A young couple has revealed their unique approach to raising their children, which includes letting them go out at night and swim alone on the beach.
Sammy and Jason talked about the ‘lighthouse’ parenting style they’ve adopted for their four children on the Channel Nine program Parental Guidance.
Lighthouse parenting is a watchful but hands-off approach that empowers children to do things for themselves. But parents step in when needed.
Sammy and Jason explained to other parents that their two oldest children – Pepper, 10, Jude, 6 – can go out at night under certain circumstances.
The program depicts an instance where Mother Sammy tells the couple 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 that we teach them to take care of themselves,” Sammy said in a behind-the-scenes interview.
Pepper and Jude can also go for an unsupervised swim on the beach, which is right by the family home.
Sammy explained that she and Jason are “outnumbered” because they also have to keep an eye on their two youngest children — Rory, 3, and Lottie, 2.
“We can’t focus on each individual child, which means we have to give the other children their own freedom and space,” Sarah continued.
“So we’re glad the two eldest are going for a swim themselves.”
“It’s a chance for them to show how independent they can be, and also give them some confidence.”
The couple revealed on Nine’s Parental Guidance that they let their two eldest children — Pepper, 10, Jude, 6 (pictured) — leave the house alone under certain circumstances
The program shows an instance where the couple goes to the local fish and chip shop to pick up the family dinner
The mother-of-four stressed that she didn’t want to “frighten the kids,” “hover over them,” or “see danger when there was no danger.”
However, some parents on the show disagreed with Sarah and Jason’s approach, and a few took particular issue with the pair letting their kids swim alone.
‘I feel sick. Kids alone on the beach at that age make me feel physically ill,” said Mum Leanne.
“That water can change in the blink of an eye and from where you are and where the kids are, they’re gone.”
Sarah admitted that that’s “something most people aren’t comfortable with.”
“The thing about our parenting style is that the kids are aware of their own limitations,” she said.
The couple revealed that Pepper and Jude are allowed to swim alone and unsupervised at the local beach, which is in front of the family home.
The show’s host, Allyson Langdon, asked the parents if they considered the lifeguards “babysitters” in that case, which Jason declined.
“We keep a constant eye on them,” he claimed.
Another mom, Amy, asked Sarah why she didn’t want to go down the beach with them and “enjoy them in that moment.”
Sarah said they had to take care of their other two children at home.
A third mother, also named Sarah, questioned whether the two children should be “responsible” for taking care of each other and how a child would feel if something happened to their sibling.
“Everything our kids do, we assess the risks,” Jason explained.
The pair told parents that the whole foundation of their style was developing trust with their children and letting them know their own limits.