Our Mindful Life

Our Mindful Life: November 2010

Our Mindful Life

Our Mindful Life is about paying attention to what it is that we do on a day to day basis and how we impact each other and the planet. We will talk about all of the things that we do here at home to make ourselves and the world a better place.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Yours, Respectfully...

Welcome to the November Carnival of Natural Parenting: What is natural parenting?

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our Carnival coincides with the launch of Natural Parents Network, a community of parents and parents-to-be who practice or are interested in attachment parenting and natural family living. Join us at Natural Parents Network to be informed, empowered, and inspired!

Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


Respect is the foundation that our family unit is built upon.  Dig deep into any aspect of our life together and you will find that respect is the cornerstone of it.

We speak respectfully to our children and one another (as I pointed out yesterday, I have called my husband a "name" twice in the 9 years we've been together).  We treat our children as though they are people who have valid opinions, thoughts and feelings.  We do not tease one another or make fun of one another - even in jest.  When we discipline our children, it is done respectfully.  We respond to our children's needs respectfully.  We keep them near us, because we respect their need for continuity and safety.  This all falls into Attachment Parenting, which we have practiced for over 4 years now.

We respect our bodies.  We feed them when they are hungry.  We feed them good food, and listen to their cues.  When we recognize that there is something we eat that makes our bodies feel badly, we do our best to not eat that food again.  We move our bodies.  We rest them.  We dress them appropriately for the weather.  We love our bodies, no matter what shape, size, color or condition they are in.  For us, this is healthy living.

We are proactive in the care of our bodies, and do our best to avoid chemicals.  This includes our cleaning supplies, toiletries, food, and medicines.  We visit a chiropractor regularly for adjustments, to keep our spines and necks healthy.  We do not have invasive procedures done on our bodies or our children's bodies, when they are not medically necessary.  We do not introduce unnecessary chemicals into our children in the name of prevention.  We birth our children as naturally as possible.  We treat illness with vitamins, nutrition, and herbs before calling the doctor.  We do not give medicine unless it is unavoidable.  For us, this is a holistic approach to our healthcare.

We respect our children's inborn desire to learn, and provide them with an environment in which natural learning thrives.  It amazes us that our children have such a true, workable knowledge at such an early age.  They are capable of doing most of the jobs here at the house - some with and some without our help.  They can explain how things work that I didn't understand myself until just a few years ago!  They have an ingrained knowledge that will last them a lifetime.  For our family, this is natural learning.

We respect our home, our community and our planet.  We reduce our consumption as much as possible.  We reuse everything that we can.  We do not buy many disposable products.  We keep the thermostat lower, use less water, and turn the lights out.  We buy used products as much as possible.  We cloth diaper.  We use natural fibers as much as possible, and avoid petroleum products as much as possible.  We are selling our second car and we will be a one car family, with Daddy riding the bus.  For us, this is ecological responsibility.

There are many things that we do.  There are many philosophies that we follow in our natural parenting journey.  But for our family, respect is the foundation of all of them.  Respect for ourselves.  Respect for each other.  Respect for people we don't even know.  Respect for animals.  Respect for the planet.

Yours, respectfully,


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaStop by Natural Parents Network today to see excerpts from everyone's posts, and please visit a few to read more! Visit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants. Three of the participants below will instead be featured on Natural Parents Network throughout the month, so check back at NPN!

This list will be updated by afternoon November 9 with all the carnival links. We've arranged it this month according to the categories of our NPN resource pages on "What Is Natural Parenting?"

Attachment/Responsive Parenting

Attachment/responsive parenting is generally considered to include the following (descriptions/lists are not exhaustive; please follow each link to learn more):
    • "Attachment Parenting Chose Us" — For a child who is born "sensitive," attachment parenting is more a way of life than a parenting "choice." Dionna at Code Name: Mama shares her experiences. (@CodeNameMama)
    • "Parenting in the Present" — Acacia at Be Present Mama parents naturally by being fully present.
    • "Parenting With Heart" — Kat at Loving {Almost} Every Moment parents naturally because healthy attachments early in life help our little ones grow into healthy, functioning adults.
    • "Sometimes I Wish We Coslept" — Sheila at A Gift Universe has started to add cosleeping into her sleep routines and has found frequently unspoken benefits. Watch for her post, which will be featured on Natural Parents Network on Tuesday, November 30. (@agiftuniverse)
    • "Unconditional Parenting" — The philosophy of Alfie Kohn resonates with Erin at Multiple Musings, who does not want to parent (or teach) using rewards and punishment. (@ErinLittle)

Ecological Responsibility and Love of Nature

Holistic Health Practices

  • "Supporting Natural Immunity" — If you have decided against the traditional vaccination schedule, Starr at Earth Mama has some helpful tips for strengthening your children's immune systems naturally.

Natural Learning

  • "Acceptance as a Key to Natural Parenting" — Because Mrs. Green at Little Green Blog values accepting and responding to her daughter's needs, she was able to unravel the mystery of her daughter's learning "challenges." (@myzerowaste)
  • "Let Them Look" — Betsy at Honest 2 Betsy makes time to look at, to touch, and to drool on the pinecones.
  • "Why I Love Unschooling" — Unschooling isn't just about learning for Darcel at The Mahogany Way — it is a way of life. (@MahoganyWayMama)
  • "Is He Already Behind?"Ever worry that your baby or toddler is behind the curve? Danielle at born.in.japan will reassure you about the many ways your little one is learning — naturally — every day. Watch for her post, which will be featured on Natural Parents Network on Tuesday, November 16. (@borninjp)
  • "How to Help Your Child through Natural Learning" — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now offers tips on how to understand and nurture your child's natural learning style. (@DebChitwood)

Healthy Living

Parenting Philosophies

Political and Social Activism

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