when our children are grown…

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.


Photo by Into Somerset

As parents, we are responsible for making many decisions when it comes to raising our precious children. As natural parents, basing practices on both research and instinct, my husband and I have made many decisions accordingly. We have done so because we feel that these are the best decisions for our family.

We’ve had unassisted births with all of our children. I nurse our children and practice child-led weaning. We sign with our children to help them communicate before they can speak. Our children sleep in the family bed until they are ready to move to their own bed. I wear our children until they are old enough to not need or want to be carried anymore. And yet, at some point, all of those things will eventually come to an end. There will come a day when our children don’t need us to do those things with them anymore.

Some day our children will be grown. They won’t need parents anymore. How we treat our children now not only affects our current relationships with them; it will affect how they communicate with others and the type of relationships we have with them when they are grown. By treating our children with respect and working with them in a consensual manner, we build a firm foundation of love and respect for all of their future relationships – including the ones they have with us.


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):

    • 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.
    • 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)
    • 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)

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

22 thoughts on “when our children are grown…

Add yours

  1. ” By treating our children with respect and working with them in a consensual manner, we build a firm foundation of love and respect for all of their future relationships – including the ones they have with us.”

    I couldn’t agree more! I spend so much of my time thinking about the long term effects of our parenting choices. I want my children to grow into adults who are at ease in the world, and who respect themselves and those around them. They won’t learn this by being condescended to, hit, or treated as inferiors.

  2. This post says so succinctly my own feelings on why we are trying to parent respectfully. While the thought of Kieran being anything but my baby makes me a little sniffly, I do know that someday when he is taller than I am, we will enjoy a warm, trusting bond based on the love and respect that we have been building from birth.

  3. Isn’t that the truth?! By focusing on our relationship rather than on enforcing independence our children grow up to be indepedent empathetic and respectful adults. They won’t need us forever – how true. It’s hard to remember that. Your post was a good reminder of this.

  4. I just came across this quote that I thought resonated with what you’ve written today:

    Whenever I held my newborn baby in my arms, I used to think that what I said and did to him could have an influence not only on him but on all whom he met, not only for a day or a month or a year, but for all eternity – a very challenging and exciting thought for a mother.
    – Rose Kennedy – mother of John F. Kennedy, 35th President of U.S.

  5. Yes, the thought of parenting for who our children will someday become really does put things into perspective. Sometimes I feel like natural parenting is my most powerful way of changing the world, in these small, almost invisible ways.

  6. Nice, short, to-the-point post! Though I argue whether there will ever be a time when a child (even a grown one) feels they truly no longer need their parents.

    It is exactly that relationship between ourselves and our children that I keep in mind, selfish being that I am. I don’t think I have a great relationship with either of my parents and I can see how their parenting styles certainly affected that. I hope for a close relationship with my children when they’re grown, I want to be a guest in their lives. I want them to share their lives with me. And I think respecting them (in all these ways you mention) is the best first step in that direction!

  7. “There will come a day when our children don’t need us to do those things with them anymore.”

    But the lasting effects of those things… will be ingrained & passed along to their children, and hopefully their children’s children. Raising our children with respect for them as individual beings, with feelings that are as real as our own, is so important. That foundation of trust and respect and self esteem goes far beyond the time we spend with them. 🙂

  8. Pingback: Do You Have This?
  9. What a beautiful post! I read your other post on “be your child’s friend,” and it really spoke to me as well. I have gone through a lot of thinking through what I wish for our relationship when my children is grown — and unfortunately, I can’t base it entirely off the relationships Sam and I have with our parents, because I want different, and better. I think keeping those long-term goals in mind helps you focus your short-term goals. Knowing that you want your child to respect you and connect with you as an adult makes you more apt to treat him with respect and connection as a child. Thank you for this post (and the other!)!

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