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'Lighthouse parents' defend letting their children, aged six and 10, go out at night on their own

Ben Thompson

Published 
| Last updated 

'Lighthouse parents' defend letting their children, aged six and 10, go out at night on their own

Featured Image Credit: Nine News

A couple have defended their 'lighthouse' style approach to parenting, as they let their kids go out at night by themselves.

Sammy and Jason, who appear on the TV show Parental Guidance, are big believers in letting their six and 10 year old kids be independent.

Sammy and Jason let their kids go swimming at the beach by themselves. Credit: Nine News
Sammy and Jason let their kids go swimming at the beach by themselves. Credit: Nine News

'Lighthouse parenting' is described as a watchful but hands-off approach in which parents only step in when their kids genuinely need them, whilst otherwise allowing them to do things on their own.

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Sammy and Jason's eldest kids, Pepper, 10 and six-year-old Jude, take themselves off to swim at the beach.

The family are featured on the Australian show which pits parents with different approaches against one another.

In the case of Sammy and Jason, they give their kids more freedom than other families.

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When they explained their approach in an interview for the show, Sammy said: "It's not possible for us to be there all the time so it's important we teach them to fend for themselves.

"We can't focus our attention on each individual kid, which means we have to let the other kids have their own freedom and their own space.

"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."

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Sammy and Jason have defended their style of parenting. Credit: Nine News
Sammy and Jason have defended their style of parenting. Credit: Nine News

With two younger kids to monitor - Rory, three, and Lottie, two - the parents feel they can't give their full focus to each kid at the same time.

Other parents on the show were left feeling uncomfortable by Sammy and Jason's relaxed approaching to child rearing.

Leanne said: "I feel ill. Kids at the beach by themselves at that age makes me feel physically ill.

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"That water can change in an instant and from where you are and where the kids are, they're gone."

However, Sammy is fully aware that her style of parenting isn't to everyone's tastes.

Sammy conceded: "The thing with our parenting style is the children to be aware of their own limitations."

When the show's host asked if they were expecting lifeguards on the beach to act as babysitters, Jason denied this.

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The dad of four said: "We are watching them constantly."

When another parent, Sarah, questioned what would happen if one of the younger kids was harmed whilst being looked after by their older sibling, Sammy insisted that nothing had been overlooked.

Sammy said: "Anything our children do we assess the risks."

Parental Guidance airs on the Nine Network in Australia.

Topics: Australia, Parenting, TV And Film

Ben Thompson
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