The Parental Intelligence Newsletter

15 May 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 25 articles 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!




Does Hypnobirthing really work? Using relaxation during childbirth instead of pain medications
by Heather VanNest

When I was 8 months pregnant, I interviewed half a dozen moms who told me how Hypnobirthing classes helped them relax before, during and after giving birth, to the point that many did NOT need any pain medications!

It sounds crazy, right? I honestly couldn't believe it! That's when I made the on-air promise that I would take Hypnobirthing classes and see if the relaxation technique really worked for me.

Read more ...

Breastfed baby a much healthier, happier child
by Kim Peterson

Since the beginning of humankind, women have breastfed their babies. So why did the swing to bottle feeding happen? History tells us mothers not only wanted more freedom, but were convinced that propping a feeding vessel taught their baby independence. Mothers fed their babies with glass teapots, funnels and even animal horns, and used nipples made of cork, metal, glass, ivory and wood. Did you know that the first rubber nipple was patented in 1845? Elijah Pratt of New York was credited with inventing the India rubber nipple, which had a bad taste and found little success initially. The glass baby bottle as we know it didn't evolve until the early 1920s.

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. Thank you, Chris. (This is a long post. I've given it all to you right here instead of splitting it up. Enjoy.)

Read more ...

Your Kids Don't Owe You Jack
by TheOrganicSister

Now that I have your attention let me please make one thing clear…

You chose to have children.

You chose to be a caregiver, to take on the responsibility of providing for your child's physical, emotional and mental well-being.

Your kids don't owe you thanks for your own decisions.

They just don't. They are here to live their lives, growing and learning in a way that makes sense to them.

Read more ...

Parenting demands superhuman self awareness
by Kris Laroche

This morning I was hard edged, crabby, quick to prickle. I kept squirming around to find a comfortable spot within my own skin. My mind scrolled through the food? getting outside? picking up the phone? All those options were possibilities and none of them soothed my jaggedness. I searched about for a reason...tired, period, sore foot? What is it? How do I fix it?

Read more ...

Put the 'her' Back In 'Mother'
by Tiff

This post is all about individuality and motherhood. As in, as women we are individuals, but as moms we seem to meld into a general idea of what a mother is. It's a natural shift…no one else is us, so we are by default our own experts. However, plenty of other people are moms, or deal with children, and often we begin to look at these people as experts of our momhood. I thought a lot about this over Mother's Day this last weekend, and decided that it's time to merge the two…us as individuals with us as moms. The title is my first attempt to do this…because while there is no "you" in "mother", there is "her", and that's a good place to start. There's also "my" in "Mommy", but that didn't sound as cool.

The point is, there's a huge hype over the idea of "mom". You know what I'm talking about.

Read more ...

Why Stay-At-Home Moms Should Earn A $115,000 Salary
by Jenna Goudreau,

Think you can't put a price on motherhood? According to a new survey by, a division of human resources consultant Kenexa, moms should be charging $115,000 per year for their work.

Read more ...

Are you "still the mother"?
by Andrea Doucet

I've been interviewing mothers and fathers on changing motherhood and fatherhood for twenty years. Some of their voices remain lodged in the back of my mind.

One voice that I keep hearing is that of a British mother named Monica. I met her, and her husband Joshua, in 1993 in a small village outside Cambridge when I was writing my doctoral dissertation on (heterosexual) couples attempting to 'equally share' housework and childcare.

Monica and Joshua were both managers in the British government. Since she had the upper level job with a demanding travel schedule, Joshua took on the daily running of the household. Monica called home every night. But she was upset when she was unsure about what her two daughters were doing on any particular night ...

Read more ...

Fear and Intimacy
by Teresa Graham Brett

Parenting with an open heart and mind allows us to respect and honor children for who they are, not what they do or how they act. It requires us to move through the feelings of our past so that we can be in the present with the children in our lives. In my journey as a parent, I have discovered the many ways we can create barriers to being open and present. Fear is one way that I create a barrier to opening my heart....

Read more ...

I am not raising obedient children...
by Kelly

...nor do I want to.  Not that I would rather have disobedient kids, but actually...that's closer to the truth.  What? (You say.)  What crazy parent would want this? 

Read more ...

