Off-grid parents Adele and Matt Allen appeared on ‘This Morning’ to explain more about their parenting style [Photo: Rex Features]
Authoritative, attachment, positive…When it comes to parenting, everyone has their own way of doing things. Each to their own and all that. But one couple’s unusual style of child-rearing is causing controversy among other parents for its extreme techniques.
Adele and Matt Allen, from Brighton, have dubbed themselves ‘off-grid’ parents due to their beliefs that children don’t need vaccinations, doctors or official schooling. Their out-there views on raising their kids have already raised eyebrows, but an appearance on TV this week has created even more of a stir.
The couple appeared with their children Ulysses, five and Ostara, one, to discuss everything from their decision to keep their children out of mainstream schools to Adele’s choice to continue breastfeeding their five-year-old.
But their free-spirited ways caused quite a buzz with viewers on social media. Some critics accused Adele and Matt of being “ridiculous”, while others observed that the children - who were wandering the set - were “badly behaved.”
“These parents are absolute morons. Have no clue how to parent properly what so ever, clearly! #offgridparenting,” wrote one viewer.
“My god worst behaved kids ever, no boundaries, it shows,” added another.
The couple’s approach to parenting has created quite a stir [Photo: Rex Features]
The biggest reaction, however, came when the couple’s daughter appeared to wee on the studio floor, as her parents watched on.
But taking to her Facebook page, The Unconventional Parent, the mum-of-two defended her daughter, claiming she was wearing a nappy.
“Well done to Ulysses and poorly Ostara for putting up with the media chaos today… and Ostara did have a nappy on today but shock horror sometimes they leak!! #herecomethetrolls,” she wrote.
Her defence comes as it was revealed that the couple, who have never given their children medicine and prefer them not to wear shoes, are asking the public for £100,000.
Sharing a link on her Facebook page to a site called fundmytravel, the couple implored strangers for donations to help them move to Costa Rica and live 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,” it says in the website bio.
The couple used their appearance on This Morning to explain a little more about their unusual parenting approach, claiming they shun conventional medicines, such as Calpol, in favour of more natural treatments. Even when their children were suffering from chicken pox and scarlet fever.
“We treated it naturally. We believe in the body to self heal,” she told presenters Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes. “If you support the body’s healing through supplements and herbs then it will heal.”
“I don’t believe that bringing a fever down artificially helps the body. I believe a fever is there for a purpose to clean the body out.”
In a previous interview with Mail Online, Adele explained that both of her children were born at home with no 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.
Speaking about how often she breastfeeds her son who’s now five, Adele explained: “It really depends on the day. He does it more at home when he’s feeling tired or needs comfort.
“Not so much when we’re out but sometimes if he’s feeling a bit emotional he asks to. And that’s fine with me.”
And when asked about disciplining their children the couple explained that they favour a gentle approach. Pointing out that, though they didn’t mind, the children were clambering over the sofa, Ruth asked if Ulysses is ever disciplined by his parents.
“He would do as we ask,” Adele explained. “We speak to him respectfully as an equal human being. He is a highly sensitive child so he does struggle with getting overwhelmed easily so it’s important for him not to have strong, authoritarian discipline.”
Little Ostara wanders around the studio before her ‘accident’ [Photo: Rex Features]
Though there was some criticism of their style of parenting, there was also some social media support for the couple.
“Why are people so horrified that the children are jumping around, being breastfed and weeing? All natural parts of being a kid,” one woman wrote.
“So refreshing to see these parents doing what feels natural rather than conforming.”
What do you think about off-grid parenting? Let us know @YahooStyleUK.