Sunday, August 6, 2017

Why Natural Parenting?

Attachment parenting. Helicopter parenting. Permissive parenting. Authoritative parenting. The list goes on and on, and parenting really is more of a sliding scale as opposed to an all or nothing when it comes to the myriad different approaches people can use. But what exactly is Natural Parenting (NP)? Natural parenting is multi-faceted. It's about parenting consciously, and it looks different for everyone who chooses to parent this way. For us, it means attachment parenting with a gentle parenting mindset for discipline. It means chemical awareness and avoidance. Lastly it means being open and flexible when it comes to how our child(ren) learn best.

What is Attachment Parenting?

Attachment Parenting (AP) is a school of parenting that is based on 8 principles. For us, the principles of attachment parenting just make sense and put into words how we want to run our family. One of my biggest pet peeves is people treating children not like people but as extensions of themselves. Children and newborns are people now. They're unpracticed people who just need the chance to learn about the world around them and grow their brains. Plus, physical touch is the love language for both of us so it's unlikely that our child(ren) will be any different. We both love to cuddle, and we're grown people so why should we then deny our child(ren) something that means so much to each of us?

What is Gentle Parenting?

Gentle Parenting (GP) is very often confused with AP. A key difference between the two is that GP does not have guiding principles that its followers adhere to. GP is more choosing to maintain a relationship with your child based on respect. Discipline with GP looks a lot like having a conversation with logical consequences. You need to make sure the consequences as you explain them are things that you can follow through on while still giving your child choices. You very clearly explain why a rule exists and how their actions have the potential for harm. If the warning isn't heeded, then comes a consequence such as no more playing with the balls today if we can't stop throwing them inside, but we can try again tomorrow.

Chemical Awareness and Avoidance

The choice to cloth diaper for us is a health choice. As a woman, not knowing what is in my feminine products is horrifying, and diaper companies are not any more transparent. Chemicals don't belong in my hooha so why should my baby live wrapped up in them? Plus, it saves you so much money in the long run (we're talking easily $1000).
Since my veganism started out because of bad genetics, there's a good chance this baby is going to have the same issues. Eating an organic, whole foods, plant-based diet is an excellent way to cut out a lot of toxins. (Natural cleaning products helps cut out quite a bit, too. Vinegar for the win!) And it's definitely easier to start out vegan and then switch to omni than it is to go the other way around. Which our offspring will absolutely have the option to choose after learning about why I'm vegan and why Daddy is not.
Essential oils, chiropractors, and home remedies will be a huge part of our lives. If there was a pediatric naturopath nearby, that would be our main doctor for Elie, but there isn't. Antibiotics really aren't needed for everything, that's how we get antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria. A little dirt didn't hurt anybody.

Education

Everyone learns differently, and with the rise of Common Core, public education in Oklahoma looks pretty sad. I'm looking into having a home Montessori setup to help our child(ren) have the best start, but after that, there are three real options we have for education: public school, home schooling, and unschooling. If I do end up staying home with the child(ren) long enough that they are school age, we may revisit home schooling or unschooling, but until then public school is what we're going with. However, not everyone learns best in that type of environment, and there's a good chance we will be supplementing the school's curriculum at home to further encourage our child(ren)'s own personal interests and strengths while being able to work on the weaknesses.

I know I hit a lot of different areas in a pretty broad/nonspecific manner. I may come back later and write more on the different aspects more specifically if that's something that would interest anyone. But like I've always said, what works best for us may not be feasible for you and your situation. This isn't me trying to be a better parent than others but simply me trying to do the best I can with the hand we've been dealt. What kind of parent are you? What are your thoughts on corporal punishment for your child(ren)? Anybody not doing traditional public schooling?