The Parental Intelligence Newsletter

10 July 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 4 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!




Parenting Doesn't Have To Hurt
by Tammy Cox, LMSW

Several years ago Ann Landers asked her readers if they had it to do all over again, would they still become parents.  An overwhelmingly large number said no, they would not.  They all had their individual tales of woe to justify their stands, but it was evident that they all felt trapped in no-win situations with their children.  Why is it that with even the very best of intentions many of us feel like such failures as parents, at least some of the time?

What we as parents do to and with our children today can greatly influence what our children do tomorrow, years later and even the rest of their lives.  We intuitively know this is true, even though we often seek to deny it.

Parenting is probably one of the most difficult and challenging jobs we will ever have, and yet it is the one for which we are the least prepared - usually with little or no training at all.

Read more ...

Transformative Learning as Parents
by Teresa Graham-Brett

Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate. - Carl Jung

A friend posted this quote on Facebook and it reminded of the process of transformative learning that is critical to our journey as parents who are moving away from using power and control. My own journey as a parent has been a continual process of bringing the unconscious to consciousness. It resembles a spiral where I uncover different parts of my subconscious thoughts, beliefs or feelings and move them into the light where I can see them more clearly. Bringing these into the light is an opportunity for me to question and critically self-reflect on my unconscious beliefs.

Read more ...

Home birth on the rise by a dramatic 20 percent
by Leanne Italie, Associated Press

One mother chose home birth because it was cheaper than going to a hospital. Another gave birth at home because she has multiple sclerosis and feared unnecessary medical intervention. And some choose home births after cesarean sections with their first babies.

Whatever their motivation, all are among a striking trend: Home births increased 20 percent from 2004 to 2008, accounting for 28,357 of 4.2 million U.S. births, according to a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released in May.

Read more ...

All mammals are attachment parents
by Lennon Aldort

It's an interesting thought, isn't it? Hundreds of thousands of species of mammals on the planet, and every single one of them practices attachment parenting, except for a large portion of the homo sapiens.

Read more ...

Bullying (34): How to stop parent bullying
by Ronit Baras

This is the last post in the bullying series, at least for a while. Bullying is a big problem in our society and many people agree it is a very important one to solve. I believe that every bully is also a victim, that self-confidence is an antidote to becoming a victim of bullying and that parents hold the key to stopping child-related bullying. Parents can learn to treat themselves and their children with respect and become vital contributors to the anti-bullying movement.

Are you with me?

Here are a few more personal development ideas every parent can use to create a bullying-free family and to help build a society without abuse.

Read more ...

A Place to Rest
by Chris White

The DNA of western culture is laced with anxiety and keeps us in constant motion. Everywhere we look there are subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) messages that "we must never be satisfied with simply keeping up with the Jones'; we must surpass them!" The result is that our nervous systems rarely come to a state of rest and our bodies and minds suffer through a life of chronic stress. We must ask ourselves, "Is this the life we want for our children?"

Read more ...

The Corn Story
by Silvia Hartmann

When I was small, at school it was deemed necessary for us to torture sweetcorn in order to learn about science. We were each given ten sweetcorn seeds and ten plastic drinking cups and some soil and told to plant them.

Then, the sweetcorn was put into various 'environments' ' some were kept in the cold, some in the dark, some weren't given any water and some weren't given any minerals.

I didn't like it much because I've always had this thing where I go round asking myself, how would I like that?

And in truth, the ones that were kept in the dark cold fridge without water gave me nightmares and sleepless nights.

Still, you have to do as you're told and I did, best I could.

Read more ...

The Golden Rule of Parenting
by Tiff

There are lots of little "rules" we teach kids, and try to follow in our own lives. The Golden Rule, obviously…"Do Unto Others As You Would Have Done Unto You", but also things like "Turn The Other Cheek", "Don't Judge", "Be Nice!", "Play Fair!", etc. We ask-or more often demand-that kids do these things with their friends and with adults. Adults may do this with their peers, but rarely ever do this with kids. Kids are rarely granted the same respect and consideration as other people ...

Read more ...

How to Talk to Little Girls
by Lisa Bloom

I went to a dinner party at a friend's home last weekend, and met her five-year-old daughter for the first time.

