The Parental Intelligence Newsletter

22 July 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 14 articles and 11 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!




The Ties that Bind: How Belief Creates Birth Realities
by Kim Wildner
Women giving birth today have more options than ever before, yet perceive very few. Information is available in unprecedented quantities at the touch of a fingertip, yet erroneous beliefs impact decision-making more than cold, hard facts.

Read more ...

Studies on normal infant sleep
from KellyMom

Probably one of the main reasons that babies who don't sleep through the night are such a big issue is that parents don't have realistic expectations of the sleep patterns of babies. Babies were designed to wake up often at night to feed and cuddle, and keep in mind that many adults wake during the night, too. If our expectations for babies were not so different from our babies' expectations for themselves, much of this "problem" might disappear.

Following is information on studies that have been done on the typical sleep patterns of babies and young children.

Read more ...

Paradox - The Natural Law of Childrearing
What children do not need to be taught...and why
by Jerry R. Levinson

There is a fundamental misunderstanding about raising and educating children that is so profound and all-pervasive that it must be changed if children are to become the glorious creatures that nature intended.

Read more ...

Seven Shameless Reasons for Staying Home When Your Kids Are Small
by Steve Biddulph

1. I'm selfish
Why should someone else enjoy my beautiful children while I slave away to pay for it? Why should they enjoy seeing them take their first steps, and come out with new words? Why should someone else get that glorious affection my children give out? I want it for me!

Read more ...

Handling Unwanted Advice
by Elizabeth Pantley

"Help! I'm getting so frustrated with the endless stream of advice I get from my mother-in-law and brother! No matter what I do, I'm doing it wrong. I love them both, but how do I get them to stop dispensing all this unwanted advice?"

Read more ...

Speaking on Behalf of Children: Don't Blame the Victim
by Dawn Fry
How many times have you flipped through the pages of a magazine or newspaper and seen images of children with captions like "Brats" "Bullies" or "Mean and Selfish"? Unfortunately, these are common occurrences in today's media. For some child advocates, these images serve as a call to action: We need to do something to help America's so-called "out-of-control" children. The problem is, while these negative images are a wake up call, they are not doing anything to help troubled children. In fact, they only add to the problem.

Read more ...

Why Does Everyone Pretend There's A 'Spanking Debate'?
by Lisa Belkin, Huffington Post

Spanking was a subject of debate on every parenting website on the continent during the past week, and I don't understand why.

Yes, I know why it was a topic of conversation -- the prestigious journal Pediatrics released a study early in the week showing a possible link between childhood spanking and mental health struggles later in that child's life, and that was news worth talking about.

What I don't understand is why it was a debate. By definition, that would require two sides. I see only one.

Read more ...

The Corn Story
by Silvia Hartmann

When I was small, at school it was deemed necessary for us to torture sweetcorn in order to learn about science. We were each given ten sweetcorn seeds and ten plastic drinking cups and some soil and told to plant them.

Then, the sweetcorn was put into various 'environments'. Some were kept in the cold, some in the dark, some weren't given any water and some weren't given any minerals.

I didn't like it much because I've always had this thing where I go round asking myself, how would I like that?

Read more ...

The Natural Genius of Children
by Thomas Armstrong, PhD

Every child is a genius. That doesn't mean that every child can paint like Picasso, compose like Mozart or score 150 on an I.Q. test. But every child is a genius according to the original meanings of the word, which are a) "to give birth" (related to the word genesis); and b) "to be zestful or joyous," (related to the word genial). Essentially, the real meaning of genius is to "give birth to the joy" that is within each child. Every child is born with that capacity, coming into life with wonder, curiosity, awe, spontaneity, vitality, flexibility and many other characteristics of a joyous being.

Read more ...

Self-Education 101
by Donna Vail

Self-education is the most organic form of learning. We were born wired for self-education and come into the world naturally self-educating.

Read more ...

Deschooling a Parent: Learning to Trust
by Jan Hunt

It's only natural for parents to feel uneasy and uncertain when contemplating a path for their children other than the one they themselves traveled. Those of us who decide to unschool - even when we are convinced that this is the best option for our child - must unlearn many unfounded assumptions about learning that we were conditioned to believe for so many years. If we can do that, we can rediscover the natural love of learning we were born with.

Read more ...

If you give a kid a Nintendo…
by Mary Gold

"But he'll just play video games all day! He'll never DO anything!"

How many times have I heard that statement? The conversation usually begins innocently enough. "Joey is begging for a Nintendo, but I don't know…" We talk awhile about what game systems are in my house. We dance around the subject of prices or system capabilities. We question the accuracy of the game ratings. Then the real question makes itself known. The frantic question. The big roadblock to unschooling question. "But won't he just play all day?" My answer is always the same, a definite maybe. But not forever. And it's never just about the playing.

