The Parental Intelligence Newsletter

24 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 17 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!




Mother & Child Are Linked At The Cellular Level
by Laura Grace Weldon

Today is my youngest child's birthday. As my mother used to tell me, we always carry our children in our hearts. I know this is true emotionally. Apparently it's also true on the physical level.

Read more ...

Mothering Matters
by Peter S. Cook

Evidence that good mothering matters, both for the individual and for society, is steadily growing. More reports from the Early Child Care Network of the US National Institute for Child Health and Development increase concerns about early childcare and its effects on young people. Some 25 top US scholars co-ordinate this multi-million dollar study, following more than 1000 babies from birth, to compare the effects of maternal care with various alternatives. Fathering is important, but this article is about mothering.

Read more ...

The Hardest Job I Ever Had
by Sharon Davis

I used to have a really challenging job. It was stressful and demanding, high pressure and large responsibilities.

I was really good at it too. Really, I was.

Then I became a parent.

Read more ...

The Case Against Time-out
by Dr. Peter Haiman

For generations, parents have sought a reliable and dependable way to handle childhood misbehavior. The most recent and popular discipline technique is time-out. Although time-out is better than spanking, it is not an appropriate way for parents to cope with the misbehavior of their children. Moreover, the use of time-out can create subsequent childhood behavior problems. These problems can affect the well-being of the child and severely strain the parent-child relationship.

Read more ...

A Word is worth a Thousand Pictures
by ThreeFiveZero

I take a lot of pictures.  Thousands.  Literally more than 40,000 pictures since 2007.  That's a lot.  Which makes me, in my book, a guy that takes lots of pictures.  Not to be confused with a photographer!  Point being, now and then, I get a stellar photograph here and there, picked out from the thousands of not that spectacular ones.  The not so spectacular photographs are still pictures of us doing things as a family, and therefore every bit as important as the few highlights where something we were doing was immortalized in an awesome picture.  The awesome ones go on the wall, but all are kept, and all are part of our history.

Read more ...

Five Reasons to Stop Saying "Good Job!"
by Alfie Kohn

Hang out at a playground, visit a school, or show up at a child's birthday party, and there's one phrase you can count on hearing repeatedly: "Good job!" Even tiny infants are praised for smacking their hands together ("Good clapping!"). Many of us blurt out these judgments of our children to the point that it has become almost a verbal tic.

Plenty of books and articles advise us against relying on punishment, from spanking to forcible isolation ("time out"). Occasionally someone will even ask us to rethink the practice of bribing children with stickers or food. But you'll have to look awfully hard to find a discouraging word about what is euphemistically called positive reinforcement.

Read more ...

Knowing What Can and Can't be Taught
by Pat Farenga

"It is good books, not good reading methods, that make good readers," John Holt told me, and I have certainly seen the wisdom of this comment with our three girls. They all learned to read using different methods and at different ages, but they all wanted to read because books are viewed by them as pleasure and information tools, not school assessment tools.

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.

Read more ...

It's the end of the world as we know It….and I feel fine
by Amy Milstein

Rock n roll music will undermine the moral fabric of America's youth.
TV will turn kids into intellectual zombies.
Video games will be the downfall of our culture.

And now…  the internet and texting are destroying the ability of children to focus on anything for more than a minute or two.     At least, that's what today's front page Times article entitled "Growing up Digital, Wired for Distraction" tries to tell us.   

Read more ...

Why I Don't Worry About My Kids' Screen Time
by Lori, Camp Creek Blog

There's a billboard in my town that makes me grind my teeth into dust. It shows a kid's hands holding, on the left, a video-game controller and, on the right, a turtle. Then it says something along the lines of "unplug".

I was ranting about it the other day and one of my sons rolled his eyes (nicely) and said, "Mooooom, they're just telling people to, you know, go outside more." And yes, I get that. But they are doing it in a way that makes me crazy.

Read more ...

