The Parental Intelligence Newsletter

13 May 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 20 articles and 8 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 for Happiness
by Gal Baras

The essence of parenting is preparing children for adulthood. Parents must therefore protect their kids, feed them, keep them healthy and teach them the skills they will need during their independent adult life. But which skills are those? What do we want our kids to achieve with the skills we teach them anyway?

Read more ...

Common Sense Parenting
by Jennifer McGrail

I think sometimes as parents, we make things way more complicated than they need to be.   I read a blog post the other day that referred to the "moral gymnastics" involved in everything from the food we buy, to the way we diaper, to the decisions we make about school.  It's a term that resonated with me, and if your emails and comments are any indication, it resonates with many of you as well.

I seem to write a lot about how I parent from the heart (because I do), and how I've never regretted any parental decision that's been made by following my instinct (because I haven't) but there's another component that I regularly rely on.  A big one.

Read more ...

The Attachment Parenting Paradox
by C B Planer

Paradox: A seemingly absurd or self-contradictory statement or proposition that when investigated or explained may prove to be well founded or true.

Read more ...

Bed-sharing and Co-sleeping Research Overview
by Helen Ball, BSc, MA, PhD, Professor of Anthropology, Durham University

This review examines the issue of babies sleeping with their parents. Beginning with an anthropological perspective, the biological underpinnings of parent-baby sleep contact are explored, as are cross-cultural practices. The relationship between baby sleeping and feeding practices in the UK is considered along with the safety aspects of bed-sharing.

Read more ...

Tips for breastfeeding in public if you feel self-conscious
from The Analytical Armadillo

Firstly please remember a lot of mums feel daunted the first few times they breastfeed in public.  As discussed in my "Let's do breastfeeding covers" entry, even those who are confident now may well have felt a little nervous at first - particularly if you live in an area where you don't see lots of mums feeding.

Read more ...

Do Children Manipulate Their Parents?
by Patty Wipfler

"Silly question!" you might exclaim. "Of course children manipulate their parents! My children do it all the time, and it drives me crazy!"

Read more ...

What Would You Prefer?
by Liza Cumming

We all want what is best for our children, we want them to grow up to be happy, strong, independent people who look back with fondness on their childhood. However, sometimes we loose our way as parents and in an effort to give our kids everything, give them a lot of things they don't need and nothing they really want. So perhaps we need to stop and think, if I were them, what would I prefer?

Read more ...

When Your 4 Year Old Happily Cleans Her Room
from Childhood Revered

At 10pm, no less…

Yes, you heard me right.  Last night, my little one came to me with all the sincerity and gentleness she could muster (I've been sick, she knew I was exhausted), and asked if I would be willing to get her "princesses" (Polly Pocket collection) out for her.  She wanted to play with them with her Papa before she went to sleep.

Read more ...

R*E*S*P*E*C*T: Find Out What It Means to Your Child
by Linda Dobson

Rodney Dangerfield became a rich man making jokes about how he doesn't get any respect, from his wife, doctor, or bartender. While poor Rodney has it bad, it's nothing compared to the lack of respect children often encounter from friends, strangers, school personnel and, sometimes, their very own parents. And unless you're Rodney Dangerfield, a child lacking respect doesn't think it's funny at all.

Read more ...

by Barb Lundgren

Can we talk about boundaries? Everyone agrees that boundaries are important. What most don't agree on is who gets to set the boundaries.

Read more ...

Attachment Parenting WILL Follow Homeschooling: WINNING!
by Linda Dobson

When my family began homeschooling in the mid-80s, mainstream coverage of the movement was non-existent. You could read an occasional article in Mothering, Mother Earth News, or Backwoods Home Magazine. But send a proposal to Parents, Redbook, Woman's World, Good Housekeeping - you know, all of those and other magazines created to support young mothers? The silence was deafening.

Read more ...

Teachers Turn to Homeschooling and Love the Difference
by Linda Dobson

Teachers, those parents with the most direct knowledge of school classrooms, are turning to homeschooling in growing numbers. Former teachers with intimate knowledge of the way the system works offer important comparisons between public or private school and homeschooling for those considering both options.

Read more ...

12 Facts of Life to Help You See Why Homeschooling Can Work for Your Family
by Linda Dobson

It was 1984 for this ordinary mom. My eldest of three children, one of the sweetest little boys I'd ever had the pleasure to know (and, lucky me, the pleasure to spend life with), had reached the ripe old age requiring - or so I thought - kindergarten attendance.

The school automatically signed him up for the afternoon, half-day session. My sweet little guy was a morning person, so that wouldn't do. I called the school, eventually about 50 times, before they reluctantly conceded to a change. (Only in hindsight did I see that this was just the first time I would utilize my intimate knowledge of my child for his educational benefit.)

Read more ...

What I Learned as a Homeschooling Parent: Linda Dobson
by Linda Dobson

I wish I'd had the opportunity to learn what I've realized through homeschooling much earlier in life. That's probably why I look at homeschooling children, including my own, with awe and respect and optimism. I emerged from high school confused and unsure, told to jump into a new world when I didn't know if or where it had a place for me. These children, on the other hand, generally finish homeschooling comfortable and confident, moving gracefully through growing independence into a world where their place is well established through years and exposure.

Read more ...

When the School Doors Close: A Midsummer Night's Dream
by Linda Dobson

Society faces a controversy over the comparative merits of public schools and school choice for education of children. But this controversy is diverting important energy, time, and money of parents, educators, politicians, reporters, and policy makers from the real issue. The real issue is the difference between an educational free market and the monopoly system that currently exists.

To be truly realistic, we can't really compare educational choice to educational monopoly. The monopoly approach has had a long time in the spotlight. The monopoly approach has been subjected to a long train of adaptations which, judging by the results measured in myriad ways, are not working. But choice - true choice - is still a largely untried dream.

