This week on Sunday Night, parents claim that the only way to raise strong, brave, and well-balanced kids is through a new global movement called ‘extreme parenting’.

Sunday Night reported, parents are taking their  children abseiling down dizzyingly-high sheer rock faces and attempting to climb the deadliest mountains in the world as part of a new trend in “extreme parenting”.

They also claim that overprotection of children has led to conditions such as ADHD, anxiety and depression, and that ‘extreme parenting’ is a logical cure.

James Castrission is a well-known Australian adventurer, who, along with his wife Mia, adopts this parenting style when it comes to his son four-year-old son Jack, and his eight-month-old daughter Charlotte.

The adventures began when Jack was only four months old.


“At four months we took him on his first overnight bush walk in the Blue Mountains so he was on a baby carrier on my front and a big pack and Mia was carrying some of our food and clothing for the night,” says James.

“People that don’t know these kind of environments would think “man that is crazy what he is doing with his kid.”

James maintains that “smothering” children is the real issue we need to be talking about.


“A huge body of research has come out showing a direct correlation with spending time in nature, pushing a kids boundaries and a whole lot of great developmental benefits.

“Kids who aren’t getting in nature unfortunately they have got high rates of obesity, whole lot of behavioral problems, ADHD.”

“Although a lot of parents want to protect their children, by smothering them in these highly controlled low risk environments we are actually doing more damage than good for them”

Surprisingly, paediatrician Desiree Silva wholeheartedly agrees with James Castrission’s parenting philosophy.

“What concerns me is that there are so many young kids now who are under the age of six for example who are on anti-depressants and on anti ADHD medications… maybe if they did something more outside and connected with nature they would probably have less of these issues of anxiety and depression.”

Patrick Sweeney a US climber thinks the bigger issue is parents who shelter their children from all life has to offer.

“I call them bulldozer parents, parents are trying to pave the smoothest path possible for their kids, they are trying to make everything perfect,” he says.

“Kids definitely need to be pushed but they shouldn’t be pushed too far and more importantly they shouldn’t be pushed for the wrong reasons.”

Do you think it is too extreme?

Share your comments below.

Image via Channel 7

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  • Spending time with your child/children is what parenting is all about – thanks for sharing this post.


  • No, I don’t think this is too extreme.
    I certainly think that spending time in nature and pushing a kids boundaries has great developmental benefits, but don’t believe this would cure ADHD.


  • I think your headline is misleading. In the story no one actually claims to cure anything, only that it’s good for kids.


  • each to there own I say this is not for me though


  • I too think it’s too extreme.


  • Interesting that they claim to cure ADHD.


  • Way too extreme
    Pushing kids too hard will result in anxiety
    My son goes to the parks alot
    And he has high anxiety and ADHD


  • I don’t think it’s too extreme. I actually love it! It’s so sad to hear that a lot of young kids are on medication. I would do anything to try to avoid that.

    • We knew the something not quite with with my nephew within a moth of his birth. He was shake as though he was shivering when his nappy was changed even if it was warm and the fan decided to “die”. By the age of one he showed signs of being hyperactive. The Dr. reckoned he was just very active. By the age of 2 1/2 he was showing symptoms of ADD and anxiety and was diagnosed at the age of 4. He was treated the same as his older brother – no differently. Would you do that to a 4 y.o.? In S.A. you would be charged with Child Abuse and given his anxiety, probably physilogical abuse. Given the fact that he has always bruised easily the Kindy staff would have spotted it if it was hot weather


  • Lke nz


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