Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Adele Allen and my family and I have recently worked with Barcroft TV to produce a short documentary on our unconventional parenting methods, which has often been referred to as "off-grid" parenting. This short video created quite a stir in the headlines and we ended up on a live national morning news show with our kids to have a discussion to elaborate on some of the more controversial topics raised such as not vaccinating, extended breastfeeding and our use of positive discipline.
The morning of the show we woke up in our hotel in London after a long evening of delayed travel the previous day. My kids hadn't gone to sleep until 11 p.m. due to a late arrival and excitement over staying in the Plaza Hotel for the first time. Needless to say we were pretty exhausted before we even arrived at the studio. Upon arrival we found we had at least an hour wait before going on set in a small waiting room with no toys... eek!
My son, Ulysses, did really well entertaining himself with paper and crayons but was getting more and more antsy to be on his way home where he could feel free to move about and explore without constraint. When we finally made it on set, the crew wanted to take both kids in a separate room with strangers while we, their parents, began the show without them. Ulysses may have been OK with that but my 15-month-old, Ostara, who was also dealing with the flu, certainly wasn't!
The crew were really good about it all and let us begin the show with the kids present and by this time Ostara had downed a lot of water to cool down her slightly raised body temperature. At the same time, Ulysses had been sitting down a long time in the waiting room and needed to move. The chat with the hosts went great, but both of us were so engaged with them and trying to keep our son from a meltdown on live TV, that we didn't notice Ostara toddle off and pee right through her diaper which had been changed just a few hours before. She's currently in the process of showing signs for potty training readiness and frequently rips off or tugs at her diapers which can cause a monumental leak.
Of course the cameras picked up on this, and all hell broke lose on Twitter:
Furthermore, the raging hordes seemed to be outraged that Ulysses was bouncing around the sofa to calm his nerves and the public hastily labelled my kids badly behaved and "feral." I have never seen such a ridiculous reaction in my life!
Have we, as a society, gone back to the dark ages and believe children should be seen and not heard?
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On top of all this, I've also been criticized for allowing my children to be exposed to the media chaos. All I can say is that I don't believe my message would be heard without witnessing the kids interacting with us, their parents. I'm not enrolling them in pageants, taking them on baby fashion shoots, or on the road 24/7, and they're now at home resting for a good four days without any excitement.
At the end of the day, parenting is tough and messy. Kids naturally need to move and explore to regulate their nervous systems, especially in times of unfamiliarity and stress. It's true I'm unconventional, but that doesn't mean I sit here judging your kids or your choices. I'm just here to spread the message that there are different ways of doing this parenting thing.
So let's stop all this parent bashing and let kids be kids!