So, I don’t often use my blog as a platform for my personal judgements, or at least, I try not to. But something in the parenting world came to light today that I’ve never heard of before and honestly, I feel very “judgey” about it.
Now. In the interest of trying to be objective and not a complete asshole, I’ve since done a little research, but I’m still bloody baffled.
This Morning on ITV’s much loved magazine show aptly titled “This Morning” there was a couple named Adele and Matt Allen who call themselves Off-Grid Parents. They have two children and have currently set up a funding page asking the British public to donate £100,000 to them so that they can take the whole family to Costa Rica to live a self sufficient life at one with nature. So far, it makes sense right? Only, there’s way more to it.
Off-Grid parenting, as well as a need to be self sufficient and close to the earth also apparently involves denying your children basic medical care, shoes, education, friends, the list goes on! Ok, you can probably sense my view on it already, can you?
Off-gridding is the idea that you don’t need the standard system to raise your kids. No doctors, no schools, just the family unit. That’s not entirely unheard of and I’m sure has it’s merits. So the Allen’s children have never been immunised, again, there are pros and cons to immunising. I’m all for it, but I get where people are coming from. The Allen’s children don’t wear shoes so they can feel life through their feet (😳 even though both parents have shoes on in all their videos!) The Allen’s children are home schooled only interacting with their parents who claim “there is no need for them to be able to read and write” The Allen’s children all sleep in one big bed with their parents (which begs the question when did you conceive the second one if you never leave your child and you all sleep together 🙈) If the Allen’s children get ill they are given herbs and vegetables and reassured that their bodies will heal themselves! The Allen’s children have no routine, no bed time, no discipline, no social interaction with other kids, no friends, no shoes, no bedrooms, no independence. Oh, and they are still breastfed…..at age 5.
Now. I’m not saying that we all have to raise our kids the same way, that’s not what I’m about. But if you don’t belive in shoes then why are you wearing them mum and dad? If you don’t believe in formal education and reading and writing skills then how the hell did you learn to fill your blog and Facebook with words? If you believe in self sufficiency then why are you begging for other people’s money to the tune of £100k? If you breastfeed your 5 year old son purely because it maintains the close personal bond you have (her words not mine) then why have you plastered the Internet with pictures of him with your boob in his mouth? If you want to get off the grid then why blog, go on tv, exploit your family and advertise your way of life to every media outlet you can find?
I really wasn’t going to wade into this conversation today, but after watching Adele Allen say in her begging video that parents who use baby sleep training techniques like cry it out are negligent and should be considered to be abusing their child, I couldn’t hold my tongue.
Two words Adele and Matt Allen
You might also find it interesting that at the time of writing this, their funding page stands at a whopping £47