|photo borrowed from naturalparentsnetwork.com|
Choosing to be guided by Natural Parenting is not something that I picked out of a catalogue of parenting philosophies. It may have not “found me” the way it did with other Natural Parents but somehow throughout my life, it has been there.
I don’t think my parents were strict “attachment parents” but there was a lot of “responding with sensitivity and using nurturing touch” in our household. There was a lot of kissing and hugging going around that’s why I also think one of my languages of love is physical touch.
Ecological Responsibility and Love of Nature
“Eco-friendliness” has always been in me (although I wouldn’t say I’m at the activist level). I guess it’s because of my elementary and high school education (Miriam College has a strong environmental sensitivity – even having a “mini forest” in the campus), being once obsessed with Papemelroti (the all-recycled shop!) and even being an “environmental activist” of sorts once in my life – even joining a rally in high school against the French government for their nuclear testing back in circa 1995! Remember that, Diplo Wife?
Holistic Health Practices
Did you know I was a pesco vegetarian in high school? My mom’s a hippie of sorts… well actually it was my ninang (god bless her soul) who was more of those hippie-artist-alternative health type of person. So we would go to a homeopathic doctor, said goodbye to meat (for quite some time ah!) and even went to a traditional Chinese doctor in Binondo! So I see some sense in these alternative medicines/holistic health practices.
This one is pretty new to me. Our family is very academic – both my parents are/have been university professors. But my psychology education and even coaching training resonate with “ask questions that develop thinking, give choices while guiding the children, to listen to instinctual cues, to honor emotions and desires, to allow development to take place in its own time, and to engender cooperation and harmony without manipulation.”
Healthy Eating and Living
As I said, I was a pesco-vegetarian so I have some appreciate for healthy eating even upto now. I usually shy away from processed foods (ok fine except for Coke! Haha!). But I’ve always been fond of sports (playing sports leisurely since I was a kid – obsessing with baseball, basketball and the like) and growing up loving running and yoga.
Two parenting philosophies (aside from attachment parenting) really spoke to hubby and I. First, Consensual Living. Which basically addresses our ideal of wanting our kids to grow up knowing how to think, decide and be responsible for the consequences of their decisions. It is based on the principles of equality, trust and self-determination. Communication and Conflict Resolution are key skills needed in Consensual Living. It is so very “coaching” and “OD” that’s why it resonates well with me. Second, Equal Parenting. This was actually inspired by my husband. The major reason why we are giving birth in Sri Lanka is because giving birth in the Philippines would entail months of being apart and hubby wouldn’t hear of it. Even now, he takes care of baby and I fabulously – feeding us so well and just being a supportive partner. We are a real team and I am forever thankful for God gifting me with such a husband.
Political and Social Activism
Aligned with Equal Parenting, I really feel strongly about providing options for parents to be parents while excelling at work. I worked in an organization that had really good work-life balance options especially for moms. In the future, I would like to work for this advocacy. ThirdPath and Family Forward Oregon are inspirations along this front.
Family Safety and Health
I work with an organization that has Health and Safety embedded into its DNA. It does make a difference with how you feel about going to work – you know that the organization is taking care of you and knows who you go home to. It should be the same at home – or even start at home!
At the end of the day we are still at the start of the journey. But I feel confident that hubby and I have a clear “battle plan” ahead. It is a philosophy that both of us resonate with and we feel would help us be the best parents we want to be. The journey ahead is challenging (again, some form of dying to self for a control freak like me – soon, no longer? I hope!) but it is a process and journey I would like to take just like these Natural Parents: babyfingers and theguavaliciouslife.