A young couple have revealed their unique approach to raising their children which includes letting them go out at night and swim at the beach alone.
Sammy and Jason spoke about the ‘lighthouse’ parenting style they’ve adopted for their four kids on the Channel Nine program, Parental Guidance.
Lighthouse parenting is a watchful but hands off approach that empowers children to do things on their own. But parents will step in when needed.
Sammy and Jason explained in front of other parents that their two eldest kids – Pepper, 10, Jude, 6 – can go out at night under certain circumstances.
The program shows one instance where mother Sammy tells the pair to go out after dark and pick up dinner from the local fish and chip shop down the road.
Sarah and Jason (pictured) go for the ‘lighthouse’ parenting style when it comes to raising their four children
‘It’s not possible for us to be there all the time so it’s important we teach them to fend for themselves,’ Sammy said in a behind the scenes interview.
Pepper and Jude are also able to go for a swim at the beach, which is situated right by the family home, without supervision.
Sammy explained that her and Jason are ‘outnumbered’ as they need to monitor their two youngest children – Rory, 3, and Lottie, 2 – as well.
‘We can’t focus on our attention on each individual kid, which means we have to let the other kids have their own freedom and their own space,’ Sarah continued.
‘So we’re happy for the two older ones to go swimming by themselves.’
‘It’s an opportunity for them to showcase how independent they can be, and give them some trust as well.’
The couple revealed on Nine’s Parental Guidance that they allow their two eldest children – Pepper, 10, Jude, 6 (pictured) – to leave the house alone under certain circumstances
The program shows one instance where the pair go to the local fish and chip shop to pick up the family’s dinner
The mother-of-four stressed that she didn’t want to ‘scare the kids’, ‘hover over them’ or ‘see danger when there is none’.
However, some parents on the show disagreed with Sarah and Jason’s approach, with a few taking particular issue with the couple letting their kids swim alone.
‘I feel ill. Kids at the beach by themselves at that age makes me feel physically ill,’ mother Leanne said.
‘That water can change in an instant and from where you are and where the kids are, they’re gone.’
Sarah conceded that that was ‘something most people aren’t comfortable with’.
‘The thing with our parenting style is the children to be aware of their own limitations,’ she said.
The couple revealed that Pepper and Jude are allowed to swim at the local beach, which is in front of the family home, by themselves without supervision
The program’s host, Allyson Langdon, asked the parents whether they considered the lifeguards to be ‘babysitters’ in that instance, which Jason rejected.
‘We are watching them constantly,’ he claimed.
Another mother, Amy, asked Sarah why she didn’t want to go down the beach with them and ‘enjoy them in that moment’.
Sarah said they still had to look after their two other children back at their home.
A third mother, also named Sarah, questioned whether the two kids should be ‘responsible’ for looking out for each other and how one child would feel if something ended up happening to their sibling.
‘Anything our children do we assess the risks,’ Jason explained.
The couple told the parents that the whole basis of their style was developing trust with their children and allowing them to know their own boundaries.