The Parental Intelligence Newsletter

10 June 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 16 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!




5 reasons why your birth can affect your baby & parenting
by Sarah Ockwell-Smith

When I meet a new mum, dad and baby  for the first time at a BabyCalm workshop I always start with the same question:

"tell me about your birth"

Mostly it's met with confusion, wrinkled eyebrows and exchanged curious looks, very often they ask me "why?" straight back. After all they haven't come to see me to talk about their birth, they're here to see me to work out why their baby cries so much.

Read more ...

Not breastfeeding, not guilty?
by Pinky McKay

I have often been asked, 'do you think you could be making mothers feel guilty by being such an advocate of breastfeeding? '

Over the years, I have personally been advised by various magazine editors, publishers and employers 'not to write about breastfeeding' because I will 'make bottle feeding mothers feel guilty.'

Read more ...

Daft reasons we're told we should stop breastfeeding by a certain age
by Clare Kirkpatrick

Age of baby/child, that is, not age of mother!  I was inspired to write this post after my family and I were featured in New! magazine thanks to my experiences of breastfeeding beyond the age of two.

Read more ...

In response to John Rosemond
by Dr. James J. McKenna

"No proof of benefits of attachment parenting" is the title of a recently published syndicated column by family psychologist John Rosemond. In the article, he makes the claim that "No unbiased research has ever affirmed any emotional or behavioral advantage to parent-child co-sleeping, extended breastfeeding, or baby-wearing."

In the next line he attributes to me the following comment:

"To cite but one example, James J. McKenna, director of the Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Laboratory at the University of Notre Dame, says that he has yet to find any benefit to parents and children sleeping together. McKenna is widely regarded as the world's foremost authority on infant sleep issues."

Let me begin by saying I have never made such a statement.  In fact, I could never make such a statement because it is neither supported by, nor consistent with my own and others' refereed published scientific research.

Read more ...

What Everyone's Missing in the Attachment-Parenting Debate
by Jennie Rothenberg Gritz

If people understood the roots of this philosophy, they wouldn't be fixating on breastfeeding toddlers or family beds.

Read more ...

The Strength of Parents
from Our Muddy Boots

As I read stories and comments from mothers who are told that they are spoiling their child and are parenting all wrong, I am filled with admiration.  Not for the ignorance of those making these statements of course, but for the mothers and fathers who continue to make choices in the best interest of their baby- even when those around them condemn their choices.

Read more ...

Affection and esteem
by Pam Sorooshian

Something that has rattled around in my head for years is the line, "You're the parent, not their friend."

I was just reading a news article and someone was quoted as saying: "Your kids don't need a 40-year-old friend. They need a parent."

What a tragic dichotomy that one little line sets up!

Read more ...

The Only Parenting Mistake I Ever Made - Over and Over and Over Again (or - The Illusion of Control)
by Lyla Wolfenstein

[Transcript of a talk given at the 2012 Life Is Good Conference]

The title of this talk is "The only mistake I ever made, over and over again" and it's about the importance of our relationship with our kids, over all else.

Read more ...

The Relationship Between Multipotentiality and Education
by Emilie Wapnick
Education is a hot topic these days. It seems like everyone's discussion the "failing system" that's leaving thousands of graduates jobless, and in tremendous debt each year. There's also a lot of talk about the lack of creativity or alternative forms of teaching in schools.

Although these are all very worthwhile discussions, I'm not going to focus directly on any of these issues in this post. Instead, I'd like to talk about the idea of learning itself, both within the education system and beyond, and how it relates to being a multipotentialite.

Read more ...

Homeschooling and the Art of Education
by Linda Dobson

The art of education is practiced like any other art - the product reflects the inner being of the artists. A Picasso is not a Van Gogh is not a Matisse, yet all possess their own beauty. Who is to judge which is more precious, more valuable, more worthy? The Smiths don't approach homeschooling like the Johnsons, and the Johnsons' homeschooling doesn't look anything like the Dobsons'. The masterpieces turn out differently, yet each radiates its own beauty.

Read more ...

Ten Good Reasons to Homeschool
by Greg Sherman, Ph.D.

My three children and I were standing in line at the grocery store the other day, and a woman behind us started conversing with my thirteen year-old daughter Grace. At some point in the conversation, I overheard the woman ask Grace what grade she was in and what school she attended. Grace responded innocently that she was homeschooled, and that she wasn't exactly sure what grade she would be in if she went to school. The woman looked over Grace's shoulder and directly into my eyes. She wrinkled her brow and asked me, very casually, with perhaps a hint of skepticism, "So, why do you homeschool?"

Read more ...

