The Parental Intelligence Newsletter

26 June 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 20 articles and 5 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!




Breastfeeding boom: Middle-class mothers lead the charge with 90% rejecting formula milk
by Sophie Borland, Mail Online

Soaring numbers of new mothers are breastfeeding, figures show.

More than eight in ten women start their babies on breast milk compared to six in ten in 1990.

The proportion is even higher among middle-class women with well-paid jobs - more than 90 per cent of mothers in managerial or professional roles breastfeed.

Read more ...

Breastfeeding research = massive guilt?
from How Breastfeeding Works

What happens when new breastfeeding research findings are released?

Research findings from the Millennium Cohort Study that breastfed babies "develop fewer behaviour problems" have been met with the usual, predictable responses.

Read more ...

Carly Cole, the new Baby Whisperer and the Daily Mail
by Sarah Ockwell-Smith

I had never heard of Alison Scott-Wright until today and still don't really know what she advocates as we all know newspapers aren't renowned for their accurate reporting, but please someone tell me the difference between this lady, Gina Ford, Tracey Hogg, Jo Tantum, Claire Byam-Cook and Tizzie Hall? how do they all get hailed as "new" and ground breaking when what they say, seems to me, to all be the same. All the same old ill researched advice that responds to the horribly skewed expectations of new parenting and infant behaviour. All the same old advice that often advocates known cot death risks, the same advice that is most definitely not breastfeeding friendly - or baby friendly. The same old advice often dished out by self proclaimed "experts" whose CV is often not be-fitting to their label.

Read more ...

A father's day wish: Dads, wake the hell up!
by Jeff Pearlman

Jeff Pearlman says a mom acquaintance is bereft that her husband shirked child care.

Pearlman says he's a stay-at-home-dad fully involved in care of his two young children.

He says dads need to get involved, childhood is short, tiredness from work no excuse.

Pearlman: Here are 10 rules for righteous dadhood.

Read more ...

These Dads Get It
by Christine Carter Ph.D.

The research on dads this year may not be as salacious as, say, the theories about why dad-to-be Anthony Weiner would risk his career and marriage by sending narcissistic and semi-nude photos of himself to women. But the kind of post I'm tempted to write about that (e.g., "How Not to Raise a Weiner") is clearly not appropriate for Father's Day.

Still, I can't help writing about sex and fathers. But before I do, I'd like to send out a cheer for the ways that dads are helping out more with all the glamorous unpaid household labor that has been "women's work" in previous generations.

Read more ...

The Unrecognized Power of a Mother's Voice
by Mark Brady

Back when I managed research facilities - about 12 buildings on the Stanford campus - every summer I would hire extra help to do some of the deferred maintenance while folks were away on break. Usually I would select big, strapping high school beef-eaters to help with the heavy lifting. One summer I caught Dan and Chris, who were supposed to be power-washing the building exteriors, goofing off inside one of the offices.

"If I catch you messing around again," I mock-confronted them, "I'm going to tell your mother on you!" The sudden look of shock, shame and horror on both their burly football faces took me completely by surprise. I had, it seems, unexpectedly tapped into a very vulnerable place.

Read more ...

What Movies Tell Girls
by Laura Weldon

For years my daughter's favorite movie was Just Visiting. This 2001 remake of a hit French comedy was packed with plenty for my little girl to adore. Magic, time travel, and plenty of humor. Some quotes from the film are still in rotation as favorite family sayings.

Although it didn't lack for laughs, it was missing something more vital. Strong female roles. Sure, women star in the film. Passive, pretty characters who only gain a stronger sense of themselves through men. Well, there's also a stereotypical witch. Don't even get me started on that.

Read more ...

Bullying (33): How to stop parent bullying
by Ronit Baras

My cure for bullying is a strong family. I believe we can change the picture by giving parents the strength, tools and support to help their families break the bullying cycle.

Here are some more important things parents can do.

Read more ...

Ronit's Parenting Bible: Manners
by Ronit Baras

All parents dream of having polite kids with good manners. Some of the desire for manners is rooted in an old discipline of obedience that was part of every family structure in the past.

I have challenged this quest for good manners for many years. When I was a child, I was very rebellious and hated anything associated with manners. I believe I did that because my parents and my teachers used manners as a way to control their children and students, instead of explaining what manners meant and how we would benefit from using them.

Read more ...

Ronit's Parenting Bible: Gender
by Ronit Baras

We live in a society with many stereotypes regarding boys and girls, men and women. Unfortunately, I believe that these stereotypes are not good for our society and that they are a big obstacle to social justice.

