The Parental Intelligence Newsletter

5 August 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 21 articles and 6 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.



"Let's raise children who won't have to recover from their childhood." - Pam Leo


Happy Healthy Child: A Holistic Approach
by Sarah Kamrath

An Interview with Bruce Lipton By Sarah Kamrath

Earlier this year, filmmaker Sarah Kamrath sat down with Bruce Lipton, Ph.D., for an interview about a holistic approach to parenting for her Happy Healthy Child DVD series. Lipton, the author of such books as Spontaneous Evolution and The Biology of Belief, is an internationally recognized leader in bridging science and spirit, and a regular contributor to Pathways [Pathways to Family Wellness magazine]. This is an excerpt of their longer conversation.

Read more ...

by Gloria Le May

Birth is an opportunity to make a profound difference in the life of another. Whether or not one recognizes and takes that opportunity is a choice.

Read more ...

Cherishing Our Children
by Pam Leo

What does it mean to cherish our children? I don't think I've even heard the word cherish used since the days when it was the title of a popular song. The admonition not to spoil children has been part of our parenting culture for so long that most parents are reluctant to shower love abundantly on their children for fear of spoiling them. Cherishing our children does not mean buying them everything, giving them anything they want, letting them do anything they want or not teaching them acceptable behavior. That would be spoiling them. The word, cherish, as defined in my dictionary means: to hold dear; feel or show love for; to take good care of; protect. Tender, loving care is the foundation of cherishing children.

Read more ...

Be Our Own Experts
by Sam Turton

We often come to emotional healing work because our lives aren't working, we are in emotional distress and don't know what to do. We seek out an "expert" - someone who will make us "better."

This attitude of helplessness is a continuation of the very illness that is plaguing us - an inability to fully feel, and therefore trust the wisdom of the self. This lack of trust in the self, this sense that we "don't know" (that someone else does), is the sad result of the authoritarianism of the neurotic family structure and its oppression of the young self.

Read more ...

The Con of Controlled Crying
by Pinky McKay

Although many baby sleep trainers claim there is no evidence of harm from practices such as controlled crying, it is worth noting that there is a vast difference between "no evidence of harm" and "evidence of no harm".

Read more ...

Atrocious Advice from "Supernanny"
by Alfie Kohn

A despot welcomes a riot. Disorder provides an excuse to rescind liberties in order to restore calm. There are only two choices, after all: chaos and control. Even the creators of Get Smart understood that.

And so, too, do the creators of Supernanny and Nanny 911.

Read more ...

Unnatural Consequences
by Sarah Fitz-Claridge

First published in the paper journal, Taking Children Seriously, way back in TCS 22, the purpose of this article was to show that what parenting experts call "natural consequences" are no such thing, and that what these experts are really advocating is punishing children and denying resonsibility for the resulting distress that their children feel. Whether TCS or not, many parents find the idea of such dishonesty alarming. For those who are interested, I then go on to explain what a TCS parent would consider a real natural consequence.

Read more ...

What you MUST ask before following any advice about YOUR baby
by Pinky McKay

It can be so difficult as a parent to sift through a minefield of conflicting advice, can't it? Who do you trust? Which advice is 'right'?  Where is this advice coming from? Almost as soon as you baby bump begins to show, it seems that everyone is an expert about YOUR baby!

Whenever you hear advice that doesn't feel quite right to you or if you hear about a new approach and you aren't quite certain about it, it is good to put this through your filters and do a check in.  To make this simple I have three questions you can ask yourself ...

Read more ...

Bonding Matters. . .The Chemistry of Attachment
by Linda F. Palmer, DC

Human babies are born helpless, needing to be entirely cared for and protected. Luckily, they are born with all the necessary tools and "instructions" to attain such care for themselves, and to become a loved and loving part of their family and society. The ingrained neural and hormonal interactions provided for parent and child to assist them in this process are among the most powerful in nature. The hormonal cues are clear and compelling and our instincts can provide us with all the appropriate responses. Without taking great efforts to avoid and ignore such urges, parents will naturally follow the advice of their neurons and hormones, nurturing their babies and maintaining physical closeness with them.

Read more ...

12 Exercises for Mindful Parenting
by Myla and Jon Kabat-Zinn

With these meditative techniques, raising children can be a spiritual practice.

1. Try to imagine the world from your child's point of view, purposefully letting go of your own. Do this every day for at least a few moments to remind you of who this child is and what he or she faces in the world.

Read more ...

The Invitation of Aware Parenting - How our babies and children help us to flourish
by Marion Badenoch Rose

Do you want to help your child be the most she can be?  Do you want to give her all that you can give, so that she can bloom?  Have you ever considered that she may be giving you as much as you are giving her?  That she is calling you forth - inviting you to become the parent and person you are capable of being?

Read more ...

