The Parental Intelligence Newsletter

27 February 2011

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 28 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 time!




36 Obvious Reasons You Are Capable of Natural Birth
by Mama Birth

We hear so much negativity about birth these days that it sometimes gets lost in the shuffle that women are divinely designed to birth babies. This is a miracle, but it is also so totally normal and a simple bodily function. Here are a few reminders (yes, many of them obvious) of the truth that we have forgotten about our bodies.

Read more ...

Amy Chua Is a Circus Trainer Not a Tiger Mother
by Peter Gray

Everyone's been asking me for my thoughts on Amy Chua's Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, so I finally broke down, bought the book, and read it.

I'm embarrassed that my purchase has contributed even a smidgeon to the best-selling ranking of this book or to Chua's royalties.

Read more ...

Beyond Tiger Mothers and Glass Children
by Chris White

This week I am going to veer from my recently stated plan to address the many issues brought up by the book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua. This book made big waves after The Wall Street Journal printed a very provocative version in an article entitled, Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior. (Congratulations to the WSJ for presenting a false dichotomy, stirring up the hornets nest, and probably trippling their readership on that single article!) But let's let the media keep puppeteering middle America while we move on to raise the dialogue to a new level, shall we?

Read more ...

Beyond Tiger Mothers and Glass Children - Part Two
by Chris White

Let me open this exploration of Beyond Tiger Mothers and Glass Children by saying that choosing a style of parenting is a very personal thing and it must feel right to you first and foremost. The choice of how to parent your child will likely depend on a number of different influences including, but not limited to ...

Read more ...

Traditional Parenting Doesn't Work
by Dr. Bob Jacobs

It is time to acknowledge that the traditional ways we parent children in our society do not work.

Read more ...

Labeling Kids
by Ronit Baras

Labeling is humans' way of making things easier to deal with, or so they hope. I think it is probably because of our limited language. For example, if you had to pick a color, you might call it blue, but if you check carefully, you would find many shades of blue. In the graphics world, they do not even call it blue. They use numbers. Labeling is our way of understanding that when somebody says, "Oh, I love it when the sky is #87CEEB", they mean "a medium-light shade of blue".

I am not against labeling. I use labeling a lot in my work, especially with kids, because it saves a lot of time explaining the range of each label. Instead of saying, "On a scale of 1 to 100 of being scared, you scored 30", I say, "You are very cautious and that should be really appreciated".

Read more ...

Who's in Charge, Anyway?
by Gal Baras

Back in the olden days, kids were punished, flogged and told off by their parents for "misbehaving" or "having no discipline". The definitions of proper behavior and good discipline were very clear to the parents and everybody else in their community, so they felt justified in applying whatever pressure to control their children and get them back "in line".

But we no longer live in the olden days.

Nowadays, formal manners and other phony requirements glide off our children like cooking oil off a Teflon pan.

Read more ...

Why I don't force my kids to say 'please'... or walk on schedule
by Mayim Bialik, Ph.D.

Former "Blossom" actress Mayim Bialik believes in allowing children to develop at their own pace, whether it comes to motor skills or manners. Here, she explains why.

Read more ...

Taking attachment parenting to a whole new level: A thoughtful interview with Chris White
by Kris Laroche

I do believe this is the BEST explanation (evolution) of Attachment parenting and there is much in here to explore. I hope you like it and I hope you will check out his classes, too.

Read more ...

Interview with Robin Grille
by Kris Laroche

Oh how fortunate we are that Robin was willing to do an interview for us! This wise wise man has much to offer the world. Here are a few words just for you in this exclusive interview for NPC [Natural Parenting Center].

Read more ...

What the French Revolution Can Teach Us About Parenting
by Laura Grace Weldon

The parent I would become was changed by history. Or at least by revelations history can offer.

At 18, I signed up for a college history course simply to fulfill a requirement.  Although I've forgotten the professor's name, I'll never forget the man.

Read more ...

