Though Adele and Matt Allen are far from the worst parents of 2017, the Allen family's unconventional parenting methods warrant a bit of scrutiny. Due to an epiphany during Adele's first pregnancy, the Allens decided to become parents who raise free range children, an approach they also refer to as "off the grid." Raising a free range child actually requires very little effort, because as a free range parent, you enforce no rules. In the Allen household, free range kids Ulysses and Ostara follow no bedtime, wear no shoes, and never visit doctors. Furthermore, these parents don't vaccinate their children, a move which only movies you higher in the running towards becoming the worst parents of all time.
Though the Allens act as if their lifestyle affects only themselves, their impact goes beyond the confines of their free range home. Their appearances in various media outlets lends visibility and in some cases credibility towards unsafe practices like not vaccinating your children. Anyone familiar with the history of polio or smallpox understands vaccination is not just a parenting fad or government conspiracy. But this information likely falls flat on the ears of a family who let their son breastfeed long after he learned to walk and talk.
They Do Not Vaccinate Their KidsVideo: YouTube
The Allen parents believe childhood diseases help in developing a child's immunity. Because of this stance, neither of their children received any sort of vaccination. As a result of this action, or rather inaction, not only do her children suffer from preventable disease, they also may spread that disease to other children who may not be vaccinated due to their age or issues with accessibility. Five-year-old Ulysses already endured both scarlet fever and chicken pox, two conditions childhood vaccines protect against.
"We treated it naturally," Adele said. "We believe in the body to self-heal … If you support the body's healing through supplements and herbs then it will heal."
The Parents Enforce No RulesPhoto: Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY
From Adele's accounts, there truly appears to be no rules, expectations, or guidelines established in the Allen household. Bedtimes and potty training, while standard rules and procedures in most households, do not apply to Allen's children. One astute observer noted the recklessness of such unstructured methods. "If you don't set … rules in the home, how do you expect them to abide by the rules of society? Quite dangerous."
The Kids Walk Barefoot EverywherePhoto: flickr / CC0
In an environment with no rules, is anyone surprised Adele and Matt allow their kids to be barefoot whenever they so desire, even when out in public? Matt explained the philosophy behind it like this as "a great way for [them] to feel alive and feel the sensations beneath [their] feet." There statement relies on some wavy-gravy logic, as sharp glass and dirty needles also cause "sensations," but, again, the kids' safety and the potential for needless suffering appear to be secondary issues in the Allen household. Walking barefoot all the time, especially for children, leads to numerous issues.
Adele Breastfed Her Son Until He Was Six
Adele never let the fact that her son was a walking, talking, functioning child prevent her from breastfeeding him. And when it came time to stop, Ulysses made the decision, not her. "He decided it was the right time," she explained. So if Ulysses decided to continue breastfeeding until age 18, apparently Adele would be cool with it.