Category Archives: Blog Carnival

Blog Carnival

Relying on Kindness

Welcome to the November Carnival of Natural Parenting: What is natural parenting?

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our Carnival coincides with the launch of Natural Parents Network, a community of parents and parents-to-be who practice or are interested in attachment parenting and natural family living. Join us at Natural Parents Network to be informed, empowered, and inspired!

Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

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Image: graur razvan ionut / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Kind

Pronunciation:, kīnd/

adjective

  • having or showing a friendly, generous, and considerate nature:

A fellow mother once said to me, in reference to her own baby, “I just want him to grow up to be kind.” Much to her surprise I responded by telling her she couldn’t just stop at kindness.

I understand her sentiment because I used to feel the same way. Most of us truly want our children to grow up to be good, decent people. It’s why we like our children’s stories to be morality tales disguised as entertainment. It’s why we want our kids to share their toys with others. It’s why we ask them to say “please” and “thank you.”

And yes, I do want Baby E to grow up to be kind. What I have come to realize is that I can’t really teach my son kindness if I don’t also examine the unearned privileges we get just because we were born on a certain level of societal hierarchy.

Will my son really  be a kind person if he gives to charity regularly but freely uses classist, ableist, sexist, etc. language?

Will my son really be a kind person if he’s only kind to those who are most visible in society?

Will my son really be a kind person if his well-intended kind act causes harm to another person who is marginalized in ways that he is not?

Will my son really be a kind person if he says he loves all people but fails to see how his privileges reinforce prejudice?

I don’t expect Baby E to be a perfect child nor a perfect adult because he is only human. I’m certainly not perfect in this and I am learning, un-learning, and re-learning everyday.

So how can I teach my son to be kind and then some?

I know that it involves teaching and modeling empathy. This means that when he’s upset, I stop to think about his feelings from his perspective, and address them from that perspective instead of only from my viewpoint.

It also involves teaching and modeling respect. So when he doesn’t want to be tickled, or kissed, or picked up, then I respect that. It means things like teaching him a safe word when he’s older, to be used during tickle sessions so that we can be sure there are no misunderstandings when we want to stop.

It means watching my language and pointing out problematic language that serves to marginalize others.

It means talking about social issues at home, regularly.

It means reading him books that feature marginalized persons as fully realized human beings not stereotypes.

It means not excluding persons who are marginalized in various ways from our lives.

So yes, I want my son to be of a “friendly, generous, and considerate nature” but it won’t mean much if that’s where his “kindness” ends.

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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaStop by Natural Parents Network today to see excerpts from everyone’s posts, and please visit a few to read more! Visit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants. Three of the participants below will instead be featured on Natural Parents Network throughout the month, so check back at NPN!

This list will be updated by afternoon November 9 with all the carnival links. We’ve arranged it this month according to the categories of our NPN resource pages on “What Is Natural Parenting?”

Attachment/Responsive Parenting

Attachment/responsive parenting is generally considered to include the following (descriptions/lists are not exhaustive; please follow each link to learn more):

  1. PREPARE FOR PREGNANCY, BIRTH, AND PARENTING:
  2. FEED WITH LOVE AND RESPECT:
  3. RESPOND WITH SENSITIVITY:
    • Attachment Parenting Chose Us” — For a child who is born “sensitive,” attachment parenting is more a way of life than a parenting “choice.” Dionna at Code Name: Mama shares her experiences. (@CodeNameMama)
    • Parenting in the Present” — Acacia at Be Present Mama parents naturally by being fully present.
    • Parenting With Heart” — Kat at Loving {Almost} Every Moment parents naturally because healthy attachments early in life help our little ones grow into healthy, functioning adults.
  4. USE NURTURING TOUCH:
  5. ENSURE SAFE SLEEP:
    • Sometimes I Wish We Coslept” — Sheila at A Gift Universe has started to add cosleeping into her sleep routines and has found frequently unspoken benefits. Watch for her post, which will be featured on Natural Parents Network on Tuesday, November 30. (@agiftuniverse)
  6. PROVIDE CONSISTENT AND LOVING CARE:
  7. PRACTICE GENTLE/POSITIVE DISCIPLINE:
    • Unconditional Parenting” — The philosophy of Alfie Kohn resonates with Erin at Multiple Musings, who does not want to parent (or teach) using rewards and punishment. (@ErinLittle)
  8. STRIVE FOR BALANCE IN PERSONAL AND FAMILY LIFE:

Ecological Responsibility and Love of Nature

Holistic Health Practices

  • Supporting Natural Immunity” — If you have decided against the traditional vaccination schedule, Starr at Earth Mama has some helpful tips for strengthening your children’s immune systems naturally.

