The Parental Intelligence Newsletter

5 February 2012

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 18 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!




A Review of the First-Ever Mindful Mothering Conference
by Lisa Reagan

Why do people conjure an image of a mother and child floating effortlessly through a field of daisies when they hear the phrase, "mindful mothering"? In daily reality, the practical tools of mindfulness are designed to bring us full into the moment with an open mind and open heart, ready to accept the endless laundry, exhaustion and loneliness, as well as connection, tenderness and joy we find on our brief journeys through motherhood.

I say "brief" because the 18 years of hands-on care for our children is now a fraction of our total lives, especially since most of us will be active into our senior years and are living longer. Put into perspective, most parents agree that, despite the stresses of modern parenting, we don't want to miss a moment with our children. So how are we to stay awake and aware through the greatest adventure of our lives?

The first-ever Mindful Mothering conference, held at the Museum of Motherhood (MOM) in New York City on November 7, 2011, set out to answer this question ...

Read more ...

Maternal Self-Esteem
by Jessica Zucker, Ph.D.

Body change is shrouded in fear. Iconic female bodies are tiny, toned, tight, and most definitely without the permanence of stretch marks. Pregnancy creates a cultural conundrum. On the one hand, culture secretly (though not so quietly sometimes) mandates that women work their hardest to look as though their bodies are as slight as a whisper, taking up little to no space, while simultaneously exuding sexiness and a little bit of sass. The ever-changing prenatal body is creating, carrying, and nurturing new life and with that comes a robustness that potentially stirs unresolved issues, handed down from culture, family, and shaky self-esteem.

When self-esteem is predicated on the number that pops up on the scale each morning or hinges on whether or not you can fit into freshly dried jeans today that you wore comfortably yesterday, pregnancy may present a warranted wake-up call.

Read more ...

Home births in the U.S. rise by 30%
from ImpactLAB

Jessica Wilcox thinks her in-laws still view her ideas about childbirth as kind of out there, but it's hard to argue with success: In the last five years or so, Wilcox has given birth to two boys and two girls - each weighing more than 10 pounds - at her northern Virginia home. And she hopes to do it again one or two more times.

Wilcox is part of a small but growing trend. While home births are still rare in the United States, they've posted a surprising climb in recent years, according to a government report out Thursday.

Read more ...

Co-Sleeping, Is It Part of Bonding?
by Pinky McKay

When my own babies were small, neither social ideology nor wakeful babies caused me a lack of sleep - my babies slept snuggled up with me at night. My choice to co-sleep wasn't based on research studies, it was simply 'best practice' for our family - or, where we all got the most sleep. Now there is a plethora of research about infant sleep and I find it fascinating to compare this to my own experience: read - have my childrearing choices conveyed lasting benefits?

Read more ...

Want a brainy baby? All you need is love
by Marianne Betts, Herald Sun (Australia)

Love is all it takes to make your baby smarter.

Research had found loving interactions between babies and caregivers were the key to optimal development, parenting expert Pinky McKay said.

Cuddles, touching, eye contact, breastfeeding, talking, reading and singing to and playing with an infant boosted brain development.

These interactions triggered the release of hormones, which then developed new structures and pathways in the brain.

"It's sculpting your baby's tiny brain for learning, loving and living," Mrs McKay said.

Read more ...

Before Children Talk... They Understand A Lot!
Paul C. Holinger, M.D., M.P.H.

When we talk about the importance of language, we almost automatically think in terms of when the child begins to speak.  But long before your child speaks, she is listening - and understanding far more than we used to think.

Read more ...

Hate Your Husband? (or Your Wife?)
by Christine Carter, Ph.D.
The ironic thing about this month of love is that the first six weeks or so of the New Year are the busiest time of the year for divorce lawyers (or so they say). Seems that many people are not feeling as much love and romance as Hallmark would hope. Many are actually feeling hate.

I have a theory about this.

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.

Is school the center of children's lives? Should it be?

Read more ...

Mother's Love Leads to Better Learning
by Linda Dobson

Scientists have now begun to prove what at least some human beings still intuitively know to be true: A mother's (or surrogate's) loving attention during the formative years is required for a child to grow healthy, happy, and strong. Now scientists are adding better at learning to the list.

Read more ...

Playwright who wants to tear up the curriculum
from the Plymouth Herald (UK)

Terry Deary is the author of the phenomenally successful Horrible Histories books and a hero to any teacher who has ever struggled to get an understanding of the past into a child's head.

His 60 titles in the series have notched up 25 million sales in 40 countries by turning children on to history.

They are as far removed from textbooks as Charles I was from his head. This is history with the boring bits cut and the nasty parts pored over.

So when his Horrible Histories stage tour returns to Plymouth from Thursday to Saturday next week, schools will empty to pack out the Pavilions' daytime performances.

Naturally, Deary is delighted - at the schools emptying bit.

"I am campaigning to have all schools shut down and children set free," he says.

Read more ...

Why Urban, Educated Parents Are Turning to DIY Education
by Linda Pearlstein

In the beginning, your kids need you-a lot. They're attached to your hip, all the time. It might be a month. It might be five years. Then suddenly you are expected to send them off to school for seven hours a day, where they'll have to cope with life in ways they never had to before. You no longer control what they learn, or how, or with whom.
Unless you decide, like an emerging population of parents in cities across the country, to forgo that age-old rite of passage entirely.

Read more ...