Slow Parenting
by Abby Quillen

I took swim and piano lessons and belonged to quite a few clubs at school, but when I think about my childhood, it's the slowness that I remember - infinitely long summer days; conversations with my parents that felt like they could go on forever; leisurely afternoons of reading, wondering, day-dreaming and playing.

Some of my friends were in gymnastics, soccer, or Girl Scouts. But we all had ample unstructured time in our days. We spent our summers riding bikes all over town (without helmets), walking to the swimming pool, or wandering in packs from yard to yard until it was time for dinner.

My mom, dad, sister, and I also spent countless hours telling stories, going for walks, hiking, camping, playing board games, and just being together.

And all of those seemingly slow moments added up to something huge - my childhood.

Read more ...

The Youngest Have The Oldest Way Of Knowing
by Laura Grace Weldon

Young children have a very creative sense of reality. That's exactly the way they're supposed to be. Adults may teach children that the night's dreams have nothing to do with the next day, that the wind doesn't have a voice, that a beloved toy can't feel their adoration. Still, children know what they experience. They sense potent meaning in everything.

Read more ...

Lesson Learned: Allowing Kids Time to be Free
by Andrea Cameron

Last week, I took my son with me to a play rehearsal. I've been working after school with a group of students to prepare for a drama festival. I wasn't sure how it would go. He's no longer content to sit and color. Now, he wants to be part of the action.

So, after an hour of rehearsing despite the attempts of a three-year-old to upstage them, my students dispersed. It was then that my once timid boy ran out onto the stage.

"Finally, I get the stage to myself," he said, spinning a little too close to the edge.

I laughed. Then, I did what every other parent of my generation would do. I decided I had better get him into some lessons.

Read more ...

Five Questions for Laurie A. Couture
by E. Christopher Clark

Laurie A. Couture is the author of Instead of Medicating and Punishing: Healing the Causes of Our Children's Acting-Out Behavior by Parenting and Educating the Way Nature Intended. Her book was chosen as a finalist in the ForeWord Magazine Book-of-the-Year Awards in 2009. She appears as an expert in the documentary film, The War On Kids (2009) and is the host of The Free and Joyful Childhood Radio Show. Laurie was a recipient of the 2010 Manchester Union Leader's Forty Under 40 honors.

Read more ...

Barbara Blake-Hanna's unique education recipe
from Wignall's World, Jamaica Observer

Recently I have been writing a number of articles on early childhood education and as a result, some parents have been e-mailing me and suggesting various approaches in dealing with opening up the minds of their young ones.

Barbara Blake-Hanna contacted me and, knowing that she had home-schooled her son, Makonnen, to near genius level to the point of being made a special ambassador in the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, I asked her to simply tell me how she did it.

Read more ...

They Call It A Grassroots Education Revolution: That's Funny
by Linda Dobson

They're calling it a grassroots education revolution, probably to get you all excited. But I'll let you in on a secret.

It isn't a revolution at all.

In fact, their "grassroots education revolution" has been in practice so long now I have friends whose children are enjoying "the revolution" with their grandchildren! It's been around so long it's known by many names at this point. It's alternately called homeschooling, unschooling, home education, radical unschooling, eclectic education, child-led learning, relaxed homeschooling, growing without schooling…well, you get the idea. We were joined by the pioneers who opened alternative schools on shoe-string budgets with parental volunteers and a similar vision.

Read more ...

Five More Ways the Learning Coach Approach Is Different from Traditional Teaching
by Linda Dobson

In a previous post, "Light Your Child's Learning Fire with Her Interests," I introduced the idea that acting as your child's "learning coach" at home, you can approach education in a different, more natural way. I promised I'd follow through with five additional ways in which the learning coach approach is different than our memories of going to school.

Capitalizing on children's interests is one major way in which coaching differs from the traditional idea of teaching. There are five additional important differences.

Read more ...

