Everybody has their own way of managing their kids, but some parents’ techniques can differ quite drastically from others.
Adele and Matt Allen have hit the headlines for their own ‘off-grid’ approach to child-rearing after they appeared on This Morning to discuss and defend their parenting style. Their guest spot was met with mixed reaction from viewers, with many criticising their controversial parenting approaches, particularly when their child had a toilet accident live on set.
The Allen family have been quite outspoken about their views on extended breastfeeding (their five-year-old son still feeds), vaccinations (they’re not fans) and school (the kids decide when to go!).
In a previous interview, Adele voiced her lack of trust in modern medicine. ‘I don’t really see that there’s any need other than using breastfeeding to supplement them. I don’t see any need to inject any foreign substance directly into the blood stream.’
Her children, Ulysses and Ostara, have never been to a doctor or had any medicine as their parents believe that breastmilk or fasting can heal almost anything. Breastmilk is used to treat eye infections, and the kids are given lemon juice when they have colds.
School isn’t on anybody’s minds either – the kids spend their days at home with their parents drawing on the walls for activity, and Ulysses can’t read or write.
Mum Adele told the Mail Online, ‘off-grid is moving towards self sustainability and being a bit more free range and less institutionalised.’
Both of her children were born at home with zero medical help, and Adele chose to keep their umbilical cords attached to them until they shrivelled and fell away naturally, while she carried the placenta on her in a little bag scented with rose petals and salt to disguise the smell.
‘With both my births it took six days for the umbilical chord to fall away naturally. You wrap it up and keep it clean and it falls away and forms a perfect belly button,’ she explains.
‘Ulysses still nurses from time to time. Since the baby came along it has decreased rapidly and we had to come to a mutual understanding that it needed to graduate down a bit, but then I wasn’t willing to say “no you need to stop now”.
‘I think it’s up to him to decide when he wants to move on from it. It’s something that’s just as natural as a hug is, it’s a connection.’
The family is currently saving up to move to Costa Rica, where they hope to lead a more eco-friendly life.
‘Our ultimate ambition is to move towards self-sustainability. We’re looking at Central America; somewhere we can get a big plot of land and grow food. Have the space for freedom and access to wildlife in it’s natural state,’ says Adele.
When This Morning invited them on set for a live interview on their views on family and parenting, little Ostara wandered away from her parents and brother to the edge of the carpet, and there was a slight weeing accident!
Comments and Tweets have since flooded in, with many criticising the off-grid parents.
One Twitter user wrote, ‘These parents are absolute morons. Have no clue how to parent properly what so ever, clearly! #offgridparenting.’
Another stated, ‘Can’t stand people like that, “the children choose for themselves” children need boundaries to feel secure, end of.’
Some people defended the couple, commenting ‘I think it’s a bit hypocritical to pass judgement on any parent unless you’re perfect yourself. Who says the ‘norm’ is right?’