals." - Marcelo Rodrigues, author of the book Lifelike Pedagogy.

Visit the website to download a free e-book version, or find out more about the hardcover book available from Amazon, watch a video explaining the project and more.

The Unschooling Happiness Project

A Guide to Living A Happy and Fulfilling Life Through Love and Creativity

Authored by Sara McGrath.

"Unschooling means so much more than a hands-on, child-directed, and experience-based way of learning. It doesn't describe a specific alternative to schooling. It just gets schooling out of the way so various unique dynamic personal creative ways of growing up, living, participating, and contributing to communities can develop."

Just published.

More information at

Rainbow Divas Home Education CAMPFEST 2011

Tuesday 22nd to Sunday 27th March, 2011

Wymah Valley Holiday Park, Bowna (near Albury) NSW, Australia

"Our aim is to create a National, Annual Event in Australia that will meet the needs of ALL Home Schooling Families.  Our Festival is an opportunity to showcase the talent, skills, interests and passions of our Home Schooling Community.

Our intent is to promote and foster the skills, interests and knowledge of our National Home Educating community, and allow the passion of this information to reach as many Home Schoolers as possible.  At its heart, we believe that Home Schooling is a lifestyle, chosen by families for the enrichment of the entire family."

Please visit for all the details

Thank you for reading the Parental Intelligence Newsletter!

The next issue of this newsletter will be published on or about 14 November 2010

Subscribe now and stay in touch

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