Welcome to the May Carnival of Natural Parenting: Role model
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have waxed poetic about how their parenting has inspired others, or how others have inspired them. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
- Acknowledging that as parents we chose to have children and they are our responsibility and hopefully our joy. Even at 2am, even when they are tantruming, even when we are tired. Children are never an inconvenience although they can sometimes be inconvenient. It is not about ‘getting your life back to normal’, but getting used to the new normal. And it should be fun for all involved.
- Children are human beings, with all the same rights as adults. That’s not just the right to not be abused, but also the rights to dignity and respect.
- Responsibilities are important, both social/moral and environmental. And once more they should be fun – helping people or helping animals is not because you ‘should’ but because you enjoy it, so as a parent it is important to foster this love.
- It’s important to be able to reflect and think critically, to evaluate claims and ask for evidence. Whether you’re going with or against the majority is immaterial, but you should know why you are doing it.
- Education is extremely important to me, but I have a very broad definition of teaching and learning. All experiences are learning experiences, we should all be mindful of what the people around us are learning from us.
So how have I done it?
As one of my pet interests, I wrote about the human baby as an external foetus because it makes sense of so much baby behaviour, including newborn breastfeeding and sleep patterns, and strongly supports many of the natural parenting strategies.
One of the best ways to interact with your kids, show them you love them and give them rich learning experiences is to play with them. Every week I come up with a new activity to do with babies and kids. They are all science inspired, but science is an extremely broad topic! There’s been a case study of butterfly art and role play, fun things to do with babies, quick questions to throw in when you’re doing something else and present suggestions as well as the Fairy Tree. I’ve also put in theoretical things for parents to think about such as the importance of play, saying yes and letting children learn on their own, as well as taking advantage of all the opportunities for learning that happen around us all the time.
Helping kids learn about and love the environment is a huge part of science – I’m a biologist, that’s why we do it! And it’s science that is helping people help the environment and learn about things like the greenhouse effect, weather, and animals so I have lots of factual posts about them, plus ideas like cubby camping or night picnics for playing with little ones and making some recycled toys or musical instruments and kits. If you click one link in this review make it the SPORE project, it’s a world-wide art project happening right now you can be part of, we recycled plastic bags and old artwork to make mushrooms.
Part of my take on social responsibility is that it’s about giving something back and sharing the love. So nothing on this blog is paid for – all those things that look like advertisements are free (except for the Nuffnang one that’s made me a grand total of $1.40). They’re blogs or businesses I feel are worthwhile and my readers will find useful, or hope they’ll donate to (Go Team Ivy! Incidentally, it’s just been announced they only have $40 to go to reach $4000 ) or join in. My ebook ‘Young Scientists’ is completely free. I do hope that in the future I will manage to turn this into a business of some sort, but at the moment I have made the decision to pay forward the support I receive from other parents. And if you look down the bottom of the sidebar you see my little green icon – I pay extra for my hosting to be part of an energy efficient programme.
Am I Successful?
I hope so! I’m slowly building up readers and subscribers, including a lot of people who tell me about the wonderful creative play they are doing at home. That’s the best bit, actually finding out that other people are using these ideas or inspiration to play with their kids and having a great time. I’m getting questions for my favourite posts – the Kid Questions series (incidentally, if your kids have any sticky science questions, send them my way). These are so much fun to research and write because they show how wonderfully curious little kids are. Over a hundred copies of my ebook are out there being passed around, including some that have made it into universities and education departments, so hopefully there are people out there thinking about how to play with and challenge kids, who just happen to learn at the same time.
For me one of the important things to do when parenting is reflect on what you are doing, how it is working and how it has changed. And of course reviewing and questioning are essential in science! I hope you have enjoyed this little review. If you have been reading for a while, it might remind you of some old posts you can use again. If you are a newer reader, one of the links about a post you haven’t seen might have caught your eye. And if you are here for CarNatPar and have absolutely no interest in science, I hope it gives you something to reflect on as your children grow and your parenting journey changes. Good luck!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
- Woman Seeking Inspiration — Seeking Mother’s struggles and joys to find her own path in motherhood have inspired others — to her surprise! (@seekingmother )
- Paving the Way — Jessica at This is Worthwhile makes a conscious effort every day to be a role model. (@tisworthwhile )
- No Rules Without Reason — The Recovering Procrastinator wants to inspire her husband to discipline their children gently. (@jenwestpfahl)
- Creating a Culture of Positive Parenting Role Models — Michelle at The Parent Vortex shows parents at the playground how to do a front wrap cross carry and tells nurses about her successful home births, as a way of modeling natural parenting in public. (@TheParentVortex)
- Making A Difference for Mamas — Shana at Tales of Minor Interest took an embarrassing pumping incident at work and turned it into an opportunity for all the employees who breastfeed.