So, what to really expect?

Read more ...

H. Sapiens Digital: From Digital Immigrants and Digital Natives to Digital Wisdom
by Marc Prensky

In 2001, I published "Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants," a two-part article that explained these terms as a way of understanding the deep differences between the young people of today and many of their elders (Prensky 2001a, 2001b). Although many have found the terms useful, as we move further into the 21st century when all will have grown up in the era of digital technology, the distinction between digital natives and digital immigrants will become less relevant. Clearly, as we work to create and improve the future, we need to imagine a new set of distinctions. I suggest we think in terms of digital wisdom.

Read more ...

Think Small
by Robert Fritz

For many people, they have trouble thinking about small things they might want to create. When we ask people to make lists of small goals they might want, often they get stuck. They haven't got a clue as to how to think small.

They are filled with grand ambition, long-term ideas, important goals, major life objectives. And, there is nothing wrong with that on the face of it. But here's a little test about how one views these longer term aims: are they true desires, or are they obligations about what you should want in life?

Read more ...


Why Dads Leave

According to the [US] National Center for Fathering, "63% of black children, 35% of Hispanic children, and 28% of white children are living in homes absent their biological father."
Why Dads Leave: Insights & Resources for When Partners Become Parents - NEW BOOK!

"When John W. Travis, MD, lauded as one of the founding fathers of the wellness movement, became a parent, he was shocked to discover how unprepared he was for coping with the emotional challenges of parenthood. Now, his wife and colleague, Meryn Callander, shares the story of their confident plunge into parenthood and the subsequent unraveling of that confidence, as they discovered themselves floundering, exhausted, and struggling to deal with the challenges confronting them. Why Dads Leave reveals the cultural and generational forces that are colluding to create an unacknowledged epidemic of disappearing dads-fathers leaving their families, physically or emotionally, soon after the birth of a child. Nearly twenty years in the making, this book provides insights and practical ways of preventing and healing the insidious and devastating impact of this dynamic. Beautifully written, compassionate, and unflinchingly honest, Why Dads Leave offers understanding and hope for men-and the women who love them."

For a complete overview of this important new publication, visit

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!"

Parenting By Heart Membership Website

New from Pinky McKay, author of Parenting By Heart (and mother of five).

"Now, you CAN be the mother YOU want to be as you nurture your baby and your own sense of self - without guilt, stress or a sense of failure.

Being a mother is an enormous life change with lots of challenges, confusion and conflicting information that can make everything feel completely overwhelming. That's why I have created the 'Parenting by Heart Mummy Membership' program - to make parenting easier for you: to help you feel more confident, informed and reassured as you do the most amazing yet challenging job of all - nurturing your beautiful baby or child(ren)!"

Visit for further information

Interviews with Teresa Graham Brett

Teresa Graham Brett, author of Parenting for Social Change, talks about how to transform parenting and childhood. Two interviews with Barb Lungdren, founder of the Rethinking Everything Conference.

Listen to the interviews at

Free to Learn

A new book from Canadian unschooler Pam Lariccia.

"Thinking about homeschooling? Curious about unschooling? Walk with me as I share the five paradigm-changing ideas about learning and living that freed my family from the school schedule. With over ten years of experience, I have come to see how key these ideas were, and still are, to our unschooling lives. With stories, examples, and clear language, Free to Learn explores the depth and potential of unschooling."

Available as a paperback or in various ebook formats. It's excellent.

Find out more about Pam Laricchia and Free to Learn at

Unschooling Nation

A new unschooling support group on Yahoo! Take a look if this is of interest at:

There's also an Unschooling Nation Facebook group, which you'll find here.

Homeschool Association of California Conference 2012

"Featuring some of the best known speakers in the homeschooling and parenting community, HSC's annual conference is a place to explore, relax, learn and find time to meet with new friends. It's a place where everything you need to know about homeschooling is under one roof for an entire weekend!"

August 2nd-5th 2012

Woodlake Hotel, Sacramento, California

Visit for all the details

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

Get the details at

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

Florida Unschooling Conference

"We are thrilled to announce the first ever Florida Unschooling Conference - Un in the Sun!

We have selected beautiful Treasure Island, Florida as the sunny location for our inaugural conference. This area of Florida is known for its gorgeous white sand beaches, proximity to major attractions and Jimmy Buffet style laid back atmosphere!"

October 14 - 18, 2012

Treasure Island Florida

Find out more at

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 5 August 2012

Subscribe now and stay in touch

Published by Bob Collier, Canberra, Australia  

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

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