Little Maya was all curly brown hair, doe-like dark eyes, and adorable in her shiny pink nightgown. I wanted to squeal, "Maya, you're so cute! Look at you! Turn around and model that pretty ruffled gown, you gorgeous thing!"

But I didn't. I squelched myself. As I always bite my tongue when I meet little girls, restraining myself from my first impulse, which is to tell them how darn cute/ pretty/ beautiful/ well-dressed/ well-manicured/ well-coiffed they are.

Read more ...

21 Reasons to Travel Around the World with Kids…From Those Who Have Done It
by Adam Seper 

I thought once you have children, your travel days are over until the kids are off to college?

How naive we were. Here we were, bucking the trend and doing something that society deems to be irresponsible and reckless. But we didn't care what society thought. We were doing this for us, to see the world and better our lives. How was it possible for us to be so closed-minded about the possibility of family travel? Suddenly our thoughts changed. Of course you can travel as a family! And it doesn't have to just be week-long jaunts to Disney World. It is possible to take an extended, RTW trip even if you have kids. Your life doesn't have to end when children enter the picture!

Read more ...

Accepting Challenges, Embracing Mistakes
by Laura Weldon

Interesting problems and exciting risks are life's calisthenics. They stretch us in directions we need to grow. Children are particularly oriented this way. They think up huge questions and search for the answers. They face fears. They puzzle over inconsistencies in what is said and done around them. They relentlessly challenge themselves to achieve social, physical, or intellectual feats that (from a child's perspective) seem daunting. They struggle for mastery even when dozens of attempts don't provide them any success. It's a testament to courage that they continue to try.

Read more ...

The Genius of Childhood Rediscovered
by Michael Mendizza

If intelligence is an action or relationship that connects, rather than a person, place or thing, how do we perceive or recognize intelligence in our daily lives? Is all the knowledge we have gathered, everything we know about ourselves, the world and others, intelligence? Does our I.Q. score measure intelligence? Is our report card or golf score a sign of our intelligence? Does our job awaken and reflect true intelligence? When we think and speak do these activities involve intelligence? In what way? Do our schools nurture intelligence? What place does intelligence have in our lives, in our relationships, especially with children?

Read more ...

Respect Me, I Am Capable! - Teen Perspective
by Brennan McGuire

Brennan McGuire, the definition of a precocious unschooler, explains how he dealt with not being taken seriously as a teen.

Read more ...

Respect Me, I am Capable! - Preteen Perspective
by Miro Siegel

Miro Siegel, a preteen traveling around the world, argues that 12-year-olds should get more respect.

Read more ...

School Mind and Education Mind Are Two Different Things - Part 1 of 2
by Linda Dobson

Can we afford to continue believing that being schooled is synonymous with receiving an education?

When we compare public school attendance to homeschooling, we tend to focus on the external and obvious differences. The differences, however, begin at a deeper level, strongly influenced by how we think about learning. This two-part post looks at the differences between school mind and education mind to help you understand - or explain - that homeschooling is successful, in part, because of these differences in thinking and, therefore, starting points.

Read more ...

Escape from the Institutional Straightjacket
by Perry Marshall

Perry Marshall Sounds Off on Why Entrepreneurs Have to Un-Learn So Much Mental Garbage Before Things Really Start to Click

Read more ...

15 Fascinating Facts About the History of Home Education
by Lisa Nielsen

Home education appeals to a surprisingly broad range of families, each with their own unique motivations for pursuing the method. Despite the myriad misconceptions about students' social aptitude or ability to perform once they hit college, it remains an unyielding component of the education industry. But homeschooling gets so bogged down in theory and curricula, many take little time to ponder its extremely active, controversial history. By no means is this list even the slightest iota comprehensive, but it does pick out a few interesting, relevant tidbits.

Read more ...

Unschooling? How Will They Learn?
by Sylvia Toyama

It's a question unschoolers hear relatively often. Grandparents, friends, sometimes neighbors ask "but if they don't go to school, how will they learn …. to read? … to do math? … about history? What about social skills?"

Often, those questions are a reflection of how little the adult asking remembers of what they learned during their own time in school. I've sometimes asked why we believe that lessons learned in school, and quickly forgotten, are necessary to learn at all.

