Tuesday, February 16, 2010

What does "Natural Parenting" mean to you?

At Elegant Mommy, we advertise that we are a pre-owned maternity & natural parenting store, which got us thinking lately, do people think of natural parenting the same way that we do? What does natural parenting mean to our customers and our readers?

To start, let me say that natural parenting is not just a choice to breastfeed, co-sleep, or cloth diaper. Natural parenting is a way of life. There are many decisions that parents need to make over the many years of raising a child. Those decisions can be influenced by many factors. To me, natural parenting means taking a step back and looking at the decision from a more universal lense. Many of the decisions that we make as parents will influence what our childrens health and welfare are today as well as for many years into the future. We, as parents, need to be conscious of the things that we put into our children's bodies and know the risks and benefits of that decision.

In my opinion, Natural Parenting means researching to see if there are options that would allow less foreign substances to enter my child's body. It means researching the things that are going into my children's body and not just taking someone's word that it is safe for them. It means do everything that I can to teach my children about having an impact on this world, enviromentally, spiritually, and physically.

Does this mean that my family eats only food grown from my garden? Does this mean that my children have never tasted fast food? Does this mean that my children have never had a disposable diaper on their bottom? Does this mean that all of my children were exclusively breastfed until they started school?

No! I feel that our family makes the best decision with the information that we have available to us at the time and we fully understand that we will deal with outcomes of those decisions. Natural parenting can mean many different things and each family makes the decision to what degree they want to expand their dedication to focus their lives on natural living.

There are many wonderful advances that have been made in past decades and I fully believe that a great majority of those advancements will enhance the lives of many people. However, not all advancements are the best thing for every family. Every family needs to be given the freedom to make whatever decision is right for their family at that moment. There should not be laws governing how I choose to give birth to my children, nor should their be laws governing how another person chooses to give birth to their children.

When my family chooses to make one decision and your family chooses to make another decision, neither one of those decisions is necessarily wrong, it is just different. Natural parenting a choice to live a certain way and if another family chooses to live in a different way, that does not make their decision wrong or even better than my decision. It just means that we have different paths of getting to the same goal of our raising our kids in the best way possible!

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