Media Release 10th November 2010
Extreme Parenting: from ‘helicopter parents’ to ‘free range kids’.
Have we lost the common-sense middle ground?
Dr Rosina McAlpine, an internationally recognised, award-winning researcher, educator and mother talks about challenges of modern day parenting.
Conflicting parenting advice
Most parents accept that parenting is hard and that they need help. However, parenting advice is very confusing. Some experts advocate staying close to your children while others recommend giving them space. Over the years numerous conflicting approaches to parenting have come and gone and it’s no different today. So how are parents supposed to know what’s best?
“The current trends on parenting are situated at the extremes. Helicopter parents are criticised for ‘hovering’ over their children and being over protective. At the other end of the extreme are the advocates for raising independent ‘free-range kids’. It seems we’ve lost the common-sense approach to parenting and we need to ask ourselves what is parenting really about?, go back to basics and find the middle ground.” Dr Rosina
Inspired by her own experience of motherhood and concerned with the current trends in parenting, Dr Rosina developed the Inspired Children Program which empowers parents to help their children develop key life skills. It’s based on a common-sense approach to parenting with a focus on preparing children for life. As a working mother, Dr Rosina has first-hand personal experience about how busy today’s parents are, so the program develops life skills using activities that take only 15 minutes at a time. The program is emailed directly to parents providing weekly parenting advice and easy to follow life skills activities.
Parenting - no training or qualifications needed?
Most people accept that the majority of roles we play in society require qualifications and training. Accountants, doctors, pastry chefs and baristas are but a few examples. In particular, if you want to work with children whether at a day care centre, pre-school or school you need background checks and years of training. Parenting on the other hand is quite different. It involves taking care of children over many years with no background check and no need to learn anything about it.
“When I first became a parent I realised that I didn’t have all the knowledge I needed to help my child become a confident and well rounded person. As a researcher I put my skills to good use and interviewed experts and summarised the latest research on child development. Armed with this information I’ve become a more confident mother and have developed the Inspired Children Program to empower other parents and children.” Dr Rosina
Some people might say that you learn to parent from your experience of being parented and that may be true, but what if it wasn’t a wonderful experience? What then?
Parents can unintentionally get it very wrong
Most parents would agree that raising a child is one of lifes hardest and most rewarding challenges. So it isn’t surprising parents can unintentionally get it very wrong resulting in depressed, obese, unhappy and psychologically unsound children.
“Even though parents know deep down that supporting a child’s physical, emotional, psychological and intellectual development is very complex, many parents don’t seem to actively learn about the important task of raising another human being until things go wrong and they need professional help for their child”. Dr Rosina
7 key areas for life skill and attribute development: back-to-basics parenting
Children require love and guidance to help them develop skills and the personal qualities which will provide them with a strong foundation for life success. Parents need practical advice to help them be active and supportive parents. Dr Rosina McAlpine, founder of the Inspired Children Program has identified the 7 key areas for life skill and attribute development.
The aim is to help parents get ‘back-to-basics’ in relation to parenting and empower their children with life skills. In just one year, the Inspired Children Program provides children with over 100 skills and personal qualities including:
• good self-esteem and resilience • a love for learning and exploring career paths
• how to budget and manage money • social and environmental awareness
• nurturing personal and professional relationships • maintaining health through nutrition and exercise
• effective communication skills • creativity and imagination
• identifying and achieving goals • relaxation and play for work/life balance.
Most importantly the program helps children be inspired to lead a happy, productive and meaningful life.