Read more ...

Digital Learning: The Key To Knowing
by Amy Bradstreet

With annoying regularity, articles like Lanier's Does the Digital Classroom Enfeeble the Mind? surface, replete with short-sightedness and much tsk-tsking, to the point where we can see the author chewing their lips and wagging fingers while muttering about newfangled machines and kids these days. Never mind that such articles rarely address We, Of The Non-Institutional Learning. In the limited vision of these articles, all learning must be dissected and transmitted by the teacher to the student, in a classroom, but of course.

Read more ...

Five Reasons Why Video Games Power Up Learning
by Aran Levasseur

The famous videogame designer, Shigeru Miyamoto, known for creating some of the most iconic and successful videogames in history, such as Donkey Kong, Mario Brothers and Legend of Zelda, once said, "Videogames are bad for you? That's what they said about rock n' roll."

In retrospect, we know rock 'n roll's influence has gone beyond creating a new kind of music, shaping many other aspects of culture: lifestyles, fashion, attitudes and language. And there is compelling evidence that rock 'n roll may have even helped the civil rights movement.

Read more ...

Unschooling in Asia: A Dad's Perspective Part 1
by sattvicfamily

As being the dad of the Sattvic Family, I've been reminded that my 2 cents count more than… well, 2 cents so I've decided to write a series entitled Unschooling in Asia: A Dad's Perspective. My wife, soulmate, and Angel Bear has been churning out stories and interviews and posts and pictures and I've yet to add squat to our adventures and relay how utterly thankful that I am to have been able to become part of our family once again, out of the rat race.

Read more ...

To Be Fascinating at Cocktail Parties
by Sandra Dodd

In a discussion on why children should learn things, I suggested that it would make them more interesting at cocktail parties. Someone objected, saying children shouldn't be pushed to learn things just to make them interesting. She had missed my point, but that only made the discussion more vibrant.

Read more ...

Unschooling skills in the adult world
by Kate

Non-schoolers learn a lot of things that end up being important in the adult world. When I was a kid and people asked me questions about my education, it was clear that they were concerned about my eventual ability to "make it" in a harsh, unforgiving world. A world for which, they imagined, I must be totally unprepared. What if I couldn't do math fast enough in my head? What if I didn't have enough friends my age? What if I'd never had to take tests and be told it was weird that my arms were that hairy and develop the self-discipline required for night after night of homework?

There are plenty of things I don't do well. Math is one of them. If someone asks me to multiply one big number with another big number in my head, I will definitely fail. And then I will stand there for a long time, blushing and looking totally awkward. And then I will laugh.

But here are some things that happen all the time in the world I now inhabit that remind me a lot of unschooling. And when I spot them, and I think about my education, I feel kind of proud ...

Read more ...

10 Great Things I Gained in College (and Where Else I May Have Found Them)
by Blake Boles

While the arguments against college are powerful, they often fail to convince people who had a great time in college. That's because most critics don't provide constructive alternatives. Yes, college is really expensive; yes, it's probably not for everyone; but what's the real alternative for a 19-year-old without tech sector ambitions or a trust fund? How can you replace the invaluable experiences that only seem to happen in college?

To better this answer this question I thought of 10 great things that I got out of my own college years (at UC Berkeley) and asked how realistically-as my 17-to-21-year old self-I could have otherwise found them.

Read more ...

Ronit's Parenting Bible: Money
by Ronit Baras

Every parent wants to raise kids who will be wealthy and manage their financials well. The best way to raise kids with a wealth mindset is to be a family in which good financial management is part of daily life. It is best if your family is also wealthy, but it is not necessary.

I grew up in a very simple family, you could even say a struggling family, with 5 children, and most of us are in a very stable financial status. My dad, who worked very hard all his life and was the money manger it the house, taught us very well. My family is proof that you do not have to be rich to raise kids with a wealth mindset. I think that if my dad could do it, you can too.

Here are my parenting rule about money, saving, investing and raising children who know their way through financial management.

Read more ...


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 24 July 2011

Subscribe now and stay in touch

Published by Bob Collier, Canberra, Australia  

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

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