Natural Learning

  • Acceptance as a Key to Natural Parenting” — Because Mrs. Green at Little Green Blog values accepting and responding to her daughter’s needs, she was able to unravel the mystery of her daughter’s learning “challenges.” (@myzerowaste)
  • Let Them Look” — Betsy at Honest 2 Betsy makes time to look at, to touch, and to drool on the pinecones.
  • Why I Love Unschooling” — Unschooling isn’t just about learning for Darcel at The Mahogany Way — it is a way of life. (@MahoganyWayMama)
  • Is He Already Behind?“Ever worry that your baby or toddler is behind the curve? Danielle at born.in.japan will reassure you about the many ways your little one is learning — naturally — every day. Watch for her post, which will be featured on Natural Parents Network on Tuesday, November 16. (@borninjp)
  • How to Help Your Child through Natural Learning” — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now offers tips on how to understand and nurture your child’s natural learning style. (@DebChitwood)

Healthy Living

Parenting Philosophies

Political and Social Activism

There’s No Food Like Home’s

Welcome to the July Carnival of Natural Parenting: Let’s Talk About Food

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 written about their struggles and successes with healthy eating. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

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I cannot think of my culture without thinking of food. Food is a necessary part of my memories of home and what it means to be a Bajan.

There is no November without conkies.

There is no Christmas without baking.

There is no “town” without snow-cones.

There are no Sunday lunches without rice and peas.

There are no weddings without rum cake.

There are no mornings without “tea.”

Whenever my mother comes to visit she brings a suitcase full of goodies that include tamarind balls, sugar cakes, Shirley biscuits, Ju-C, mauby, and Eclipse biscuits. I relish these goodies like the rare treasures they are. C politely declines to eat most of them because his palate is decidedly content with its Midwestern tastes.

Yet, despite food being such a big part of my Bajan identity, I don’t usually cook Bajan food at home. When I moved to the US as a teenager, my daily meals became more American and once I left for college I was thoroughly immersed in American culture.

Now I cook things like turkey chilli, turkey meatloaf, spaghetti and ground turkey with spaghetti sauce, and stirfry. However, my dishes hint at my Caribbean upbringing because I’m certainly not afraid to use spices (Sidenote: Beware of restaurants that use mangoes and pineapples in a dish and call it “Caribbean.” Real Caribbean food is savory and spicy more so than fruity and sweet). Plus, I can’t seem to bake chicken without putting ketchup on it.

I wonder about what this will mean to Baby E as he grows up. I want his home to be reflective of his various heritages but I know my culture will be in the minority. He may not have memories of my grandmother in her kitchen stirring cornmeal with a cou-cou stick but I’ll make sure he knows what cou-cou is. When he asks for sweet tea on a hot summer’s day, I’ll make sure he knows mauby is an option. And when I take him home to Barbados for visits he’ll learn that “sea grapes” aren’t really grapes, “golden apples” aren’t really apples, “fat porks” don’t come from pigs, and you can’t really hurt anyone with a “lead pipe.”

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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be updated July 13 with all the carnival links.)

Soapbox Sunday: The Premiere

I’ve decided to follow in the footsteps of other respectable bloggers and share with you some links that I found enjoyable and/or interesting. Today we take a look at what some other blogging mothers have been talking about lately.

New blogger, The Juggling Matriach, explores accepting our postpartum bodies in “When will my body go back to normal?

Hobo Mama speaks about her son’s first time-out at school and why the technique may not be as effective or gentle as we think.

Renee at Womanist Musings shares her love for her sons and the little bit of sadness she feels about their growing up in “How Long Will You Be My Baby?

Courtroom Mama links us to some great writings from the participants in the Crisis in the Crib Blogging Challenge.

Kelly Hogaboom describes the “inter-netz asshattery” she’s encountered recently and introduced me to the Adult Privilege Checklist.

Dionna and Paige at NursingFreedom.org worked really hard and have wrapped up the week-long Carnival of Nursing in Public.

Pocket.Buddha is celebrating the upcoming World Breastfeeding Week with her own blog carnival.

Code Name: Mama gets some advocacy started after a radio DJ made disparaging remarks about nursing in public.

Let’s show these bloggers some love, shall we? Then, feel free to share in the comments section what you’ve found interesting lately.

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