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Viewers infuriated by ‘lazy’ parenting on Feral Families

Viewers have reacted in fury to a a documentary exploring the lives of families who let their children skip school, dye their hair and live a life devoid of rules.

Channel 4’s Feral Families examined parents who refuse to discipline their children, a growing number of Brits embracing so-called ‘extreme unschooling’.

Appearing on the controversial documentary on Thursday night, Vickie Hairsine, 25, from East Hull, left viewers aghast by offering to dye seven-year-old daughter Jessica’s hair bright purple.

And her decision sparked a social media storm with Twitter users branding Vickie ‘lazy’ and irresponsible. 

Controversial: Vickie Hairsine, 25, from East Hull, left viewers aghast by offering to dye seven-year-old daughter Jessica’s hair bright purple (pictured)

One blasted: ‘Seriously, how are these kids going to survive as adults?’ while another wrote: ‘This is just grinding on me! Kids need boundaries, this is just lazy parenting in my opinion.’ 

Cameras were also allowed inside the homes of the Rawnsley family from Yorkshire, whose seven children are allowed to run riot, tobogganing down the stairs on mattresses. 

Mother Gemma, 35, a mobile hairdresser, and dad Lewis, a chef, told the show how they made the decision some years ago that conventional parenting was not for them – and the ‘no rules’ approach would work better.

Their expansive brood — Skye, 13, Finlay, 12, Phoenix, nine, Pearl, seven, Hunter, five, Zephyr, three, and baby Woolf, who has just turned one —rule the roost while their parents are ‘facilitators’, according to proud mum Gemma.

The families' unorthadox approach to parenting sparked a social media storm with Twitter users branding them 'lazy' and irresponsible

The families’ unorthadox approach to parenting sparked a social media storm with Twitter users branding them ‘lazy’ and irresponsible

Unconventional: Also starring in the show was Jenna Presley, 38, has four children and lives in Wiltshire. She claimed sending her son Archie to 'conventional' school was akin to 'child abuse'

Unconventional: Also starring in the show was Jenna Presley, 38, has four children and lives in Wiltshire. She claimed sending her son Archie to ‘conventional’ school was akin to ‘child abuse’

Explaining her unusual approach to family life, Jenna (pictured) explains: 'We were living a normal conventional lifestyle. I went to work, he went to school, but there was no quality of life'

Explaining her unusual approach to family life, Jenna (pictured) explains: ‘We were living a normal conventional lifestyle. I went to work, he went to school, but there was no quality of life’

The mother-of-seven declared: ‘Right from the off, we felt really strongly that we didn’t want to be the sort of parents you see shouting at their kids in the supermarket.

‘We felt that our children needed to be given the power to develop as people, to make their own decisions.

‘It means that if they say they want to use the mattresses to make a slide, that we don’t automatically say “no”.’ 

Defending her unusual approach to parenting, Gemma said: ‘We feel that, as a society, we’ve become too hung up on just saying ‘no’ to kids, without thinking of why we are doing it.’

The Rawnsley children - Skye, 13, Finlay, 12, Phoenix, nine, Pearl, seven, Hunter, five, Zephyr, three, and baby Woolf, who has just turned one - rule the roost according to mum Gemma

The Rawnsley children – Skye, 13, Finlay, 12, Phoenix, nine, Pearl, seven, Hunter, five, Zephyr, three, and baby Woolf, who has just turned one – rule the roost according to mum Gemma

Also starring in the show was Jenna Presley, 38, has four children and lives in Wiltshire.

While her eldest son was ‘conventionally’ educated, she came to believe that sending her second child, Archie, to school was ‘verging on child abuse’. 

Jenna explained: ‘We were living a normal conventional lifestyle. I went to work, he went to school, but there was no quality of life. It was all: ‘”You brush your teeth, go to school, have dinner, do homework, bed.” We wanted more.’ 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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