Natural Parenting

It is both exhilarating and intimidating to check in on the “blogging world of parenting.”  How wonderful that both Moms and Dads are blogging about raising their children, giving most excellent examples of “how to.”

Then I think of what I’m trying to say, as “an old folk” and wonder if I really have a voice to add to the mix.  My loudest voice comes from my experience as a therapist working with traumatized children and adolescents.  So, I applaud all the young parents who are doing their best to avoid the pitfalls that their parents seemed to have stepped in.

The term “natural parenting” reminds me of a scene right out of the backseat of my sister-in-law’s car about 20 years ago.  She was driving, with both eyes in the rear view mirror, just to make sure my husband and I were following her story.  Even with the blizzard conditions and icy roadway, I still remember her sentiments.

“I didn’t know anything about raising children.  I was a single parent and I didn’t like what I saw: kids being forced into feeding and sleeping routines; kids having to march in tune with somebody’s idea about how to build that respective robotic kid.  So I went to the library and checked out all the books I could find on how apes raised their babies.  And that’s how I raised my daughter.  I figured if she didn’t understand about toilet behaviors before she got to school, she’d probably learn in the first week of kindergarten.”

Her daughter is a lovely young woman, mother, wife, who is compassionate, vibrant and adventurous.  Something about being raised as an ape seemed to have worked quite well.  (And we survived the trip to the airport in the blizzard.)

I want to link you to a couple of sites that carry a great amount of information on the gentle raising of children.  For terrific information on attachment and parenting:  http://www.naturalchild.org/, along with all kinds of information related to raising the “natural child.”

Also, for a whole list of natural parenting, try looking at http://codenamemama.com/.  I like their Carnivals on various subjects related to gentle rearing of children.

I realize that I will spend a lot of time on the emotionalism of being human.  For me, this is where we connect and build self as well as community.  From Brain 101 to all the articles, you will probably find the common thread of “BELIEFS.”  For me, working with both young children and with adolescents, it was the BELIEFS that drove the behaviors.  One needs to understand the BELIEF to be able to bring about change in both heart and behavior.

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