Posts Tagged ‘grandparents’

Sunday Surf: Alternative Parenting Info for Family and Friends

Holidays and celebrations usually mean family get togethers and all that comes with those situations.

For many, this is a joyous time when perhaps people who rarely enjoy sharing the same space have a day or more to “live together” in some ways. What happens when the small family unit chooses to live differently than the family at large? For parents who subscribe to alternative/gentle/positive/natural/attachment whatever you call it parenting, the coming together of different styles of raising children can cause tension and frustration. Some families also have a hard time over the phone or the internet.

A few things I think cause trouble are a lack of compassionate understanding of the various “sides” and feelings of judgment and defensiveness that block communication. This happens for everyone, but it seems that the hows, whats and whys of a less typical type of parent are less known (and also, therefore, respected?). I know I wish that my family could read some of the articles that shape my parenting choices.

What follows is a rough draft of my dream list of 10 blog posts to give someone a sense of where I am currently coming from as a mother. (Yes, I reserve the right to change and learn and grow.)

***Last minute addition!***

I just found this post on the 10 RIE principles of caregiving, and it addresses all the main issues I’ve been trying to raise with my own family. I may even share it with said family…….

10 Articles to Help Understand My Parenting Aspirations

Baby-led Solids: Part 1: Reflection and Experience

I said in an earlier post that Baby-led Solids and Weaning feels like a key piece in my attachment parenting. Certainly, it feels key in raising an independent child. Converse to the sentiment expressed in the name, my attachment parenting is about raising a child that is able to detach herself from me — the womb, world and woman she knows as mother — and is capable of doing so with self-assuredness and self-awareness. As an attachment parent, I am struck by how frequently I hear people touting early independence, often for parental comfort and convenience. I know parenting is complicated and chaotic, but people are always telling me how fast the young years go; then they seem to want me to rush towards pushing her out of my arms and out of my bed and out in front away from me. At the same time these very people are expecting me to mash up everything my child eats, spoon-feed every bite to her and push her hand away when she tries to feed herself. When I don’t do the expected, or I ask them to respect my wishes for living differently, all kinds of things can happen.

When I wrote that baby-led solids was perhaps the most important part of attachment parenting I do, I actually surprised myself because I didn’t intend to write that. (Sometimes ideas write themselves, you know?) I had to think about it. Do I believe that? Since then, up to this moment, I have come to realize that perhaps that strength of sentiment comes from my experiences of challenge and confrontation around that one particular piece of my parenting. Having a virtually pain free homebirth, carrying my baby in a sling often and still, pottying from four weeks old, having my child sleep with me in the bed, and nursing openly have not had me in the heated situations I have found myself in around my child and food.

In my experience, emotions run high around food. Why is that? Well, I imagine for many reasons. To me, food is everything — kitchen is the heart(h) of a home and the way to the heart is through the stomach. Good food is good health as digestion (the gut) is the main source of nutrient absorption and the major part of the immune system. I have had bad eating habits in the past. I want to be conscious and intentional in the earliest years of my child’s life, when her development is under my control to the greatest extent it will be in her life. Most people around me make different choices for their children than I would. As she is very young, I have had to say no to certain foods people have offered her, mostly those containing high sugar and salt levels or no natural (actual) food.

I love food, and we eat fairly well and healthily with my child as my guide — whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, full fat and foods with fatty acids (hemp, flax, avocado). I have learned tremendous amounts from her in such a short time and this experience about myself as a mother and a person. When I get home and my husband, child and I eat, I have learned to slow down and enjoy my family more. Slowing down is, perhaps, harder for me than others, but in this way BLS/W has given me the blessing of family, My Living Family. I am grateful for having learned about this method from my midwife (Christy Santoro of Motherland Midwifery out of Philadelphia) and my friends who have a child three months younger.

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