Three cups of fiction
by Carol Black

The recent revelation that Greg Mortenson's Three Cups of Tea is based on fictionalized accounts of his experiences in Pakistan and Afghanistan, that his charity's funds were misspent and its books were cooked, and that there was little or no followup or support for many of his schools once they were built - if they were built at all - has drawn a lot of media attention.  But the larger fiction which goes unquestioned is Mortenson's romanticized portrayal of education as a panacea for all the world's ills, a silver bullet that in one clean shot can end poverty, terrorism, and the oppression of girls and women around the world.

Read more ...

A Thiel Education
by Troy Camplin

"Education may be the only thing people still believe in in the United States. To question education is really dangerous. It is the absolute taboo. It's like telling the world there's no Santa Claus." - Peter Thiel, Co-Founder of Paypal

Read more ...

A Dozen Fast Facts to Help You Overcome the Fear of Choosing Homeschooling for Your Family
by Linda Dobson

It was 1984 for this ordinary mom. My eldest of three children, one of the sweetest little boys I'd ever had the pleasure to know (and, lucky me, the pleasure to spend life with), had reached the ripe old age requiring - or so I thought - kindergarten attendance.

The school automatically signed him up for the afternoon, half-day session. My sweet little guy was a morning person, so that wouldn't do. I called the school, eventually about 50 times, before they reluctantly conceded to a change. (Only in hindsight did I see that this was just the first time I would to utilize my intimate knowledge of my child for his educational benefit.)

Somehow, within a few months of half-day school attendance, he managed to forget many things he'd already learned. He became a miserable, grouchy, stressed, nasty big brother at the same time. What were they doing to him? I volunteered to be a "helper" to find out.

Read more ...

Six Reasons I'm excited about homeschooling my future children
by Kate Fridkis

I grew up without school and my husband grew up with school.  I'm twenty-five, and Bear is twenty-six, and sometimes we sit around and talk about the kids we might have someday, because we're not at all cool, and don't get invited to any parties. I'm kidding. We get invited to (tons of amazing) parties. And we also talk about our future kids and how they will learn, and what kind of lives they will have. We can make a pretty good case for homeschooling. It may or may not involve a boat.

Here are a few reasons why homeschooling our future kids will be awesome:

Read more ...

Home- and Unschooling are not theoretical reforms; they are real, large, and growing movements
by Clark Aldrich

It was a lot of fun and a real honor to be interviewed on Cultures Shocks for today's show (counter-programming to the slightly more popular Royal Wedding!). The last question by Barry Lynn was especially interesting. It was essentially a variation of, "Gee, Clark, we have been talking for an hour, and your ideas sound fine enough. They pass the sniff test. But I have seen and heard a lot of smarter people saying more interesting things about education reform for decades, and they have all failed. No matter what you say, I would bet good money that your ideas won't have much impact either."

I mumbled through some answer. But I now realize that I had bought into the assumptions of his question and I missed bringing up the real point.

Read more ...

Parenting A Free Child: An Unschooled Life
by Kris Laroche
I'm reading this book. I'm a better mama, because of it.

Read more ...

Unschooling Teenagers
by Kimberly Sharpe Slage

Have you every worried about unschooling your teen? As a parent of a unschooling teen, many questions and concerns can sometimes swirl around in one's mind. Parents sometimes worry that their child will not be equipped to face the outside world and it's challenges. But what many parents sometimes forget is that their unschooled teen has already been living in the real world and experiencing real life!

The confinement of an institution is not learning, it is schooling and does not cater to the needs of a teen, but to the requirements of a system. Unschooling with your teen can be fun, rewarding and stress free!

Read more ...

Changing the present, healing the past, hope for the future
by Sandra Dodd

Often people have been resistant about the idea that unschooling involves anything more than just letting their kids play. They don't like to think it involves changing themselves.

Read more ...

A Parent's Peek at the World of Online Learning
by Linda Dobson

Not a day goes by anymore that I don't run into at least half a dozen Internet articles, announcements, websites and more about online learning. Like everything else on the Internet, some of the information is better than others, but there is no doubt that this is a busy arena, for business people and learners alike.

Here's a peek at what's going on today (and it's only the middle of the afternoon!) in online learning world.

Read more ...

Human Potential: Our Last Untapped Resource
by Dale J. Stephens

Human potential is our last untapped resource.  Whereas most espouse the necessity of getting more students into the classroom, I think we need to help get youth out of the classroom.  Youth have their creativity, innovation, and natural curiosity systematically schooled out of them.  Formal school, including college, teaches youth conformity rather than innovation, competition rather than collaboration, regurgitation rather than learning, and theory rather than application. It teaches our youth to fear failure and risk-taking, even though the courage to try, fail, and iterate is vital for innovation.  If we allowed people to learn outside academic institutions we could unleash human potential and empower everyone to change the world.

