Off-Grid Parents Shamed For Toddler Weeing on Live TV 6 years ago

Off-Grid Parents Shamed For Toddler Weeing on Live TV

We love an old public shaming these days. The latest targets for Twitter ire were Brighton parents, Adele and Matt Allen who are raising their kids, Ulysses and Ostara 'off-grid'.

The family was invited on to ITV's This Morning show to talk about their alternative approach to parenting which includes child-led weaning (their older child Ulysses, is 5 years old and nurses occasionally though this decreased by mutual agreement when his younger sister came along), homeschooling, no medical intervention – they prefer 'self-healing' through 'supplements and herbs' and no vaccination.

So obviously Twitter had a bit of a field day when one-year-old Ostara wandered off to explore the studio set and did a wee on the floor.

Shocked viewers expressed their disgust, calling the child "weird" and "badly behaved":

"PLEASE tell me I'm not the only person who has just seen a weird child pee on the floor on This Morning," says an appalled @kealeypreston.

"Badly behaved children, weird parents, oh and the baby piddled on the floor, there will be trouble ahead!! #thismorning #offgridparenting," from @lovelaughing, who may have never actually met a human child apparently.

"I can't believe those people on #thismorning have just let their child clearly stand and wee on the floor," an incredulous @takesabitM0re) tweets.

The funny thing is, bar the public defecating (Shock! Horror! And in one so young... OH wait), I thought the children were remarkably well-behaved. My own toddler would not have tolerated the foreign environment, bright lights and imposed 'sitting still' very well at all. Weeing on someone else's floor is probably not even the worst thing, he's done so far today.

The Allens are clearly loving parents. Their children are not feral or abused; they are different. The Allens' approach might be unorthodox, but it is considered, they have given real thought to their parenting choices and in my opinion are brave for speaking about their lifestyle, especially as we are living in pretty conservative times where judging eachother is practically a hobby.

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The Allens did have some supporters among the Twitter mob:

"So refreshing to see these parents doing what feels natural rather than conforming #offgridparenting #thismorning," said @Lottie_Palmer.

"@itvthismorning good luck to them it's their lives everyone always has an opinion of things that don't concern them! Good luck guys!" from @mellyscho13.

"@itvthismorning Brilliant, refreshing and exactly how I'd want to raise my kids. I have a lot of respect for this family." says @charbour_

For the most part, I think off-grid parenting, if it is your bag, is your business. The only tricky part of the Allens' stance, of course, is the anti-vaccination which is where personal lifestyle choices impact on the wider society. It's such a contentious issue, even among my own family we have a mixture of perspectives and a pool of little cousins – some who are vaccinated and some who are not.

What's your take on the off-grid approach? Let us know in the comments...

Main image: ITV