Unschooling [An interview with Sandra Dodd]
from Successful Homeschooling

Unschooling is the homeschool method that has been the most difficult for me to define. For that reason, I was delighted when unschooler Sandra Dodd agreed to share her knowledge and experience. You can read the full transcript of my interview with Sandra below.

Read more ...

Want to be thought of a brilliant education revolutionary? Just champion any one of The Unschooling Rules.
by Clark Aldrich

Unschooling Rules was based on interviews with homeschoolers and unschoolers.  I asked two simple questions. 

The first was, what do schools do that seems bizarre? 
The second question was, what do schools not do that seems critical to education? 

Read more ...

10 Reasons Why The Innovative Educator Is In Love with Unschooling
by Lisa Nielsen

Why would someone with a career vested in the school system be in love with unschooling? Well, frankly it's because I know a LOT about learning and from what I've seen, read, observed and experienced, unschooling is a terrific way to learn. What's more, unlike schooling, you grow up more prepared for life and the passion, creativity, and the love of learning doesn't get sucked right out of you.

Read more ...

Unschooling is not "Child-Led Learning"
by Pam Sorooshian

I do not refer to unschooling as "child-led learning" and I encourage others not to use that term because I think overuse of it has led to some pretty serious misunderstanding of what unschooling is really like.

Read more ...

Teens: Home schooling aids, rather than inhibits, socialization
by Marisa Chow
Home-schooled students like me are occasionally subject to one awkward question: Do you ever socialize?
There's a misconception about home-schooled students: They can't socialize normally because they're cooped up in their houses every day.

This is only true if you assume home schooling is exactly what it sounds like: studying at home, only at home and never interacting with others in the "outside world." This is a false assumption. Not only does home schooling include activities outside of the home, it also allows -- and even encourages -- students to socialize with people of different ages, backgrounds and perspectives.

Read more ...

Professor Thrun Drops Out of Stanford
by Dale J. Stephens

As we move into the future, knowledge becomes less attached to institutions.  When the printing press came along, knowledge was freed from the depths of the human mind and reproduced on a page.  Then came libraries, which allowed anyone to access that knowledge. Wikipedia now puts  vast amounts of knowledge online.Wherever it is found, that knowledge can usually be traced to a source.  That source is most often a person associated with an institution-the United States Government, or Harvard University, for example.  Rarely does a person stand as their own authority without using an institution as validation.This is one reason why change has been so slow in higher education-professors are still tying themselves to institutions.Until now.

Read more ...

Video Game Addiction: Does It Occur? If So, Why?
by Peter Gray

"Experts," especially those quoted frequently by the media, are constantly warning us of dangers to our kids. What usually grabs our attention and instills fear in our hearts are the case stories they present. Some child, somewhere, was out playing without a parent nearby and was abducted and murdered. Therefore, anyone who allows his or her child to play outside, not closely watched by an adult, is a negligent parent. Some distraught young man in South Korea plays a video game for fifty straight hours without stopping to sleep or eat, goes into cardiac arrest, and dies. Therefore, video games are addictive, dangerous, and we must either ban them or curtail their use so our children don't die like that poor South Korean.
Case stories like these are tragic; and, yes, tragedies do happen, usually in ways that are completely unpredictable. But what we must remember when we hear such stories is that there are approximately 7 billion people in the world. That's 7,000,000,000. That young man in South Korea represents 0.000000014 percent of the world's population. With 7 billion people, some really weird thing is going to happen someplace every day. The fear-mongering "experts" and media will never run out of shocking stories to tell us.

Read more ...


How I Parent

A short and hopefully useful instantly downloadable FREE e-book about how I've parented my own children.

Download your copy here (290KB) 

How to Use Hypnosis Effectively

A Kindle version of my "beginners guide to understanding and maximizing the benefits of hypnosis MP3s" will be available shortly under the title of How to Use Hypnosis Effectively.  In the meantime, I would like to share with you a special offer from one of the world's leading hypnotherapists, Adam Eason, which is currently still available at the time of writing.

You can obtain a free pdf copy of my e-book from Adam's website that includes a bonus 50% discount offer on hypnosis products from his store.  I've been one of Adam Eason's satisfied customers since 2007 and have benefitted enormously from his knowledge, talents and expertise.  In fact, Adam Eason is the 'primary provider' of the hypnosis MP3s I use myself.

To find out more about Adam's work and to take advantage of the 50% discount offer, visit

[The download link for your free copy of my e-book is on a rotating display - you may see it immediately, otherwise please wait for it to appear in a very short while]

Beat Depression The Drug Free Way

A new and eagerly awaited book from Ian White, originator of Af-x® Therapy (and the only person ever to write an article exclusively for the Parental Intelligence Newsletter).

Beat Depression The Drug Free Way: Getting Better by Breaking the Myths

"Do You Really Know The Truth About Your Depression?"

Get the facts at


"We are committed to making the best education in the world freely available to any person who seeks it. We envision people throughout the world, in both developed and developing countries, using our platform to get access to world-leading education that has so far been available only to a tiny few. We see them using this education to improve their lives, the lives of their families, and the communities they live in."

Visit for more information

Life Media

"Life Media is a family-operated indie publishing company dedicated to providing information that supports conscious parenting and green living."

View its complete list of print and electronic books here

Thank you for reading the Parental Intelligence Newsletter!

The next issue of this newsletter will be published on or about 19 February 2012

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Published by Bob Collier, Canberra, Australia  

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

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