Read more ...

Please Remove This Label After Purchase
by Peter Kowalke

Take me as I am-don't label me!

That's the message of so many songs, movies, books and television shows because it is a big deal. Labels are necessary because we don't have time to learn everything about everyone and we have to make quick decisions about, among other things, who will knife us on the street and who will kiss us. But labels are bad, too, because they make us two-dimensional and almost by definition are inaccurate. Justifiably, most of us don't like being labeled.

I have a particularly hard time with [being] labeled, and I blame unschooling.

Read more ...

Does Successful Child Rearing Include a Cocktail of Psychotropic Drugs: Conflicts of Interest at Perth Mental Health Infancy, Childhood and Adolescent Conference
via Ian White

The theme of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) conference May 12-13  - "Growing up solid: Integrating emotional and mental health throughout infancy, childhood and adolescence" - has never been more relevant or frightening.  Australia has one of the highest psychotropic drug uses in the world-third highest for cocaine-like stimulants prescribed children. Between 2002-09 there has been a staggering 87% increase in stimulant prescribing in Australia. The escalating trend of drugging young children promoted at conferences such as this can potentially increase the risk of not just youths, but also infants and toddlers being prescribed these dangerous drugs.

Read more ...

Psychiatry is NOT a Medical Practice!
by Fred Baughman, Jr., M.D.

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 and emotions are telling you, these signals become muddled and lose their attachment to specific failures or successes. Psychiatrists often claim depression, anxiety, and other painful emotions are endogenous-arising from within and not traceable to life events. If they don't take the time to hear a patient's life history surely they will not discover the roots of these feelings.

Intent on making disease pronouncements and on drugging their patients, psychiatrists never take time to understand their patients. Instead, they quickly apply the DSM 'disease' label, scribble a script and then go on to the next normal if troubled patient. But be certain of one thing-there are no diseases in psychiatry.

Read more ...

The Science of Happiness and Wellbeing?
by Kevin Hogan

The United Kingdom is doing a big nationwide public survey this week with hopes of learning about the state of the nation, specifically their citizens' "happiness" and "well-being".

200,000 people will get a survey from The Office for National Statistics.

The questions? Last I saw, there are four.

Overall, how satisfied are you with your life nowadays?
Overall, how happy did you feel yesterday?
Overall, how anxious did you feel yesterday?
Overall, to what extent do you feel the things you do in your life are worthwhile?

Why is the government going to the trouble to collect answers to these questions?

Read more ...

Lifestyle of the rich and the famous
by Gal Baras

Our highly commercialized world pumps us with the idea that being rich and famous is a good thing. Even things "mere mortals" find difficult to deal with, like going on a diet or breaking up with a partner, are leveraged to create more fame and more fortune for the celebrities. Scandals are just useful ways to sell the next movie or the new album. So useful, in fact, that some of them are manufactured.

Read more ...


Magical Mothering E-course: Befriending Ourselves

From full-time parent and Certified Life Coach Kris Laroche:

Who are you being as a mother? Being unwaveringly kind and compassionate towards our children requires a profound shift in how we treat ourselves. It is only through befriending ourselves that we can rewire our brains, move into our hearts, and give our children that which we were not given. Self-friendship is the way to fall back in love with being alive.

Join me for 7 weeks beginning May 16th for the Magical Mothering E-Course.

For further information about this opportunity, please visit the Natural Parenting Center

Linda Dobson Talks with The Unplugged Mom

Linda Dobson, author of The Art of Education, interviewed by Laurette Lynn, a.k.a. "The Unplugged Mom" (42 mins). To listen to the radio show or download the interview as an mp3, please go to:

The LiTTLe Conference in London (Learning Trust, Trust Learning)

June 11, 2011

Dragon Hall 17 Stukeley Street, Covent Garden, London, England

Visit for the details

HSC Conference 2011: Adventures in Homeschooling

August 4-7, 2011

Radisson Hotel, Sacramento, California, 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

Always Learning Live Unschooling Symposium

December 28-31, 2011

Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

Find out more at

Thank you for reading the Parental Intelligence Newsletter!

The next issue of this newsletter will be published on or about 29 May 2011

Subscribe now and stay in touch

Published by Bob Collier, Canberra, Australia  

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

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