The Parental Intelligence Newsletter

21 August 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 13 articles and 7 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!




The Myth of Independence
by Rebecca Thompson

From the time our children emerge from the womb, we're bombarded with questions about how well our babies sleep and eat. These questions sound innocent enough, yet seem to seek that deeper question of how much our children depend on us, how needy they are, and how independent they are from day one.  It is unspoken, but it seems that the better our answers are alluding to the un-neediness of our offspring, the "better" we are as parents.  And new parents are vulnerable.  Even if we don't believe that our children shouldn't be needing us, doubts can creep in unwillingly to even the strongest parent whose baby is getting up again in the middle of the night at (gasp) 8 weeks old.  Or 8 months old.  Or 18 months old.

Read more ...

Breastmilk Wipes Out Formula: Responses to Critical Comments
What is the controversy?
by Darcia Narvaez, Ph.D.

During Breastfeeding Week (August 1-7), my students and I presented a series of blog posts on breastfeeding vs. formula. The information we provided is often shocking for those not previously exposed to it because the (mistaken) baseline assumed by many is 'formula feeding is fine'.

Read more ...

Thanks for Throwing Fuel on the Breastfeeding/Formula Feeding Fire
by PhD in Parenting

"I'm going to be very blunt in the hopes that it awakens more people to the dangers of infant formula."

Those were the introductory words of a post written by Darcia Narvaez, Ph.D. on Psychology Today's Moral Landscapes blog. The post, entitled "In light of last week's posts: Is Pushing Formula Evil?" originates from the question - why do institutions push formula on normal infants?

Read more ...

Your Baby SHOULDN'T Read
Why early reading - let alone from a DVD - is a lousy deal for your child.
by Marsha Lucas, Ph.D.

First and foremost: The fundamental task of early childhood isn't learning to read, or to "get ahead" for school, or to impress the neighbors, or to give the folks something to brag about. Encouraging children to surge ahead beyond their real developmental needs leaves them with some really sludgy clean-up to grapple with later on.

Read more ...

Successful Parent/Child Interactions
by Jenna Robertson

What qualifies as a successful parent/child interaction? The child agrees to do what the parent wants? The child changes their future behavior because of the interaction? The parent accomplishes whatever they were hoping to accomplish through the interaction? The child does not fuss, complain, talk back or argue? The child is obedient?

Read more ...

Believing "children are resilient" may be a fantasy
Are people in the USA thriving, resilient, or neither?
by Darcia Narvaez, Ph.D.

"Kids are resilient." How many times have I heard that in a Hollywood movie as a self-centered adult 'does his/her thing' at the expense of the children? How resilient are children? If you look at the whole picture of health and well-being, not that much.  Children's "resilience" actually undermines parenting and social policy.

Read more ...

The First Day of School
by Wendy Priesnitz

In just a few weeks, in the name of growing up, millions of young children will be marched off to the factory school, assigned a seat and a locker, and left to swallow their sense of loss.

The assumption that children must attend school at age five or six is not just educationally-motivated. It has been made socially unacceptable for children to remain at home with a parent during a good portion of the day. In our culture (the one we call "civilized"), we tend to worry about the so-called "unwholesomeness" of a close relationship between mother and child, conjuring up images of "smother-love" and a variety of psychological complexes.

Read more ...

Wisdom from the School of Life
by Ronit Baras

In the "old days", the elders had a special role in people's life. Because knowledge back then was not the highest currency, what the elders could give their community was wisdom. Unlike knowledge, wisdom is applied knowledge, achieved after personal experience, experiments, trials and errors and often summed up as rules of living.

Much of our life today is dedicated to acquiring knowledge. School, where you spend about 13 years of your life, is a place that gives you knowledge. If you study a profession, you spend another 3 to 10 years of your life in a school of knowledge.

As an educator, I find most of this to be a total waste of energy.

Read more ...

New book by Steven Brill describes how schools do not work
by Judy Breck

Schools simply do not work as a way of teaching many individual children up to their potential. Schools do not work in teaching groups of children so that every child in a group has equal knowledge. Schools do not work so that a student in a failing inner city school has the same opportunity to learn as a student in affluent districts.

Read more ...

7 Tips to Help Your Child Learn Without Teaching
by Linda Dobson

Children are humans. Humans learn.  That's what they do, if well-intentioned adults don't interfere with or, worse, destroy, their natural curiosity. With this basic concept in mind, let's explore seven tips that allow you to help your child learn without turning into "the teacher" of your worst nightmares!

Read more ...

The Maintenance Mom
by Susan Gaissert

Since becoming a mother, almost eighteen years ago, I've often thought about how to describe what I do all day. Lots of words come up, but the word I always come back to is maintenance.

The apartment  building I grew up in had a maintenance man; I'm a maintenance mom. Around the house, I take responsibility for the care and upkeep of clothes, carpets, cupboards, cleaning supplies, and an ever-changing variety of household accessories.

Read more ...

The Real World With Unschooling
by Joanne

As an unschooling mother of two girls ages, 11 and 17, I consider myself very fortunate. I have been able to be at home with my children for almost 18 years. I have witnessed every stage of development the girls have experienced. These different experiences have been lived out while traveling and living in so many different places. With my husband working in the hospitality business we have lived everywhere: Orlando, Chicago, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Coral Springs, New Orleans, and Alabama. All of these adventures, as we like to call them, have been happy, sad, scary, crazy but more importantly, real life lessons. Our children have been living daily in a real world with people of all different ages, financial situations, religious practices, familial partnerships, and of different ethnic orientations. They can carry on conversations with elderly people, young people, surgeons, nurses, lawyers, car salesmen, librarians, policemen, taxi drivers and just about any individual out there because they have lived in the real world and not closed up in a classroom memorizing nonsense that they won't remember by the following week.

Read more ...

The Behavioral Economics Of Everyday Parenting
by David Krueger MD

Many years ago, one of my psychoanalytic patients said, "You know, Doc, it's a lot easier for me to talk about dead people and bad dreams than it is for me to talk about handing this check to you each month."

A poll of 20,000 people revealed that half of parents had never discussed finances with their children, and two-thirds had never revealed their income. With no comfortable discussion or little real information about money, the vacuum is filled by fantasy and personal myth.  Children often conclude that things treated secretly and uncomfortably are bad and taboo.  Their logic, based on the behavior they observe, can create a lifelong legacy of discomfort.

Read more ...


"This website was created by (Parents for Label and Drug Free Education) to help parents better understand the real issues surrounding ADD/ADHD.  On this site, we look at the testing and the drugs used in the "diagnosis". We found that the testing is so subjective that almost anyone can be labeled ADD/ADHD and the drugs prescribed for the "diagnosis" could have many serious long term side effects.
Help yourself understand to help your child!!"

Richard Feynman

Two short videos and some interesting observations from American physicist and Nobel Prize winner Richard Feynman:

On social science (1 min 52 secs)

On the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something (1 min 58 secs)

Unschooling Grows Up: A Collection of Interviews

A collection of interviews with grown unschoolers at I'm Unschooled. Yes, I Can Write.

View the list of interviews here

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 4 September 2011

Subscribe now and stay in touch

Published by Bob Collier, Canberra, Australia  

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

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