Gemma and Lewis Rawnsley starred on a show called Feral Families—a show about the increasingly popular parenting trend of raising children without any rules. The Channel 4 documentary follows three different families who are ‘raising their children under the off-grid parenting philosophy,’ according to its official description.
Gemma and Lewis’ children, from Yorkshire, UK, are entitled to make their own decisions and can be seen eating ice cream at midnight and even shaving their own heads. The mother of the seven children, Gemma, said that her kids are no longer in school and they are allowed to curse, set their own bedtimes and dye their hair.
The seven children are 13-year-old Skye, 12-year-old Finlay, 9-year-old Phoenix, 8-year-old Pearl, 5-year-old Hunter, 3-year-old Zephyr, and one-year-old Wolf.
The family of seven showed up on a television show called This Morning to discuss their parenting tactics.
On the show, the two hots, Ben Shepherd and Amanda Holden, couldn’t help but compliment how well behaved the children were. Amanda said: ‘without sounding patronizing, for this amount of children in the studio, they’re so well-behaved.’
Gemma, who is a mobile hairdresser, explains her decision: ‘my upbringing was the complete opposite. I didn’t have a happy time growing up and I always wanted to recreate and have my own family and do it right. When I had them I was overwhelmed with this love. When it came time for Skye to go to school it didn’t feel right, but I sent her anyway and went along with the whole thing and so many things happened that I wasn’t happy with and I thought I’m going to do this myself.’
Soon after, the 35-year-old mother began homeschooling her children. On the show, she explained how she ran her homeschooling like a ‘high school.’
‘It was so strict. We had timetables for everything and it was the learning education authority that came and said ‘whoa, this is intense, you’re doing way more than they even do in school.’
The kids are also allowed to eat whatever they please and dad explains: ‘As a general lifestyle choice we’re vegans so we have a lot of healthy options in the house and they’re allowed to have that whenever they want. So if me or you were hungry at 10 o’clock at night we’d go get something to eat, you wouldn’t deny yourself that option or privilege of having a snack so why should I deny them?’
Gemma then detailed how her middle daughter, Pearl, decided to shave her head but only with her mother’s guidance since Gemma is a hairdresser. ‘It’s hair, it’s only temporary. That’s more about us as parents – ‘I want my daughter to have pretty lovely hair’. What about what she wants?’
The interviewers then turned to Finley, the second oldest child, and asked him how he felt about being homeschooled. Finley said: ‘the freedom to be with your family and not do what you want, but do what you want to a certain degree, like do a certain kind of school work and if you want to do a certain project you can do that.’
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