Hi, I’m Bob Collier.
I’m the publisher of the Parental Intelligence newsletter.
I come originally from London, England, but I now live in Canberra, the capital city of Australia, with my wonderful wife, Mary, and our two fantastic children, Bronwyn and Patrick. Bronnie was born in Sydney, Australia, in 1985, and Patrick in London in 1995.
For most of the time since I became a parent, my primary occupation has been ‘stay-at-home dad’.
That fabulous adventure began way back in February 1986, when my daughter was about six or seven months old. At that time, I was very much a traditional father, in full-time employment in the workforce while my wife was at home with our new baby. Then my wife was offered a job by her former employers at a salary significantly higher than I was earning, and, since we were determined that our daughter would be raised at home by her parents in preference to any other way, the full-time stay-at-home parent role fell to me by default.
I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to write that best-selling novel I’d always wanted to write, but it didn’t turn out that way! Instead, it became the start of a journey into a whole new world that radically changed my perception of reality and created for me an unusual way of life that relatively few fathers are ever privileged to know.
Now, all these years later, besides publishing my parenting newsletter, I’m involved in another ‘whole new world of adventure’ – home educating my son Patrick, after he decided to opt out of the school system at the end of 2002.
Bronnie, at the same time, graduated from high school (in the top 1% of students in the Australian Capital Territory) and is now at the University of Canberra taking a double degree in Arts and Law.
I’m not a parenting expert, nor am I striving to become one, but I’m confident that I know something useful about the subject and I feel that – in partnership with my wife, Mary – I’ve been pretty successful as a parent so far. Whether that’s true or not, I’m very pleased to say that my children’s lives are a hugely positive contrast to my own rather sad and painful childhood.
My parenting philosophy is based on what I’ve learned (and continue to learn) from the self-help, personal development and ‘success psychology’ books I like to read and have been reading for more than twenty years (now augmented by my daily explorations on the internet!) – which is possibly why my parenting philosophy is a little out of the ordinary.
Before I started publishing my Parental Intelligence newsletter in August 2002, I’d never actually read a book on parenting (or even a magazine article that I can recall) in my entire life, and I still prefer to ignore most of the recognized ‘parenting experts’ and focus simply on positive and creative ideas from any and every quarter – not only about raising happy and successful children but also about how we, as parents, can enjoy the experience more and in ways that benefit our own personal development.
From my own childhood experiences of parental incompetence and my deep involvement in the day-to-day activities of parenting my own children over many years, I’ve become especially interested in those aspects of parenting in itself – as both an art and a science – that go far beyond what I call ‘the mechanics’. I’ve come to believe that parenting today is probably more complicated and requires a greater intellectual commitment than at any time in human history (that’s, of course, on top of the always required huge emotional commitment to what is arguably one of society’s most demanding occupations!).
For me, truly successful parenting is ultimately a product of what goes on in our minds. Our parenting behaviour is an expression of what we think about when we think about our children (and our relationships with our children). Successful parenting is also about learning. In order to constantly improve our thinking and our parenting, we need to be open to new information and knowledge, especially in this time of radical change.
That’s why I call my newsletter Parental Intelligence</i>.
I hope it will help you enjoy the experience of being a parent and that it will, through you, contribute to the happiness and success of your children.
Have a great day!