- Inspiring Snowflakes — Joni Rae at Tales of Kitchen Witch Momma is a role model for the most important people: her children. (@kitchenwitch)
- Paying it Forward — Amber at Strocel.com inspires new (and often scared) mamas with these simple words: “It will be OK.” (@AmberStrocel)
- A SAHD’s View on Parenting Role Models — Chris at Stay At Home Dad in Lansing doesn’t have many role models as a SAHD — but hopes to be one to his daughter. (@tessasdad)
- Am I a Role Model? A Review — Deb at Science@home brings attachment parenting out of the baby age and shows how it applies (with science fun!) to parenting through all of childhood. (@ScienceMum)
- Say Something Good — Arwyn at Raising My Boychick reminds women that it is within our right to be proud of ourselves without apology. (@RaisingBoychick)
- Try, Try Again — Thomasin at Propson Palingenesis wants to inspire like the Little Engine that Could.
- I’m a Parenting Inspiration, Who Knew? — Sarah at OneStarryNight has received several beautiful comments about just what an inspiration she has been, if not in real life then definitely online. (@starrymom)
- That Little Thing — NavelgazingBajan at Navelgazing demonstrates the ripple effect, one status update at a time. (@BlkWmnDoBF)
- How Has Your Day Been? — mrs green @ littlegreenblog inspired her friend to be an active listener for her children. (@myzerowaste)
- No, Thank You! — If you are reading Maman A Droit’s post, you’ve probably inspired her. (@MamanADroit)
- My Top 3 Natural Parenting Principles — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now describes how her family’s natural and Montessori principles inspired others. (@DebChitwood)
- My Hope for a Better Life — Mandy at Living Peacefully With Children hopes her choices inspire her children toward a better life.
- Natural Parenting Felt Natural — Sheryl at Little Snowflakes didn’t plan on natural parenting — but her son led her there. (@sheryljesin)
- Rest. Is it even possible? — Janet at where birth and feminism intersect has found that even role models need rest — and that there are ways to fit it into everyday parenting life. (@feministbirther)
- May Carnival of Natural Parenting: Role model — Lauren at Hobo Mama was the fortunate recipient of a seed of inspiration, and has been privileged to plant some of those seeds herself, though she didn’t know it at the time. (@Hobo_Mama)
- crunchspiration — the grumbles at grumbles and grunts wants to inspire others to parent from their heart. (@thegrumbles)
- No Extra Inspiration Required — Zoey at Good Goog doesn’t think she inspires anyone and wasn’t inspired by anyone in return — except by her daughter. (@zoeyspeak)
- Upstream Parenting — Luschka at Diary of a First Child blogs for that one mother in one hundred who will find her words helpful. (@diaryfirstchild)
- Parenting Advice for the Girl from Outer Space — If Mommy Soup at Cream of Mommy Soup could give one piece of inspirational advice to new parents, it would be to parent with kindness. (@MommySoup)
- Natural Parenting Carnival — Role Model — Sarah at Consider Eden feels the pressure at trying — and failing — to live up to her role models. (@ConsiderEden)
- May Carnival of Natural Parenting: Role Model — Dionna at Code Name: Mama encourages natural parenting mamas to take joy in the fact that they are touching lives and making a difference to children every day. (@CodeNameMama)
- Inspiration Goes Both Ways — Melodie at Breastfeeding Moms Unite! is flustered that people consider her a breastfeeding role model — but the lovely comments she’s received prove it’s so. (@bfmom)
- My Seven — Danielle at born.in.japan has identified seven role models in her life who brought her to natural parenting. Who are your seven? (@borninjp)
- A Quiet Example — Alison at BluebirdMama was one of the first parents in her group of friends — and has come to see almost all those friends follow in her natural birthing footsteps, whether intentionally or not.
- Gentle Discipline Warrior — Paige at Baby Dust Diaries has inspired a gentle discipline movement — join her! (@babydust)
- Change The World… One Parent At A Time — Mamapoekie is more comfortable inspiring parents online than she is in real life. (@mamapoekie)
- Inspirational Parenting — pchanner at A Mom’s Fresh Start has intentionally tried to be a role model but was unprepared for how soon someone would take notice. (@pchanner)
- My Inspiration — Erin at A Beatnik’s Beat on Life has written thank-you letters to everyone who’s inspired her to become the lactivist and natural parenting advocate she is today. (@babybeatnik)
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