When I say “Natural Parenting”, I mean in all senses of the word: wholesome foods and drinks over processed ones, conversations and touch time interactions over electronic and gadget use, nature exploration over always staying indoors, and letting kids be kids! They are meant to explore, to get dirty, to fall down and maybe get hurt sometimes. Coddling and protecting them from everything is not only a detriment to their brains and how they learn, but it teaches them no responsibility or awareness of the world around them.
Now-a-days it seems that most parents are “helicopter parents” which means that they hover over their children every moment, ensuring their safety and well-being. While this doesn’t seem inherently bad, there IS such thing of “too much of a good thing”. These parents do everything for their kids, even things the kids are capable of doing for themselves (this makes it so they can’t learn life skills and so they expect others to do things for them). These parents pick their kids up immediately after a fall versus asking if they are ok or need help. They overprotect and cut up foods into little chunks even after they are old enough to be learning about chewing properly. They don’t teach manners or expect them because their energies are consumed with hovering. They don’t expect children to have chores and to help out around the house, which is necessary for not only life skill building, but also for confidence and for everyone in the family to pitch in effort. Children in these households are not given responsibilities, appropriate risks, or choices. Children need to learn how to make choices, even small ones like what shirt to wear (out of 2 choices) because it’ll help them make smart bigger choices (like drugs or sex) later in life.
The foods that most parents are feeding their kids are atrocious. If you look at the ingredient list on a package of food, you’d be appalled to see of how many ingredients are in some things. In my opinion, I don’t think any list over 5 or so items should be purchased because it’s a chemical concoction, not real food. The company uses chemicals to make the stuff taste LIKE the food it should be. Gross! But even more important is avoiding things like aspartame, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), etc. Go for more natural things- an apple vs apple juice, potatoes vs potato chips, yogurt with live cultures vs yogurt that has none (might as well be pudding, if not). For example, look at the long list of ingredients in pre-made cookies, like Chips Ahoy or Oreos. Not only is the ingredient list long, but there is HFCS and hydrogenated oils in it. Hydrogenated oil is made when they take regular liquid oil and put a ton of pressure on it and it changes from a liquid to a solid and then it’s added to things like peanut butter. It’s a preservative and helps the peanut butter to remain solid (versus natural peanut butter which is “oily” at the top, and which needs to be stirred in).
Natural Parents don’t believe in spanking. They know that it doesn’t teach desired behavior and in fact, it usually makes a situation worse because the child is scared and hurt because you slapped or spanked them. It shows a lack of self-control on the parent’s part and ignorance for what discipline/guidance is all about. The goal of raising children is to teach them the rules of society, how to function well in it, how to have manners, and how to treat others. A child respects a spanking parent out of FEAR instead of LOVE and the relationship between parent and child is tarnished from the first spanking/slapping onward. A child will not confide in a parent that does this and they will avoid that parent whenever possible.
Natural Parents also generally don’t believe in time outs. Or if they do, it’s used as a safe place for the child to calm down, regain their composure, and let out some steam. It’s not a place of isolation as punishment, but as a place of isolation for calmness and comfort and for them to relax without distraction. It should be a comfortable place with books, music, stuffed animals, maybe some scented lotion, an eye mask, a stress ball, etc. The goal is to help the child calm down in a positive way and then they re-join the group when they are back to temper level 0.
Natural Parents believe in being “unplugged”. Being unplugged means tuning into the people and environment around you. It means being fully present and aware and engaging in life. Electronics are taking over our lives in a bad way and we’re losing sight of conversations, family time, relying on others, and taking part in family rituals. While true that some electronic toys and/or TV shows have educational value, the truth of the matter is that our kids want their parents’ ATTENTION more than anything else. To be seen, heard, recognized, etc is all they want. To have someone right beside them experiencing life as they are. To show you their proud moments and their discoveries. To play with them. To comfort them if they get hurt, regardless of their age or gender or if it’s something they should “really” be crying over, because it doesn’t matter. They are upset and need comforting.
Natural Parents believe in holistic medicine and alternative remedies, and are wary of vaccines. The fact that there is a vaccine injury compensation program (where they pay money for a child’s damages from vaccines) is almost enough information for me to steer clear! With the rise of autism, immediate behavior and mood regression, sickness brought on from vaccines, irritability and difficulty sleeping 2-3 days after a vaccine, and even the DEATH of children and young adults shortly after a dose is just scary stuff. To say that vaccines are SAFE without fail is a very big blanket statement and large claim to make- sounds a lot like what the tobacco companies claimed years before we all found out how hazardous to health cigarettes are. Natural Parents seek out natural remedies whenever possible, but they know that mainstream medicine has its place and will use it when medically necessary, but not before. That is how it was intended, truthfully.
Overall, I believe that, “As we know better, we do better” and that applies to every discipline out there, but ESPECIALLY to child-rearing, health, and wellness. I challenge every person to keep reading, keep learning, keep improving. Be better tomorrow than you were yesterday. Change takes time and is a gradual process, but just make sure you’re changing for the better by being more aware of the truth in matters, not the propaganda portrayed by mainstream media.