The Parental Intelligence Newsletter

4 March 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 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!




Mothers and babies can instantly synchronize their hearts just by smiling at each other
by Alasdair Wilkins

Mothers and their babies are often said to share a deep, intimate connection...but even so, this new discovery is weird. Simply by looking and smiling at each other, moms and babies synchronize their heartbeats to within milliseconds of each other.

Researchers at Bar-Ilan University in Israel found that visible affection from their mothers had tangible physiological effects on three month old infants.

Read more ...

Why Spoiled Babies Grow Up to Be Smarter, Kinder Kids
by Maia Szalavitz

[Editor's Aside: They're not "spoiled" then, are they?]

Can extra nurturing during infancy make your child kinder and smarter?

Over the last several decades, more and more research has suggested that experiences in early life - even prenatal life - can have a disproportionate influence on the development of personality and physical and mental health. Now another group of studies, led by Notre Dame psychology professor Darcia Narvaez, confirms earlier work suggesting that children who get more positive touch and affection during infancy turn out to be kinder, more intelligent and to care more about others.

Read more ...

Attention Seeking is a Big Fat Lie
by Karyn Van Der Zwet

You don't have to spend much time around parents or teachers, or experts, to hear the phrase… "They're just attention seeking." While tricks abound about how to suppress attention seeking, what continuously baffles me, is the lack of interest in what lies behind the behaviours. Yes, children can be irritating, rude and sometimes down right naughty in this state, but why. Biologically, what is going on for the child?

Read more ...

Parents: What if I'm right? What does that mean for you?
by Karyn Van Der Zwet

If you're happy with how your children behave, this is not the post for you.

As I read other blogs and listen to parents discuss how they raise their children, there is one common thread - everyone needs to choose how to bring up their children as they wish. That there is no one way to raise great kids.

But what if this isn't right? What if we're just too overwhelmed by our day to day existence to face reality and make the changes in our lives that need to be made?

Read more ...

Quality Time: The Gift of Your Presence
by Ronit Baras

Love, as you know, is the most important thing you can give your children. Although you may not have any doubts about your love for your children, they often do. If you want to understand their doubt, think of your own doubts about your parents' love for you.

Read more ...

Natural Consequence, Results of Actions, Absence of Control
from Respected and Wholly Loved Children

In our home, we don't teach our kids that there are consequences for their behavior - we don't fabricate a world for their learning of the negative, or for the purpose of giving them lessons.  In our home, results of behavior occur for the child just as they do for the adult.  Of course, if a result would be harmful or damaging, we buffer, but otherwise we do not.  When a result should occur for the purpose of them learning something, and in fact nothing related really happens, we either simply verbalize our relevant thoughts or we let it be, trusting that the child will acquire the necessary understanding at a later time when the child is ready.

Read more ...

Bullying: Facts and Myth
by Ronit Baras

Bullying is part of every kid's life, unfortunately. It is estimated that every person bullies someone, is bullied by someone or witnesses someone else being bullied during childhood.

I am writing about bullying because some of my work with kids, although it seems related to academic achievements and learning difficulties, is overcoming emotional baggage that starts with some form of bullying.

Read more ... [Part 1 in a series of 34 articles on this topic, links to all the other parts are on the page]

The Sky Is Blue. Except When It's Not. The Essential Knowledge Debate
by Laura Schuerwegen

Many a time, when one enters a discussion with someone who opposes unschooling or simply doesn't know or understand what it's about, or when you read a critique about life learning, the opposition takes up infallible position of "The Things You Have to Know." Schooling, they argue, will teach you all these things you need to know - the things you cannot go through life without. These are things that, obviously, you wouldn't learn if you were solely guided by your own selfish interests.

Read more ...

The Benefits of Unschooling: Report I from a Survey of 231 Families
by Peter Gray, Ph.D.

Five months ago, in September, 2011, I posted an essay (here) introducing readers to the unschooling movement and inviting unschooling families to participate in a survey. The survey questionnaire-which was posted on Pat Farenga's Learning Without School site and Jan Hunt's Natural Child Project site-asked unschooling families to tell us a bit about their family, including the age and sex of each child, the employment of each parent, and the history of schooling, homeschooling, and unschooling of each child. It also asked the respondents to define unschooling as it is practiced in their home, to describe the path that led them to unschooling, and to tell us about the biggest challenges and benefits of unschooling for their family. My colleague Gina Riley (adjunct professor of special education at Hunter College) and I have been working on analyzing the results and preparing a report for publication in an educational journal.

