Parenting is Not One-Size-Fits-All

NPN RTD featureThis post is written as part of the Round Table Discussions with Natural Parent Network volunteers. In an effort to discuss, support, and promote a kinder, more gentle world, we are taking an in depth view of various books. Our current book is No Drama Discipline by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D. and Tina Payne Bryson, Ph. D, authors of the book The Whole Brain Child. We hope you will join us with an open mind and a desire for change and growth.


913856-bobby_brady1I am not a Brady Bunch fan. The fact is I didn’t watch the reruns growing up. However, I did happen to catch one particular rerun with my husband during undergrad. I don’t know that all of the shows were so telling, but this particular episode stuck with me. Bobby, who is the youngest Brady son, is given the ultimate job at school: safety monitor. He can write students up for not following the rules and therefore not being safe. Oh, the power! It isn’t long before he has enacted his institutionally given powers at home, turning in reports on his siblings to their parents. One sibling comes home after curfew. Another has a different sibling do her chores. You get the idea. Each person has a reason for breaking the rules, but it doesn’t matter. They broke the rules. As far as Bobby is concerned, this blatant disregard for rules is black and white. That is, until he is faced with breaking the rules to go into an old house, while getting his good suit dirty, in order to save a cat. Suddenly he is faced with making a decision.

The story unfolds from there. He makes the decision to save the cat. A mishap with a large amount of laundry detergent results in him shrinking his suit, flooding the house with suds, and his parents finding out. The lesson is learned, however. Life isn’t one-size-fits-all.

Each situation is unique. Just as we want our children to learn to think for themselves, assessing situations and using that information to come up with the best solutions, so to do we need to do that as parents. We can’t rely on arbitrary rules and pre-determined punishments in order for our children to learn. Life doesn’t work that way. If the goal of our parenting is to raise empathetic, conscientious critical thinking, we have to raise them that way.

Changes for a New Year

Welcome to the February edition of the Simply Living Blog Carnival – New Beginnings cohosted by Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children, Laura at Authentic Parenting, Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy, and Joella at Fine and Fair. This month’s topic, our writers consider where they are with their New Year’s Resolutions or new ventures of 2013. Please check out the links to posts by our other participants at the end of this post.



Photo by Krug6 (Flickr)

The beginning of a New Year often brings New Year’s resolutions. A few weeks later, or sometimes less, most of those same people will have given up. Their lofty goals having been too much to change all at once. Because of that, I’ve never really been one for New Year’s resolutions. I assumed that if my grand ambitions were going to go by the wayside, I was pretty much setting myself up for failure. That doesn’t mean that I don’t want to enact changes in my life. I do. I just look at it differently.

At the end of 2012, I had decided that there were some things that I would like to change. I’ve taken a simple approach to it. I’m changing and making small habits and giving them time to set in. In January, I worked on taking a moment to  breathe each day. During those times, I didn’t multi-task. I just took value in being. I’ll be honest to say that I learned quite a bit about myself that way. I finally figured out why it is that I never stop working on projects, why I have a hard time saying no to queries for help, and why I feel at a loss if I’m not busy with something.

February is a month to write and begin some projects I’ve long considered but have never begun. While my blogging has been spotty, my writing on larger projects has increased. I’ve already chosen what to work on next: getting back into yoga. I used to really enjoy the feeling of doing yoga and miss it.

Most of us would like to change something about ourselves. None of us are perfect. Whether it is a bad habit we want to change or a healthier habit we want to begin, the potential is always there. We don’t have to save up these changes for a new year. Each day, each moment, is a new beginning: a new possibility. We only have to make the decision to change. If we fall short of our goals, it’s okay, because there is another new beginning starting right now.

Thank you for visiting the Simply Living Blog Carnival cohosted by Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children, Laura at Authentic Parenting, Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy, and Joella at Fine and Fair. Read about how others are incorporating simple living into their lives via new beginnings. We hope you will join us next month, as the Simply Living Blog Carnival focuses on Clearing the Clutter!



  • Using Special Time to Simply Connect – Amber at Heart Wanderings begins to focus on simply connecting with each of her children for a few minutes of Special Time each day. A deeper connection and sense of joy, softening of emotional outbursts, and less sibling rivalry have resulted from this practice.
  • Redefining Simplicity – Living within our needs – Survivor from Surviving Mexico talks about how moving from a first-world country to a third world country has changed her family’s perception of simplicity. Adapting to this new life has not been easy, but can be done with an attitude of gratitude.
  • Changes – Sustainable mom writes about how she is bringing back a beat to a rhythm that has been falling apart.
  • Listening to my Kids – Christy at Eco Journey In The Burbs is seeking peace and freedom after over-scheduling her daughters.
  • Thankful to Begin Again – Mercedes @ Project Procastinot learns a lesson from her twins.
  • Changes for a New Year – Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children is concentrating on making small changes this year in an effort to make better habits.
  • Parenting Two: A Fresh Start – Joella at Fine and Fair embraces the transition as her family grows as a new beginning by being gentle with herself and realistic with her expectations.
  • Finding Balance – At Authentic Parenting, Laura looks at where she’s gotten fighting depression and spiring to a more harmonious life.


Mitten Strings for God

Mitten Strings for God

When I first heard of Katrina Kenison’s book, Mitten Strings for God: Reflections for Mothers in a Hurry, I mentally brushed it off. With such a title, I expected the book to proselytize religious beliefs. When the book showed up in my mailbox from the publisher, I picked it up with apprehension, and found I was pleasantly surprised.

There are a handful of religious references in the book, but Kenison mentions them only in context to her life and never comes out and says anything definitive about what she believes. There is no expectation or proclamation of what the reader should or should not believe. Instead, the book is about simple living or voluntary simplicity.

We live in a world that is rushing about in search of something. If we just slow down, we would see that what we are looking for is right here. “Reflections for Mothers in a Hurry” is an accurate description of this book. As mothers, not only is it important that we slow down to enjoy our children in the short time we are with them; it is imperative that our children have the opportunity to slow down and figure out who they are. This is a fabulous book for anyone who wants to cherish their children and live a life of meaning.

Take your time reading the book. Reflect on where you are at in life and where you want to be. Cut out the things which are detracting from the life you truly desire. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: A copy of the book was provided by the publisher.