The Parental Intelligence Newsletter

24 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 12 articles and 6 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!




Why Mothers Kiss Their Babies
by Judie Rall

After a baby is born, it is natural to see the mother kissing the baby. One would think this is simply because of the emotional bond that has formed between mother and child. While this is true, there are also other very compelling biochemical reasons why it occurs.  These reasons reinforce the understanding that our bodies have inner wisdom which we seldom recognize or trust. Just as our bodies know how to give birth even if we don't have intellectual knowledge of the process, our bodies' biological systems also have reasons for the complex social interplay between mother and baby. It just goes to show that, more than ever, we should trust our mothering instincts.

Read more ...

No Cry It Out: 3 Years Later
by PhD in Parenting

Three years ago today, I wrote what has become the most viewed and the most popular post on this blog. I wrote the post, Cry it Out (CIO): 10 Reasons Why it is Not for Us, after years as a message board moderator where we would post lists and lists of links over and over again, each time someone asked what was so bad about cry it out or every time someone needed information to help convince their partner, parents, in-laws, friends, nosy neighbours or whoever else was sticking their nose into their business. I wrote the post as a support for parents who didn't want to let their babies cry it out and as information for parents who were exploring their options. I didn't write the post to make parents who chose cry it out feel guilty, but I also realized, of course, that it would. My feelings on this topic are perhaps stronger than my feelings on any other parenting topic and there really isn't a way to write about it without that shining through.

Read more ...

Working Moms All Look for the Perfect Child Care
by Linda Burton

I hadn't intended to stay at home; I wasn't born for it.

Having children at the ages of 33 and 34 created an upheaval in my life unlike anything I had ever experienced. Before the birth of my children, I had been a full-time fundraiser for a public-interest law firm. It was a harrowing job sometimes, but it was fun and made good use of my energies. At the end of the day, I used to look forward to meeting my husband and friends somewhere in town. We would relax, catch up on the day's events and generally enjoy each other.

After the birth of my first child, the end of the day found me less convivial than it had in five years. Walking the floor with this child, knowing that he was keeping me from doing much that I really wanted to do, made me angry.

Read more ...

About Boys
by Sandra Dodd

Many men work around their childhood shame and trauma, or take years untangling and overcoming it. Some men live with it every day, thinking it's just a natural part of everyone's life. Some are timid; some are bullies If their parents could have planned ahead to avoid shame and trauma, how much calmer and creative and courageous might their sons have been?

Read more ...

Quotable: Being a 'traditional' man can be dangerous
by PhD in Parenting
The featured topic in the July/August 2011 issue of New Internationalist is "The changing face of masculinity." In the first article, "Cooking up a Storm", author Nikki Van Der Gaag shares some interesting statistics:

Being a 'traditional' man is risky business. A national survey of adolescent males 15 to 19 in the US found that those with more traditional views of manhood were more likely to report substance abuse, violence and delinquency, and unsafe sexual practices.

Read more ...

Your Inner Child
by Gal Baras

We all know that horrible things happen to many children around the world. We know and we prefer not to know. Kids are supposed to be pure and happy and bouncy little creatures and the thought of them being harmed is just to hard to handle. Besides, what can we do about it?

Well, I think there is a lot we can do.

Read more ...

Save Your Energy
by Ronit Baras

Not everyone understands the connection between emotional ability, success and health, but it is necessary in order to control our destiny and our quality of life.

Read more ...

Play - Where the Real Learning Happens
by Michael Mendizza

The distinction between work (as in homework) and real learning is best appreciated by distinguishing between knowledge, with its implicit conditioning, and intelligence, which expresses naturally in the state of authentic play.

Each age and stage of a child's development, and therefore the goal of real education, is the awakening and expanding of the capacity to express ever wider and richer realms of intelligence. Knowledge can be viewed as the imprint intelligence leaves in the body and brain, like the patterns left in the sand as the wind blows. The wind is alive, moving. Knowledge is static, fixed, conditioned, a mechanical pattern. Knowledge is habitual, reflexive. Intelligence is moving, unconditioned, always new and unexpected.

Read more ...

School's Out...(forever)
by John Malkin, Time Out

School isn't for everyone. Some critics even say that mass schooling makes kids dumber and less creative, less confident and less capable of thinking for themselves. Today in the United States, about 56 million children attend compulsory schools while the trend in learning outside of schools is growing as more families decide to avoid the socialization of control that's a hallmark of "public education." If "regular" schools are symbolized by a regimented system of bells and rules, the freedom and flexibility of homeschooling and unschooling might be characterized by this maxim: trust that children learn everywhere, all the time.

Read more ...

Unschooling - One Mother's Story
from Scoop On Schools

If you have any interest in alternative schooling methods, chances are you've come across a small, but growing homeschooling movement called "unschooling." Unschooling, to borrow the definition from homeschool proponent John Holt, is child-led, interest-driven learning that basically allows children to determine what they will learn and when they will learn it.

Portland parent Lyla Wolfenstein has been unschooling her 13-year-old son for four years and her 16-year-old daughter for three years. I recently interviewed Wolfenstein through an Internet chat about her experience as an unschooling parent and her views on how children learn. Even if you have absolutely no interest in homeschooling or unschooling, I think you'll find her answers to my questions thought-provoking.

Read more ...

What Happens to Home Educated Adults?
by Lisa Nielsen

Many adults who are considering home educating their children are concerned often because they hear others (whose kids are schooled) how necessary it is for success in life.  I've shared profiles of unschooled adults here on The Innovative Educator which show a positive picture of what home educated children grow up to be.

Read more ...

Students who need knowledge access most use smartphones
by Judy Breck

"A third of all American adults own a smartphone and for many minority and low income users, those mobile devices have replaced computers for Internet access." So begins an article in today's Washington Post. As usual, education is overlooked in the discussion - yet from the facts in the article the implications for engaging students in knowledge rattle the foundation of education as we know it. And that is a beautiful thing.

Read more ...


A Child's Guide to Anarchy

When I started publishing the Parental Intelligence Newsletter in August 2002, it consisted of an editorial and three articles reprinted in full with the permission of their authors. The very first article in the very first issue was called "Children Are Anarchists" (no longer available on the web apparently). Anarchy is a concept, I've found, that often causes confusion. In much the same way as when I tell other parents that my children "do what they like". I mean of course that I encourage them to do what's meaningful and pleasing to them and to not do what isn't - a strategy I would recommend to anybody - and that's not quite the same as allowing them to be wilfully disrespectful to others, or swing from the chandeliers or carve their names in the dining room table with a Bowie knife, which is how some parents seem to interpret my words.

So. John and Jana of AuntieUncle Books are here to help clear up the confusion with their new book - A Rule Is To Break: A Child's Guide to Anarchy.

Rules will be rules, some might say - yes, and children will be children however anybody might wish it otherwise.

To find out more about the book, and about "The Wee Anarchists Un-Club" and the Toddler Rebellion and more, please visit the AuntieUncle Books website.

Sandra Dodd's Big Book of Unschooling

Sandra Dodd's Big Book of Unschooling is now available on iTunes and at as an instantly downloadable e-book. Visit these links for more information:

Sandra Dodd's Big Book of Unschooling on iTunes

Sandra Dodd's Big Book of Unschooling 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 7 August 2011

Subscribe now and stay in touch

Published by Bob Collier, Canberra, Australia  

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

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