Is ‘Feral Parenting’ the Way of the Future?


Day after day, we report on disturbing examples of the way modern parents have stopped taking seriously their responsibility to guide and shape their children, and are letting children make decisions that are far too grievous for little ones to make.

Whether it’s a four-year-old asking to see an art exhibition featuring a live, fully-nude man, or a four-year-old asking for medical intervention so they can change into the opposite sex, parents in today’s society have given up their responsibility as parents to be governed by the whims of their children.

These parents in England have decided to adopt this disturbing parenting trend as a philosophy–by letting their children do pretty much whatever they want.

The Rawnsley family is the subject of a new BBC program, ‘Feral Kids’, which follows the wild family of 7 that has no boundaries.

Matriarch Gemma Rawnsley, 35, is proud of her rag-tag pack of children, Skye, 13, Finlay, 12, Phoenix, 9, Pearl, 8, Hunter, 5, Zephyr, 3, and 1-year-old Woolf.

The five children do not go to school, which of course is understandable, however, they are also not homeschooled.

If they express interest in reading or writing, their parents teach them. Phoenix only recently learned to read because he wanted to message friends on his Xbox.

One might think the family philosophy of letting the children pursue their interests is much like unschooling or eclectic homeschooling, and there certainly is something to be said for teaching children to say, use an ax to chop wood, rather than forbid them completely from something because it is dangerous.

However, when we say the children can do whatever we want, this is not an exaggeration. They are allowed to curse, without correction, to get piercings and tattoos, cut their own hari, to eat whatever they want, whenever they want, and to set their own bedtimes and daily activities.

So what is the purpose of all this?

“I didn’t have a stable upbringing,” Gemma says. “My mission has been about helping my kids have the most interesting, fun and happy lives in a house filled with the love I never had.”

They want their children to enjoy life before facing the challenges of adulthood.

The trouble with this is they’re doing absolutely nothing to equip their children for adulthood. While Gemma says she doesn’t want her children to “grow up too fast”, she is robbing them of the most valuable experience of childhood: guidance.

By leaving her children to their own devices, they are growing up far too fast. They are children, and not ready to make sound decisions as to what is sensible to wear, eat, and do with their day. It is certainly a blessing to have children spend their days in their own home with their family and learn about things that interest them.

But if they are not learning structure and discipline from their parents, what are they learning?

We certainly pray this trend does not catch on!