Read more ...

The Mean Average
by Gal Baras

Let's face it, parenting is scary business. When we have our first baby, we have no clue what to do half the time and we are desperate for signs of progress and indications that we are doing a good job as parents. So we read books, search the Net and ask around. What we get from that are average answers or rather answers about what the average is.

And this is a problem, folks. It is a problem because human beings are very complex biological creatures and not robots.

Read more ...

Pink Brain, Blue Brain
by Emily Bazelon, Washington Post

In one of the eye-opening studies cited in Lise Eliot's masterful new book on gender and the brain, mothers brought their 11-month-olds to a lab so the babies could crawl down a carpeted slope. The moms pushed a button to change the slope's angle based on what they thought their children could handle. And then the babies were tested to see how steep a slope they could navigate.

The results?

Girls and boys proved equally adept at crawling and risk-taking: On their own, they tried and conquered the same slopes. But the mothers of the girls -- unlike the mothers of the boys -- underestimated their daughters' aptitude by a significant margin.

Read more ...

Common Preferences and Non-coercion
by Sarah Fitz-Claridge

One important concept in TCS [Taking Children Seriously] is that of common preferences. Common preferences are policies that all parties after a successfully resolved disagreement prefer to their initial positions: everyone gets what they want.

Read more ...

Spoiled Rotten -- A Timeless Complaint
by Alfie Kohn

If the subject is kids and how they're raised, it seems our culture has exactly one story to tell.  Anyone who reads newspapers, magazines, or blogs -- or attends dinner parties -- will already know it by heart:   Parents today, we're informed, either can't or won't set limits for their children.  Instead of disciplining them, they coddle and dote and bend over backward to shield them from frustration and protect their self-esteem.  The result is that we're raising a generation of undisciplined narcissists who expect everything to go their way, and it won't be pretty -- for them or for our society -- when their sense of entitlement finally crashes into the unforgiving real world.

Read ten articles or books on this topic and you'll find yourself wondering if a single person wrote all of them, so uniform is the rhetoric. 

Read more ...

You say you want this, so then why are you doing that?
by Joe Bower

If we can agree that there is a good chunk of the population that hated their time in school, then we need to think about how we can make school a little less like school. If the consensus among educators and parents is that we want lifelong learners then we need to play a little game called "You say you want this, so then why are you doing that?"

Here's how you play the game.

Read more ...

Homeschooling: You Know Your Kids…And Like Them!
by Linda Dobson

Amazing things happen when you change the way education happens.

"Although  many of  first-grader  Betsy  [Goldman's]  friends  think learning  at  home  is  a  great  idea,  many  mothers  tell  Goldman,  'I  couldn't stand being with my kids all day.'"

This  same  sentiment  has  laced  many  a  conversation  I've  had  with mothers  whose  reaction  to  my  declaration  that  I  enjoy  spending  so  much time with my children is half amusement, half skepticism. How, I see them wondering,  could  any  1990′s  mother  subject  herself  to  what,  in  their perception,  is  a  life  filled  with  the  needs,  demands,  and  pettiness  of youngsters,  void  of  the  rewards  (financial and  ego-stroking)  of  life  in  the work force?

Read more ...

Rejecting a Pre-packaged Life
by Sandra Dodd

How many things do you do because you're supposed to, because your relatives and neighbors expect it, because it's easy and you don't have to think about it? How many of those things are taking you and your kids in a positive and healthy direction?

"Changing paradigms" is an option! If you're operating on one plane, with one set of rules and expectations, it is possible and often advisable, to shift and see things differently. It's just thinking. It won't hurt you.

Read more ...

The Difference Between Knowing and Learning
by Susan Gaissert

The day after we took our daughter out of kindergarten to begin the homeschooling experiment that became the unschooling adventure that became the best possible lives the members of our family could ever have, I began to seek out educational philosophies, theories, and practices. Bloom's Taxonomy struck a chord with me: at age six, I could already see the many ways in which my child was past the first level, simple Knowledge.

Read more ...

How to learn excellence from others
by Mark Tyrrell
Who we associate with profoundly affects how we are. But how we use that association will also make a significant difference. What does this mean?

Read more ...

Do You Feel Cared For?
by Adam Eason

I think when anyone considers getting revitalised and rejuvenated and uplifted, they need to look at how much they are caring for themselves.

What makes you feel cared for? Most people, when they are asked this question, come up with an answer that involves someone else.

Read more ...


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 10 July 2011

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