The Flow of Self-Directed Learning
by Amy Spang

There has been discussion in recent years about a psychological concept known as "Flow". The concept was originally defined by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (Professor C. for short here) at the University of Chicago. His research identifies conditions under which human resources and skills are totally utilized in the accomplishment of a task. During the course of certain activities, a state of intense concentration is achieved and sustained for a period of time...and this is known as the "flow experience." If we examine the concept closely, it is evident that flow adheres to principles of nature that we encounter in daily life. Within its confines we find matching sets of conditions that govern the natural environment and human intellectual activity - especially in children.

Read more ...

Education Inspired by Nature
by Wendy Priesnitz

A few months ago, I began research for an article about biomimicry for Life Learning's mother magazine Natural Life. As serendipity would have it, around the same time, a Twitter contact suggested that I write an article for Life Learning about how biomimicry relates to life learning (unschooling). Oh, yes, I thought: Learning is one of Nature's most elegant devices! However, we humans are the only species that sends our offspring to school in order to learn and to socialize. (We may also be the only species that stubbornly refuses to learn from our mistakes - even the famous lemmings who are supposed to blindly follow each other jumping off cliffs are reportedly a Disney fabrication.)

Read more ...

Interview with Anna Hoffstrom (Part One)
by George Haines

The conversation about education reform tends to be a one-sided conversation. In this student interview series, you will get a chance to read the thoughts of students from across the globe. My interview with 18-year-old Anna Hoffstrom below is the fourth in the series and Anna gives us a great window into the mind of an "Unschooler."

Read more ...

Some Questions and Answers with Clark Aldrich about Unschooling Rules

What is your book Unschooling Rules about?

The most powerful new ideas about education are coming from the people who have given up on school - the homeschooling and unschooling families. This book distills 55 core insights from all-new research into this area that will help anyone responsible for children unlearn our current hobbling notion of schools and rediscover true education.

For example, some Unschooling Rules are ...

Read more ...

Why Unschoolers Don't Support Public Education
by Wendy Priesnitz

There are a variety of issues involved here, including semantics: There simply may be a common confusion between public education and public school. Perhaps the term "unschooler" is not the perfect word for describing a complicated concept. And there are many different definitions of the word and explanations of the concept, which leads us to the philosophical issues that are at play.

Read more ...

Memorizing the Phone Book
by Stephanie

I have been doing a lot of thinking about the whole philosophy of "unschooling" (or relaxed schooling, or delight directed learning, etc.) I have been trying to get down to the very basics of the idea.

I just wonder, what do we really need to know? I mean, how much of what we are teaching our children is going to be used in any practical way when they grow up, and how much will simply be forgotten? I am coming to some pretty interesting conclusions on this thought.

Read more ...

Digital natives have a greater understanding of Wikipedia
by Judy Breck

There is good reason students trust how Wikipedia is edited: two levels of crowd review.

Did pre-digital students dig into heuristics-related issues before quoting encyclopedias Britannica? or Americana? or Newsweek? or Life? or their textbook? I was there. I know they did not. As a student at Northwestern University in the 1950s, I was expected to trust mainstream media, my textbooks assigned by a professor, and the books in Deering Library. Checking into how these sources were edited never came up.

Read more ...

H. Sapiens Digital: From Digital Immigrants and Digital Natives to Digital Wisdom
by Marc Prensky

In 2001, I published "Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants," a two-part article that explained these terms as a way of understanding the deep differences between the young people of today and many of their elders (Prensky 2001a, 2001b). Although many have found the terms useful, as we move further into the 21st century when all will have grown up in the era of digital technology, the distinction between digital natives and digital immigrants will become less relevant. Clearly, as we work to create and improve the future, we need to imagine a new set of distinctions. I suggest we think in terms of digital wisdom.

Read more ...

The Belief Business vs the Creating Business
by Robert Fritz
For years we have heard that what you believe will determine how well you will succeed in life. So every year, people diligently attempt to change their beliefs to ones that favor their success and limit their failure. There is an entire industry that supports that cause. "You are what you believe," is advertised with the certainty of a great mathematician adding two and two, or a great French chef adding just the right amount of garlic to an order of Escargot.

