I’ve been parenting for 19 years – as a holistic mom. Here are some important tips I’d like to share from my experience.
1. Take care of yourself!
This belongs at the top of the list. If you don’t take care of yourself and you are stressed or tired, you can’t be emotionally or physically present with your children. Honor yourself and take time to do what it takes for you to be healthy and happy. Children will mimic behavior they see versus what they’ve been told. In the long run, your whole family will benefit.
2. Ask for help.
Seriously. Just ask a friend or family member for what you need to make your life easier. You’ll be surprised at how much others are willing and able to support you and your child.
3. Develop your intuition and trust your instincts.
Moms have a great gift – intuition. This intuition is driven by powerful maternal hormones (prolactin and oxytocin) that are stimulated by holding and breastfeeding babies. The endless mind clutter and external stimulation that’s constantly vying for your attention can interfere with your intuition. When you can loosen the grip of all the other voices and tap in to your own inner guidance to parent from your heart, you will naturally know what to do to meet your children’s needs.
4. Find a doctor you can trust.
Find a doctor who will talk with you and respect you and your decisions. Ask questions until you feel satisfied that what your doctor is recommending is the right thing for your child. You know more about your child than anyone else. If you’re really not comfortable with your doctor’s opinion, get a second one.
5. Create a team of doctors.
Creating a holistic team of health professionals will provide more complete care. You may want to have a chiropractor, a naturopathic physician, a pediatrician, a Chinese medical doctor or homeopath available on your child’s team. In the CureChild program we discuss the different types of pediatric health professionals and how to choose health practitioners for your child.
6. Learn as much as you can about childhood illnesses and how to treat them.
If you know the signs and symptoms of childhood diseases and know which ones are serious, you will know what you can manage at home and when you should call a doctor. Learn all you can about herbs, homeopathy and nutritional supplements so you can treat the minor illnesses on your own. In the CureChild program, we tell you what you can treat at home and what requires medical attention. We go into depth about these treatments and teach you how to prevent and treat common childhood illnesses with safe, effective holistic medicine.
7. Do whatever you can to reduce toxins in your child’s environment.
Young children are especially vulnerable to toxins. Find out how your child is exposed and take whatever steps you can to reduce exposures. It’s impossible to completely eliminate all chemicals from your child’s environment, but make sure you take care of the big exposures, especially the sleeping environment. Make sure this space is toxin-free by providing a non-toxic mattress and bedding, and an air purifier for breathing clean air. The CureChild program covers this topic in depth. Here are some links that can help:
8. Make up your own mind about vaccines.
Don’t trust anyone’s opinion or follow anyone else’s views about whether you should vaccinate. This includes your pediatrician since most are very biased and have not done enough research to know how vaccines may affect your child. Do your own thorough vaccine research so you can fully understand all the issues, pros and cons. In the CureChild program we talk about how to make informed choices regarding vaccines and also go into depth on the pros and cons of each vaccine.
9. Scrutinize and discern what is right for you.
Know how to research, scrutinize and discern what’s right for you and your child. Just because someone writes an article or a blog post and it sounds like they know what they’re talking about, don’t just accept it as fact. Check into it further.
10. Check deeper into scientific research.
Most people just take the carefully worded conclusions drawn from a study as fact. Many times these are just sound bites to influence your opinion. If you read the entire study, you might find that it’s not so cut and dry. Know how to decipher studies and discern between valid conclusive research and inconclusive or faulty studies. It’s also important to know who funded the research so you can detect any biases.
11. Find a holistic parenting group for support – find your tribe.
My midwife connected me with other holistic moms in her practice who recently had babies and we formed a mom’s support group. As first-time mothers, we nursed our babies together while sharing about ourselves, our babies, our fears, doubts, concerns, and our joys. This group was extremely valuable to me as a new mom. Later on I joined a Continuum Concept group with other parents interested in attachment parenting. At one point I also joined my local Mothers’ Club and a babysitting coop. Now there are holistic parenting support groups you can find online and join locally, i.e. Holistic Moms Network and Families for Conscious Living. There are also Mother’s Clubs and babysitting coops in most cities.
12. As much as you can, let go of your fears and worries.
Your children can feel when you are fearful or worried about certain things and they may become insecure about these things too. Children pick up on parents’ anxiety and become anxious themselves. A big source of anxiety is worrying about what you don’t know, so becoming an informed parent can help reduce anxiety. If you trust in yourself and believe that all is well, your children will feel the same.
13. Make food and eating fun.
When my daughter was really young, I was pretty restrictive about food. This backfired on me. Once I began teaching her about healthy food and allowed her to make her own choices, food became a lot more easy and fun. It’s important to establish a life-long love of healthy food vs. setting our kids up for rebellion around food. Let them make their own choices within healthy boundaries.
14. Get to know your children fully.
Children have unique needs, temperaments, behavior patterns, talents and learning styles. If you can identify and understand your child’s inborn nature, you can develop a unique approach to parenting that’s best for your individual child. In the CureChild program, we teach about identifying your child’s unique temperament, learning style, talents and behavior patterns so you can more fully assist them.
Instead of raising your children to become what society deems successful and acceptable, you may want to consider nurturing, assisting, and allowing your children to follow their heart and tap into their own inner voice. Allow them to trust their natural inclinations and feelings, express their creativity and create their own path and dreams.
15. Choose the parenting style that works best for you and your children.
There is no one “right” way to parent, and there are many parenting paths and choices within a holistic lifestyle. Many holistic parents are practicing “attachment parenting”. At the heart of attachment parenting is the principle of nurturing a strong bond of connection between you and your children. There are many ways to create and maintain this bond and treat your children with respect, kindness and dignity. Find what works best for you and your family, and let go of placing rigid demands on yourself. Go back to the #1 parenting tip – take care of yourself so you have enough energy and emotional stability to fully bond with and nurture your children!
There are many more tips and a vast amount of reliable information available to you in the CureChild program. Join now to be an empowered parent who knows what to do for your unique child.