Off-Grid Parenting: Meet The Family Rejecting Jobs, Medicine, And School

Adele Allen and husband Matt are proud parents to son Ulysses, 5, and daughter Ostara, 1, practising “off-grid” parenting that rejects bedtimes, vaccinations, and just about everything else.

Adele still breastfeeds five-year-old Ulysses and after both births allowed the umbilical cords to fall off naturally after six days, saying, “If babies were meant to have their umbilical cords cut at birth, we’d be born with scissors.”

On her decision to refuse modern medicine for her kids, Adele says: “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 bloodstream. If you use plants and herbs, you target the bad without attacking the good.”

Adele and Matt have come under fire recently for their choices, but insist they’re not forcing anything on their kids — or other parents.

“We are not suggesting that everyone lives like us, all we are hoping to do is challenge people’s thinking about parenting and maybe integrate some ideas into their own lives.”

“If Ulysses and Ostara reject our lifestyle when they are old and make their own choices, then that is fine with us. We just want them to be happy.”

“We accept other people’s choices and do not judge them, so why judge us?”

But the couple admit their “off-grid” style isn’t perfect: “Of course we don’t always get it right. It’s hard not to fall back on convention and tell your child to ‘sit still’ or ‘we’ll play later, I’m busy’, or give them a bag of crisps when they ask.”

“But we let them tell us what they need. They reflect back to us what we show them.”

The family even appeared on TV and caused outrage when Ostara appeared to urinate on the floor on UK show This Morning.

The couple barely batted an eyelid, saying: “Every parent has had a leaky nappy incident and what five-year-old doesn’t want to roam free?”

Toilet-training aside, Adele and Matt also admit it’s been hard for their own parents to accept their alternative ways.

“To them, it might feel like a rejection of them personally and the way they brought us up, but it isn’t.

“Of course they’d like to see us follow a more traditional path, with steady jobs, an income, and a foot on the property ladder, but we don’t want to compromise family life, [and end up] not seeing our children because of the straitjacket of a mortgage.”

“Some parents feel compelled to put their babies in childcare, because they have to work. Everyone does the best they can, but how does that impact on parent and child?”

Some aspects of Adele’s parenting are more understandable, like her decision not to wear make up “because I don’t want my daughter to grow up seeing society’s obsessions with appearance reflected in me”.

But the couple again sparked anger when they revealed their plan to move to South America and start an off-grid utopia — and asked the public to pay for it through fundraising.

But despite the controversy surrounding their family life, Adele and Matt are sticking to what they believe in.

“One day [the kids] may reject everything we believe in and become hedge fund managers,” says Matt, “That’s fine by us. That will be their choice, just as we have made ours.”

You can see more of the Allen’s “off-grid” lifestyle in the video below.

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