Yet, with all the hoopla, the premise is simply not true.

Read more ...

The Art of NEXTing
by Ronit Baras

An old Chinese proverb says "Fall seven times, get up eight". While in the past, people thought that high intelligence or IQ would guarantee falling less often, research on emotional intelligence has discovered that smart people fall exactly as often as anybody else, but those with high emotional intelligence are better at "getting up".

Read more ...


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

Self-esteem & Emotional Intelligence 2nd Edition

"The new, revolutionary approach to developing high self-esteem and understanding and managing your emotions"

Visit for more information about this book and for details of Keith's "Developing Emotional Intelligence" workshops.

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

The Essential Parenting Home Course

"Essential Parenting is a practice-oriented parent education program that optimizes the developmental potential of both children and their parents. Based on a variety of teachings including the work of Gordon Neufeld, Daniel Siegel's Interpersonal Neurobiology, Ken Wilber's Integral Theory, and the Diamond Approach created by Hameed Ali, Essential Parenting's unique parenting classes are designed to help you align with your children as they are in the present moment. In each parenting class, we combine cutting-edge developments in Interpersonal Neurobiology with spiritual practices like mindfulness meditation, somatic practices, and inquiry. Essential Parenting classes will empower you to return to your naturally wise and loving heart. In doing so, we support our children in becoming more fully themselves while also creating a ripple effect of wholeness, confidence, and well-being in our communities and on our planet." - Dr. Christopher White, Essential Parenting.

Download Week 1 of The Essential Parenting Home Course absolutely free.

Get the details at

Letter to Conscious Parents Everywhere

Sarah J Buckley MD

"Would you like to increase your confidence in your body and your chance of a gentle, safe, natural, labor and birth?

Would you like a head-start with your gentle birth and parenting choices, so that caring for your baby can be as safe, easy and pleasurable as possible?

Do you need the best solid, scientific evidence about gentle birth and gentle mothering so that you can understand the benefits for your baby, your family and yourself?

On this site, Sarah J Buckley MD, family physician/GP, mother of four, and author of Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering gives you the best medical information in easy to understand language, so that you can be informed, supported, nourished and inspired as you embark on your extraordinary journey, bringing new life into the world."

Subscribe to Sarah's newsletter and receive a copy of her free ebook Ecstatic Birth.

Parenting By Heart

A new book from International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and Certified Infant Massage Instructor Pinky McKay.

"Sleeping, feeding and gentle care for your baby's first year

New Release! Pre-order your personally autographed copy before 31st January and receive FREE postage!" (within Australia)

Find out more at

Homebirth Australia Conference Challenging the Boundaries

August 19-21, 2011

Newcastle City Hall, Newcastle, NSW, Australia

"For everyone with a passion for homebirth; midwives, doulas, mothers, families, students.

If you are able to assist with promoting the conference by putting a poster, flyer or postcards up in your community, please contact Sonja MacGregor."

For further information please visit

The Parenting Centre

"Dr Bob's Free Parenting Book Available Soon!

Perfect Parents Perfect Children: Changing the World by Celebrating Our Perfection

This is a book about changing perspectives, changing families and ultimately, changing the world. If you believe we, as a society, are doing the best we possibly can, this is probably not the book for you. But if you believe that we have unlimited potential to facilitate the growth of joyful, loving, compassionate children who can move us towards a happier, healthier and more peaceful world, then you are likely to find this very exciting."

Free PDF version available now. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED READING.

Thank you to Anthony Dillon for pointing me to this website.

The linguistic genius of babies

"Patricia Kuhl shares astonishing findings about how babies learn one language over another -- by listening to the humans around them and "taking statistics" on the sounds they need to know. Clever lab experiments (and brain scans) show how 6-month-old babies use sophisticated reasoning to understand their world."

Watch the video at (10 mins 18 secs)

AIE Radio

The Homeschool Talk Radio Show from Donna Vail, founder of An Inspired Education.