Why Unschooling Works for us, and could for you too!
by Nadine Lebean

Unschooling to us means living. There is no separation between life and learning. There is no set time to learn, it happens all the time. We do not use a curriculum, there is enough substance in life alone that we do not need to. Instead we focus on what we are passionate about and are free to go deeply into those subjects. Learning is actually the by-product of living this fantastic life. My partner and I are just as absorbed in learning as our children. They are so curious and want to know about everything!

Read more ...

From Feminism to Unschooling
by Cooper Zale

Just got through reading Wendy Priesnitz piece, "Unschooling as a feminist act" that was republished in the Alternative Education Resource Organization (AERO) Education Revolution magazine. Wendy is a fellow comrade in the large circle of activists for education alternatives where AERO functions as part of the connective tissue among us. Within that larger group, Wendy and I share a focus as unschooling (what she refers to as "life learning") activists. So I was intrigued by the title of her piece given the fact that I consider myself both a feminist and unschooling activist.

Read more ...

Math Mania - A Study
by Amy Milstein
"What about Math?"  "How will you teach your kids Algebra and Geometry?"  "Do you worry that they won't learn Math?"

As I've said before, I don't worry all that much, anymore, about Math.  But sometimes it seems everyone else is obsessed with it.  It is the number one question I get when I talk about unschooling.   Other homeschool families spend a lot of time making sure their kids are doing math, discussing it and comparing math curricula.   Our schooled friends are the same, endlessly talking about math struggles and homework.   What is all the fuss about math?   Do we all really need to know Algebra?  Geometry?  Calculus?  Trig?   How will it affect our lives if we don't?

To find out, I decided to do my own study on the matter. 

Read more ...

If electronics are evil I am going straight to hell, and why my kids will (probably) never graduate
by Amy Milstein

Not too long ago my brother wrote a great blog post called "Sociability" in which he talks about how a real community is one in which you know everyone but maybe don't always like everything about them, and how that's ok because to "like" something is overrated and ephemeral.  We 'like' things on Facebook.  We 'unfriend' people when they say something we don't 'like'.    We follow or unfollow someone on Twitter, mostly based on the 140 character blurbs they post.  Post something I disagree with and I just might 'unfollow' you.   We surround ourselves, for the most part, with people who share our views - we distance ourselves from any type of controversy or disagreement.  We have a hard time "agreeing to disagree" with someone who we consider a friend.   We take things too personally.

What, you might be asking yourself, does this have to do with the title of this post?

Read more ...

The Invisible Force that Determines Your Happiness and Success
by Mike Bundrant

Most people don't realize that, resting deep within their psyche, a personal narrative is quietly determining how they respond to the world, how they make decisions and how successful they will become.

How does a metaphor do all that? Amazingly, stories and metaphors are deeply woven into the fabric of human communication and appear to be enmeshed with how the brain perceives the world.

Read more ...


Beyond Belief

A new book from Keith Gilbert, author of my favourite parenting book ever.

"You, me, and every other person on this planet were born without beliefs.  Did you ever stop to think about that? Through our experiences in life we learn to choose beliefs, but how do we choose them?

And how do we change them when we discover that they no longer serve us?"

Visit for more information about this book

The Unborn Child

A new website from Ian White, the originator of Affectology and the developer of Af-x Psychotherapy.

"While it appears that this site may be of interest only to those people who are 'expecting' a new member to their lives, it is in fact for every person. I aim to convince you that the environment experienced by the unborn child - certainly later in pregnancy - has a very significant impact on the emotional personality of every adult. I don't want to convince you through slick presentation; I want to offer the scientific facts and place them before you so that you draw your own conclusion.

You'll discover plenty to think about here. I guarantee it."


Robin Grille interview

Lisa Reagan, Director of Families for Conscious Living, interviews Robin Grille, author of Parenting for a Peaceful World and Heart to Heart Parenting.

Free download. File size is 25.8MB. Interview length is 56 mins.

Visit  this page at for the link to the download


"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."

Now at three locations:

Ballarat (Melbourne), VIC
BIG4 Ballarat Welcome Stranger Holiday Park
Wednesday, 8th August - Friday, 10th August 2012 (inclusive)

Byron Bay, NSW
Suffolk Beachfront Holiday Park
Saturday, 11th August - Monday, 13th August 2012 (inclusive)

Umina Beach (Sydney), NSW
Ocean Beach Holiday Park
Tuesday, 14th August - Thursday, 16th August 2012 (inclusive)

"Early Bird" prices still available. Visit the registration page for the details.

Escape Adulthood Summit

From Kim & Jason Kotecki:

"On August 24th & 25th, we are hosting the first ever Escape Adulthood Summit in picturesque Madison, Wisconsin. It will be a wild rumpus of epic proportions.

Part conference, part retreat, part mastermind group, it's a one-of-a-kind event designed for people instilled with the soaring spirit of childhood."

Visit for the exciting details

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 24 June 2012

Subscribe now and stay in touch

Published by Bob Collier, Canberra, Australia  

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

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