So as you’ve seen, or may have seen in our goals, we’re on a quest to living a more natural lifestyle but what do we really mean by that? Are we really seeking to return to nature and become entirely self sufficient? Yes… and no. While we would love to be able to be more self sufficient in the future, for the time being we’re taking small steps. By doing things like starting a garden, recycling, and detoxifying our home. We’re also making changes in how our children are being raised. But how to raise a natural child? Today we’re going to attempt to answer that question.
Raising a natural child is something that many parents are interested in these days. Some parents hear about “natural living” or have a vague notion that they should be “more natural” in their homes, but aren’t sure how to do it.
Raising a natural child can begin with some small steps and move forward into an overall natural lifestyle.
Foster an Interest in Nature
Most children naturally love to be out in nature. Others may have been raised in an environment with little exposure to nature, and might not have an immediate interest in it. Either way, getting your kids out into nature can help raise a natural child. To do this, try some of the following.
* Encourage a collection of natural objects, such as pine cones, feathers, rocks, or nuts. Whirly maple “keys” make fun seasonal collections that you can release from a porch or deck and watch them twirl on their way down.
* Direct your kids outside when they are bored or getting underfoot in the house. This will help teach them where to turn – nature – when they need something to do.
* Take walks and hikes together as a family instead of going to a movie, watching TV, or playing computer games.
* Nature crafts can open your kids’ eyes to the artistic world around them. They can gather twigs to weave into picture frames and wreaths, or collect acorns to decorate various objects. They can weave flowers into chains or build cabins out of sticks. Check your local library and/or the internet to find more nature craft ideas.
Many people consider attachment parenting to be the most natural form of parenting.
This makes sense – carrying your baby on your body and nursing as-needed is very much what animals do and what our ancestors were likely to have done. Attachment parenting largely shuns the use of artificial accoutrements like pacifiers, bottles, bouncy seats, and even cribs. Attachment parenting is usually considered a component of raising a natural child.
Attachment and natural parenting can begin before birth with a natural pregnancy, and follow with a natural birth.
We are semi-attachment parents. We do still bed share and Squeaker is still nursing, we are also a baby wearing family.
Use cloth diapers for a more natural parenting approach. Some natural parents like to practice “elimination communication,” which means you hold the baby over the toilet when he eliminates. This is one less diaper to wash and hopefully a step toward toilet training.
We attempted cloth diapers but it just wasn’t for us. Sometimes I wish we had started from the beginning.
Natural food is certainly a way to connect your child to the natural world. Homemade baby food, toddler snacks, and meals can go a long way in fostering an appreciation for food and nature. Consider growing a garden for at least some of your food, and let your child help with the gardening and harvesting. You might consider raising a few chickens, too. Your kids will know more than most kids about where food comes from!
Raising a natural child is just one step that we’re taking towards a more natural lifestyle. And even with the older kiddos, we’re still trying to do a few things.