Read more ...

Homeschool parents don't need teachers
by Penelope Trunk

Our farm is magical right now. All the animals are having babies. My husband is giving the animals more and more freedom. This year he took the pigs out of farrowing crates and let them farrow in a big, open building full of sunlight and hay. He was worried that the moms would lie on the babies and crush them. This is what hog industry wisdom says will happen. But in fact, the pigs were excellent moms, better than he has ever seen them be before. And the piglets grew up faster, and disease-free when they were left alone to be a variation of free-range pigs.

This will come as no surprise to those of us who have already bought into free-range parenting. But in the hog farmer world my husband looks absolutely crazy. A lunatic. He does not even count as a pig farmer in some peoples' eyes because his pigs are not caged.

Read more ...

'Home education gives me freedom to be individual'
from Kent and Sussex Courier [UK]

The number of families choosing to take their children out of mainstream education and teach them at home has almost tripled in some areas of West Kent over the last four years.

With bulging class sizes and increasing competition for school places, a band of home educators has emerged and this week the Courier spoke to some of them.

Read more ...

Creating Innovators: Why America's Education System Is Obsolete
by Erica Swallow

America's last competitive advantage - its ability to innovate - is at risk as a result of the country's lackluster education system, according to research by Harvard Innovation Education Fellow Tony Wagner.

Taking the stage at Skillshare's Penny Conference, Wagner pointed out the skills it takes to become an innovator, the downfalls of America's current education system, and how parents, teachers, mentors, and employers can band together to create innovators.

Read more ...

The Disrespected Student - Or - The Need For The Virtual University
A Talk with Roger Schank

Roger Schank is a computer scientist and cognitive psychologist who has worked in the AI field for twenty-five years. Like Marvin Minsky, he takes the strong AI view, but rather than trying to build an intelligent machine he wants to deconstruct the human mind. He wants to know, in particular, how natural language - one's mother tongue - is processed, how memory works, and how learning occurs. Schank thinks of the human mind as a learning device, and he thinks that it is being taught in the wrong way. He is something of a gadfly; he deplores the curriculum-based, drill-oriented methods in today's schools, and his most recent contributions have been in the area of education, looking at ways to use computers to enhance the learning process.

Read more ...

The tyranny of therapism
by Christina Hoff Sommers & Sally Satel

Today - with a book for every ailment, a counselor for every crisis, a lawsuit for every grievance, and a TV show for every conceivable problem - we are at risk of degrading our native ability to cope with life's challenges.

Read more ...


Free Back Issues of All 29 Kindred Magazines!

"Until its final print issue in March 2009, Kindred magazine was one of the world's best and most informative eco-parenting magazines. Full of groundbreaking research and parent-friendly information, it was an independent voice for reason and intelligence.

Now you can read all 29 issues of Kindred, from 2002 to 2009 in a DOWNLOADABLE PDF FORMAT.  Each issue is as timeless as ever, and sure to still inspire you! "

Excellent reading for progressive parents - all the issues of Kindred magazine (originally Byronchild) with a total cover price of more than $230 yours to read for free thanks to the generosity of Families for Conscious Living.

Visit this webpage for previews and download links

Conscious Parenting Summit

"Free Event - The Conscious Parenting Summit. Absorb wisdom and inspiration from experts around the world about conscious parenting choices, healthy pregnancy, natural birthing, vaccinations, children's nutrition, breastfeeding, co-sleeping and more!"

This is an online event. Schedule details available on registration.

For more information visit

Asbridge's Syndrome (AS2)

"New Disorder Discovered!  Take the Online Screener!"
School psychologist Don Asbridge uses humour to make some telling points about the 'psychiatric mentality'.

"Students with AS2 typically hate homework and often get poor grades due to low homework completion.  Often these students will engage in odd behaviors such as skateboarding, playing video games, watching television, listening to music, playing sports, attending church in the afternoon or evening, or just standing around talking with others their own age."

Read more (and take the screener if you dare) at


"Is SelfDesign for you?

Are you seeking a path that nurtures your children's natural desire to learn rather than a one-size-fits all system that standardizes rote memorization? ... Would you like a uniquely trained Learning Consultant to co-create a learning environment in which your child thrives? ... Would you like to connect with like-minded families and self-directed learners in your community and around the globe? ... Are you a home learning family? ..."

Learn more about what SelfDesign has to offer at

The Unschooling Summit

"Our children are unique-their education should be, too.

Welcome to the Unschooling Summit-a virtual event for parents of all ages who desire a more natural and loving approach to education for their children."

21st May - 1st June 2012.

For more information about this free online event, visit


"HESFES is the Home Educators' Summer Festival. Children who are in school are of course very welcome. HESFES is non profit making and entirely self funding. Non commercial with very few stalls.

Now in its 15th year this small (1500 people) and very friendly event will once again see people from all over the UK and abroad come together for a week of fun."

Saturday 21st July - Saturday 28th July 2012

Stonham Barns, Suffolk, England.

Get the details at

Conscious Parenting & Natural Learning Conference 2012

"Join us to celebrate empowered conscious parenting and natural learning choices!

Our aim is to provide enriching experiences and to inspire families wanting to live more harmoniously and consciously while living and learning with their children and partners."

Welcome Stranger Holiday Park, Ballarat, Victoria, Australia
Wednesday, 8th August - Friday, 10th August 2012 (inclusive)

Suffolk Beachfront Holiday Park, Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia
Saturday, 11th August - Monday, 13th August 2012 (inclusive)

Visit for further information

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 27 May 2012

Subscribe now and stay in touch

Published by Bob Collier, Canberra, Australia  

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

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