The Happy Child
by Sam Turton

My granddaughter Tayler is now ten months old. She had a good womb life and a midwife-assisted natural childbirth. She was born within a contented marriage to a mother and father who love and adore her. She was breastfed and held according to her needs, and she was never left to cry. She has been loved and held and carried within a large supportive family structure.

Read more ...

Families That Think - Creating the Proper Family Environment So Our Kids Can Think for Themselves
Dr. Elisa Medhus

Do we want our kids to use their noggins wisely and independently, or do we want them to be little ventriloquist dummies parroting the thoughts of the pop culture and their peers? Not really a hard choice, is it? But where do we start? Creating the proper family environment so that our children are comfortable with who they are is the foundation we must first lay down if we're to raise self-directed kids. After all, if they aren't at ease with their own sense of self, how can they trust their own choices? Instead, they'll rely on outside factors to guide them-outside influences that may be corrupt and destructive. Let's take a look at how we have all been inclined to shape the family milieu in a way that fosters external over self-direction as well as some ways we can correct these nasty habits.

Read more ...

Suggestibility: How to be an Einstein
by Mark Tyrrell

We are creatures who are easily influenced beyond our conscious awareness and who will automatically try to fit the type or stereotype presented to us - especially if we are not conscious of exactly what it is. So teenagers adopt the type they are exposed to on TV and socially, and talk and dress and act accordingly (rather than imitate their parents). And we tend to eventually adopt the accents and phrases and attitudes of those we mix with.

Read more ...

"Learning Disability": A Rose by Another Name
by Jan Hunt

Imagine for a moment that you are visiting a plant nursery. You hear a commotion outside, so you investigate. You find a young assistant struggling with a rose bush - he is trying to force open the petals of a rose, and muttering in frustration. You ask him what he is doing, and he explains, "My boss wants all these roses to bloom this week, so last week I taped all the early ones, and now I'm opening the late ones." You protest that every rose has it's own schedule of blooming; it is absurd to try to slow down or speed this up; it doesn't matter when roses bloom; a rose will always bloom at its own best time. You look at the rose again, and see that it is wilting. But when you point this out, he replies, "Oh, too bad, it has genetic dysbloomia. I'll have to call an expert." "No, no!" you say, "you caused the wilting! All you needed to do was meet the flowers' needs for water and sunshine, and leave the rest to nature!" You can't believe this is happening. Why is his boss so unrealistic and uninformed about roses?

Read more ...

Educational Superstitions of our time - Shakespeare, Maths and Handwriting
by Ronald Meighan

Professor S. Bengu, The Minister of Education for South Africa, gave a keynote speech at a conference on democratic education last May [2000?]. In it explained his country's intention to move away from a bureaucrat-driven imposed curriculum towards a learner-driven curriculum by 2005.

The enthusiasts for imposing a curriculum on the learners are often horrified at such heresy. "What if the learners do not choose to learn Shakespeare?"

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 ...

Is The TV Making Me Stupid?
by Adam Eason

It is a good question… This week I got asked a particular question to do with the fact that I often refer to TV watching throughout my work… You may have guessed that I love TV… I really do… At the moment, I am utterly engrossed with Lost, 24, Fringe and laugh out loud at the TV, get emotional and so much more… I wanted to share with you what I think about this idea that some people say about TV making people stupid or limiting us in some way…

Read more ...

Economics of Restricting TV Watching of Children
by Pam Sorooshian

Conclusion: Restricting tv-watching time increases the marginal utility of tv watching and causes children to become extremely strongly attracted to it and to value tv-watching above other, nonrestricted, activities.

Read more ...

Ideals Are Harmful to Your Health and Well Being
by Robert Fritz

Some people ask me where I get my ideas for these blog entries. There are many places, things that happen during the course of life, something that someone happens to mention, a book I come across that I like or think is silly... many places. But one place that is a consistent source of material is Oprah Winfrey's website. It is so filled with self-help and New Age ideas that it can make your head spin. I must say, almost everything I read there is pretty silly and gives me something to argue against on a slow day.

Read more ...

Growing Up to Be Awesome
by Jason Kotecki

One of the goals of any good parent, I think, is to have your kids grow up to be awesome.

And by awesome, I don't necessarily mean popular. Or rich. Or having a job with a fancy title.

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!"

Leaving Home: The Journey from Birth to Emerging Adulthood, A 14 Part Video Series

Based on the upcoming book, Leaving Home: The Journey From Birth To Emerging Adulthood by John Breeding, PhD.   The book delves into the dynamics of human development from birth to young adulthood, the movement toward and through emerging adulthood. 

Part One: The Psychology Around Birth and Pregnancy

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

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!

There is no next issue of this newsletter

This final issue of the Parental Intelligence Newsletter will be archived and replaced by a new and permanent Parental Intelligence home page, including a comprehensive site map, on or about 19 August 2012

Please bookmark for future reference

Published by Bob Collier, Canberra, Australia  

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

Parental Intelligence