What is Natural Parenting Exactly?
It is a trend that you cannot escape. You see it on magazine covers, you find it on the spines of books on bookstore shelves, and you read about it on just about every parenting blog that has been penned by a father or a mother out there. Natural Parenting. Well, now what in the world is it, exactly?
To me, it sounds like what you would think it is. You have children naturally without pain killers. (I did this for all three of my children in a hospital, not at home). You breastfeed your children. What else? Maybe it also means that you grow your own vegetables and make your own baby food. Note that I said this is what I think it is.
I happen to use cloth diapers on my babies, too. A few people thought I was nuts. In a short time, a few of those people decided that there were virtues to using a cloth and they got on the bandwagon with me. Other things natural parenting makes me think of is not using deodorant or not vaccinating your kids. It seems like it is something only hippies do, right?
They also prefer to use fans and open windows and skip the air conditioning. No, not me. I like the conveniences of modern life. I still consider myself a natural parent. I try to follow what constitutes this lifestyle.
We have started a garden and have been pleased with the vegetables that come from it. My kids like helping with the gardening and there is no greater thrill than eating the food we have grown for ourselves.
I consider tutoring your children to be part of natural parenting, as well. I think it helps foster a bond with your children and it helps them to learn to be independent thinkers.
I do use deodorant, I am happy to inform you. I always try to use a brand that is made of pure ingredients, however. I don’t go out of my way to use toxic chemicals. As for what my husband and I do to raise our children, I would think that it goes along the lines of natural parenting.
However, after reading some of the natural parenting guidelines online, you would think my husband and I have a long way to go to become truly natural. I am not sure I feel we are doing our children any disservices by parenting them the way we choose to. We do our best to bring natural into as many aspects of our lives as we can.
I don’t believe that advocates of natural parenting should shame other parents into doing this that or the other thing in an exact manner to “qualify” as a natural parent. We all have our own styles and preferences as do our children in life. I think you need to remain open to parenting from the heart.
If that means ditching deodorant, then well, more power to you! I am kidding but I wonder what means natural parenting to you?