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 ...

Unschooling: You'll See it When you Believe It
by Sandra Dodd

Following years of sporadic reports by people who claimed they had tried unschooling but it hadn't worked for them, I started tracking their similarities and, as usual, I learned something new. And, as usual, I thought I should share it so others might not have to wonder for ten years.

So here is a snapshot of what I thought I knew when I sat down to write this one day not too long ago: Some people don't know what unschooling is supposed to look like.

Read more ...

Why you won't hear much about wellness
by Bruce Steven Dolin, Psy.D.

There is mounting evidence that deep breathing (the essence of mindfulness meditation and the underpinning of yoga) is an effective treatment for anxiety, depression and a host of other issues.

Yet who is going to spread the word on this?  Sure, I'm blogging about it in my little obscure corner of the collective-and I encourage you to pencil in five minutes of steady, deep, calm breathing and put it at the top, not the bottom, of your to-do list.  This is one of the most powerful things you can do toward being your best Self as a parent, and in facilitating your own happiness.  You don't need another book about it; just breathe.

Read more ...

Seven things your psychiatrist doesn't want you to know
by Mike Bundrant

The information in this article comes from my personal experience as a licensed mental health counselor. One of my missions as a member of the mental health underground, a secret society of rogue mental health types, was to infiltrate the massive system created by the managed care industry.

I was out to crack their code and bring home the details about 1) how mental health patients are treated 2) who is really in charge and 3) why typical psychiatrists and psychotherapists seemed so boring and incompetent.

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) 

Hypnosis MP3s for Beginners

Here's another FREE e-book for you.

Are you a little bit afraid of hypnosis?

"Hypnosis MP3s for Beginners will help you understand and maximize the benefits of using downloadable pre-recorded hypnosis sessions to make positive changes in your life and to feel comfortable and safe when using hypnosis MP3s no matter what you believe about hypnosis right now."

For more information and to download a free copy of Hypnosis MP3s for Beginners, visit

A Kindle version will be available shortly under the title of How to Use Hypnosis Effectively.  The free pdf version of my "beginners guide to hypnosis MP3s" by that name containing a special 50% discount offer from leading UK hypnotherapist Adam Eason is still available at the time of writing.

To take advantage of that, go to

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

Family & Home Network

"We focus on children's needs for warm, nurturing relationships with their parents-and on parents' experiences and feelings as they take the time to meet their children's needs."

A website of interest I discovered through the Alliance for Transforming the Lives of Children (aTLC).

Childhood Revered

"The concept of revering childhood seems natural to me… Why? Because I remember mine.  It was challenging. I wanted my efforts recognized, as well as my thoughts and opinions respected and considered.

As I matured, I discovered the concepts of honoring and respect… It occurred to me that all children and their journey (that being their childhood) are to be revered."

I don't know the name of the author of this new blog - as far as I can see, she prefers to remain anonymous - but there are some excellent ideas here (the item linked to above, "Natural Consequence, Results of Actions, Absence of Control", is by the same author).

Sentient Parenting

This is a website mentioned in passing at the Childhood Revered blog that's also very interesting.

"Sentient Parenting" is a project by Karen Dickson, South African born now living in England.

"There is nothing new in my concept of Sentient Parenting. It is new in name only.  Sentient Parenting simply refers to core, instinctive parenting based on good old fashioned common sense. It is authentic Parenting, based on simple honest truths that we know, truths that we sometimes lose focus of in the melee of the modern world - truths that would have been our maternal birth right, if we still lived in traditional tribes and close, caring communities as we did eons ago.  Sentient Parenting is simply a reminder of what you already know and feel intrinsically in your heart.  It is that inner voice within ourselves that the busy, intrusive world drowns out. It is the lessons from the past that we know work, lessons that we need to apply again in principle to our own twenty-first century children."

Sandra Dodd World Tour

Unschooling legend Sandra Dodd (and colleague Joyce Fetteroll) are planning a visit to Australia some time in 2013. Brisbane and Adelaide are currently 'pencilled in' and I'm hoping it will also be possible to add Canberra to the itinerary. If this is of interest to you, please go here to subscribe to the updates.

The link below has details of Sandra Dodd's speaking appearances generally:

Thank you for reading the Parental Intelligence Newsletter!

The next issue of this newsletter will be published on or about 18 March 2012

Subscribe now and stay in touch

Published by Bob Collier, Canberra, Australia  

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

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