The segment told the story of parents who take their children, some as young as four months old, on grueling physical adventures to teach them how to take calculated risks, recognise danger, face their fears, and build their character.
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.”
WATCH an excerpt from Sunday Night’s report. Post continues after video…
But 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.”