We all know how it’s going to play out if the kid gets his hands on a regular cup, don’t we? Soon, the food, the spoon or both will be thoroughly jammed into the cup at first chance, while the contents are marinating your bundle of joy, and the simple task of walking across the floor gets to be a sticky experience. This is why the sippy cup has gained in popularity over the years, at the table and in the couch alike, in spite of the fact that the child should practice drinking out of an ordinary cup as soon as she has mastered the sippy. Because even if it might spare you of some cleaning, there are undisputable benefits of throwing out the sippy cup as soon as possible.
I remember some years ago, when I decided I would live a more natural life… I had the motivation, I had the yearning – but what I didn’t have, was a clue about how this would play out in my every day life. Now, some years into it, I’ve come up with some core principles of living a natural life. They are not complete, by all means, as they are as organic and ever-growing as nature itself, nor are they always possible to apply, but still: one has to have goals and aspirations, right?
So here are my core principles of living a natural life:
Being a natural parent means trying to figure out what human nature is really all about, and design the child rearing to fit with the natural terms. This goes for healthy nutrition and natural movement, of course, but also for how to «discipline» your child.
Before I write the rest of this post, I would like us to venture upon a tiny experiment together. I want you to close your eyes and NOT think about white horses while you do so. Ready? OK. Close your eyes. Now open them, and tell me what you visualized while sitting there. It was those white horses, right? The ones you shouldn’t think about? Exactly. So what in the world makes you think that it helps telling your children what NOT to do?
An ongoing debate these days, is the question of what is best for the baby and for the parents regarding how the baby should be fed. Some are concerned about their boobs being ruined, some are unable to get up their milk supply, and yet others (like here in Norway right now) are concerned that breastfeeding will mess up the gender equality.
It’s a complicated issue, at least here in our corner of the world. But as a natural parent, one must ask, if we indeed have a choice in the matter, «How did nature intend this?»
One of the main aspects of being a natural parent, is to tend to the child’s natural needs. As I am sure you are well aware of, babies come into this life with a set of abilities and expectations of the world around them. Many of those are simply called reflexes, and every woman with long hair holding a baby in her arms will have felt that full grasp – pun intended. And for those of you who haven’t: babies can get a really strong grip if they get a fist-ful of hair, and they won’t let go. They can’t, either, because they have yet to develop control over their muscles. It’s all reflexes, remnants from the time they had to cling to their mother’s fur to stay alive.