February 26, 2011: A Democratic Education: Respecting the Way Children Learn with Isaac Graves.

Visit for a replay of this and previous shows.

Unschooling Creators - Jan Hunt

The Unschooler's Emporium interviews Jan Hunt, founder of The Natural Child Project.

Watch the video at (4 mins 46 secs)

Why Unschool?

A new website about unschooling created by grown unschooler siblings Laura and Allen Ellis.

Find out more at

Learning Freely Network (LFN)

"LFN is a worldwide network of  free learning families and groups, sharing their unique experiences and understanding of the many aspects regarding the Learning Freely process. Often referred to as Natural Learning, Unschooling, etc. , this site is designed as a collective community to mirror the information and news from locations throughout the world."

Rainbow Divas Home Education CampFest

March 22-27, 2011

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

Visit for the details

InHome Conference

March 24-26, 2011

Pheasant Run Resort and Spa, St. Charles, Illinois, USA.

Get all the details at

Life Rocks! Radical Unschooling Conference

April 11-15, 2011

Red Jacket Mountain View Resort and Kahuna Laguna Waterpark, North Conway, New Hampshire, USA.

Visit for all the details

LIFE is Good Unschooling Conference

May 26-29, 2011

Red Lion Hotel, Vancouver, Washington, USA
Get all the details at

Always Learning Live Unschooling Symposium

July 26-30, 2011

Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

Find out more at

15th Annual Rethinking Everything Conference

September 2-5, 2011

Sheraton Grand Hotel, Irving, Texas, USA

For more information about the conference program, please visit

Good Vibrations Unschooling Conference

September 8-11, 2011

San Diego, California, USA

Get the details at

Australian Unschooling Conference Retreat

October 28-November 1, 2011

Airlie Beach, Queensland, Australia

Find out more at

Who Gets the Next Stylish Blogger Award?

Many thanks indeed to Linda Dobson of Parent At The Helm for bestowing upon the Parental Intelligence Newsletter the "Stylish Blogger Award"! I'm dead chuffed, as they say where I come from. I guess I am a kind of once a fortnight blogger. :-)

There are a couple of rules that go with the Award and (if accepted) these are that each recipient must share seven little known facts about themselves and then pay the Stylish Blogger Award forward to fifteen other blogs.

So, first of all then, seven things about me that you may not know:

1. I've lived in Australia for 18 years in total - seven years in Sydney in the 1970s and 80s and eleven in Canberra since 1999. I became an Australian citizen in 2004.

2. I'm a baseball fan and don't like cricket - something that's probably both un-English and un-Australian.

3. The only shoes I will wear are black Dr. Martens. I don't like to wear any other colour or make.

4. When I was in my late teens, I was a Jehovah's Witness for a year.

5. I was a morris dancer for more than twenty years and also played the fiddle and the melodeon.

6. I've never owned a credit card.

7. My favourite colour is yellow and my favourite fruit is the grape.

My Stylish Blogger Award Recipients.

Not sure if this is a correct interpretation of the rules, but I'm not going to duplicate blogs on Linda Dobson's list that I would also have chosen, so - in addition to those I would otherwise have included in my list - here are fifteen more blogs that I particularly like:

The Essential Parenting Blog

The Committed Parent

PhD in Parenting

Authentic Parenting

Mummy Matters

Family Matters

For the Love of Learning


Just a Bald Man ....

Sandra Dodd

I'm Unschooled. Yes, I Can Write

With The Family

Blog of the Zombie Princess

Kim & Jason


Congratulations! If you haven't already received the "Stylish Blogger Award" from someone other than me perhaps you would like to copy the badge above and pay the award forward to bloggers you like (and remember the seven little known facts). Thanks again to Linda Dobson for my Stylish Blogger Award!

Thank you for reading the Parental Intelligence Newsletter!

The next issue of this newsletter will be published on or about 13 March 2011

Subscribe now and stay in touch

Published by Bob Collier, Canberra, Australia  

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

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