Why Some of Us Don't Have One True Calling (and Why We're Better Off that Way)
by Emilie Wapnick

You're six years old and the teacher asks you to share what you want to be when you grow up.

An astronaut? A scientist? Superman?

Maybe you have an answer for her, maybe you don't- it doesn't matter.

The whole thing is more about ritual and eliciting cute replies than anything else. "What do you want to be when you grow up?" is, after all, a fairly innocuous question… Isn't it?

Read more ...

Why You Shouldn't Finish What You Start
by Emilie Wapnick

I was having lunch with a friend the other day, and she started telling me about her newly sparked interest in interior design. As she spoke, something interesting happen: her voice become timid, almost revealing what sounded like shame…

It was as if she was afraid that I was judging her, simply for exploring something new.

Of course, being the outspoken (yet introverted) multipotentialite that I am, I had the complete opposite reaction.

Read more ...

To College, or Not to College
by Jeff Sabo

If there is one central theme through all of the posts I have written, it may well be a call to action for all parents to spend some time thinking and learning about what kind of parents they actually want to be. It is easy to merely parent the way society expects us to, the way were raised ourselves, or the way we see on sitcoms. But parenting, of all pursuits and endeavors, really requires that we make conscious choices and decisions. To do that requires that we learn, watch, listen, and grow. There is no more important role than the role of a parent, and we cannot merely switch ourselves onto autopilot and go through the motions.

Read more ...

Without (or Beyond) College: 22 Tools For Success
by Laura Grace Weldon

It's easier to teach an old dog new tricks than it is to change old mindsets. Like the one that insists that all the years up to 18 are preparation for college. After that a bachelor's degree or higher must be obtained because college is THE ONLY route to success.

Read more ...

Fifty Years After The Myth of Mental Illness
by Thomas Szasz

This is the preface for the new edition of The Myth of Mental Illness.

Read more ...

9 Basic Human Needs
by Roger Elliott 

Apparently, if you chuck a frog into a pan of boiling water, it will hop straight out again. But if you put him in cold water and slowly heat it up, he will sit there until well and truly poached.

Problems due to missing 'basics' in peoples lives tend to develop over time, and so can be easily missed. Then, when the problem arises - be it anxiety, depression, addiction or some other nasty - they can't for the life of them fathom out why!

Read more ...

Using Self-Hypnosis To Make Better Choices
by Adam Eason

A short while ago, a friend and I had a moderately drunken, yet still quite profound discussion in the pub….

Read more ...


Nurture - Australia's only natural parenting magazine

"Just launched is Nurture ~ Australia's only natural parenting magazine.  It is a quarterly print publication that provides comprehensive, thought-provoking and evidence-based articles on the physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual elements of child-rearing from a natural parenting perspective.  It also features regular columns including Natural Dad's Corner, Breastfeeding, Babywearing, Activities for children/families, Organic gardening with children, Recipes ( baby led weaning recipes and recipes you can cook with your child), Reader's story and Book reviews.

Pop over to to take a look!"

Project Happy Child

Penny Midas Rollo's 'magnificent obsession'. I first mentioned this website in Issue 9 of the Parental Intelligence Newsletter in September 2002, when it had "more than 2,300 pages!". I've mentioned it several times since. At the time of writing, it has 28,054 pages!!

Awesome free resources for homeschoolers.

Better Than College

Just published from entrepreneur and educator Blake Boles.

"Written for young adults and praised by people of all ages, Better Than College shows you how to build a successful life without a four-year degree."

Visit for the full story


"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."

Dates:  1:30pm, Saturday 11th August to 6:30pm, Monday 13th August, 2012

Location:  Suffolk Beachfront Holiday Park & Suffolk Park Community Hall, corner Clifford and Alcorn Streets, Suffolk Park, Byron Bay, NSW

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 8 July 2012

Subscribe now and stay in touch

Published by Bob Collier, Canberra, Australia  

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

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