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Call them the “feral family” — as a conclusion of a short video does.

Lewis and Gemma Rawnsley’s seven children live by no rules. Mom and dad give them free range. They choose their bedtime, their food, their activities. Heck, they don’t even have to go to school!

United Kingdom’s broadcaster Channel 4 featured a brief video on its Facebook page, All 4, about the Rawnsley family. In allowing the children to live sans rules, dad Lewis said it grants them “independence, freedom … the ability to think for themselves.”


With no school day in session, mom Gemma takes her brood to a park across from a school. While she notes that those who choose to school their children are fine, she said she finds students “a little bit … penned in there.”

Eventually, two of the older children, Finley, 12, and Sky, 13, decide to try school and look forward to it.

Following a six-week trial, both kids decide that school is, after all, not for them. Finley said while he enjoyed making friends and “some of the learning,” he prefers the freedom his parents grant with their rule-free structure.

What a concept. I can’t seem to wrap my head around it. You have to wonder, do these children run amok and do things that one really shouldn’t do? Is there any discipline involved? Is there respect for themselves and others?

With all due respect, I think I prefer a parenting style that provides love, structure and discipline. My sisters and I grew up with it, as well as myriad family and friends, and I think we’re all pretty okay. While parenting rules reign, I think my children are still well-rounded, individual thinkers. They each have their likes and dislikes, the freedom and encouragement to be themselves, to choose their activities and spend free time enjoying varied interests.

What are your thoughts on a rule-free family? Feel free to share your thoughts in the blog’s comment section?