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Top Ten Ways To Have A Harmonious Home (Using a Natural Parenting Approach)

Welcome to the March Carnival of Natural Parenting: Natural Parenting Top 10 Lists

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared Top 10 lists on a wide variety of aspects of attachment parenting and natural living. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

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Top 10 Ways to Have a Harmonious Home: HybridRastaMama.com Follow Me on Pinterest

Through trial and error, research, and lots and lots of observation, I have found the following to be the top ten ways in which I am able to have a harmonious home with and peacefully parent an active toddler using natural parenting methods.

1.       A daily rhythm is a key component to a harmonious day! Strive towards having a consistent ebb and flow of events and activities each day. Have consistent naptimes and bedtimes for your children and maintain a routine around each of these that is the same day in and day out. Children like to know what comes next and maintaining the same naptime and bedtime routines will help ease your children into sleep. In addition, it is important that the body comes to expect sleep at the same time every day. It will naturally relax as sleep times near, allowing your children to begin their journey into dreamland. Have consistent mealtimes and much like sleep times, maintain a consistent routine around mealtimes. The stomach releases digestive juices approximately ½ hour before each meal, provided meals are at the same time each day. By allowing the digestive juices to be released at the same time every day, your children will be hungry making it easier to pry them away from whatever activity they were engaged in. They will also have an easier time digesting their foods which is beneficial to their overall health and energy level.

2.       Get your children outside EVERY day, rain, snow, wind, or sun! Children need fresh air, they need room to run and the opportunity to get loud. A child stuck indoors all day will undoubtedly be more difficult to parent as the day wears on and boredom and pent up energy sets in.

3.       Let your child get dirty! Children must explore nature in all of its dirty splendor in order to develop a healthy appreciation for mother earth. In addition, children must be allowed free rein to get dirty while creating works of art whether it be through painting, coloring, or playing with playdough. Restricting children to activities that keep them clean is selfish on the parents’ part and detrimental to healthy development.

4.       Balance periods of high energy activities with quite moments of down time. Children need opportunities to breathe in and breathe out. Make sure that they are getting these. Follow a busy hour outside with a peaceful story in your lap. Follow naptime with a snack and then some vigorous play to help get the newfound energy out!

5.       Create a manageable list of daily tasks that you can involve your children in (if they so choose). Pick one room a day to spot clean and afford your children the opportunity to help at whatever level is appropriate for their age. Spot clean the same room on the same day of the week so your child(ren) come to know the routine.

6.       Avoid having communication breakdowns and failures with your significant other in front of your children. Save adult conversations and heated debates for a more appropriate time. Children are only harmed by their parents’ inability to communicate respectfully with each other.

7.       Allow your children to be their age. Do not discipline them for doing things that are simply par for the developmental course. Instead, model the behavior you would like to see from them on a consistent basis.

8.       Do not go more than 20 minutes at a time without engaging your child. I’m not suggesting that you disrupt an intensive game of imaginary dragon slaying, however, as mothers go about their busy to-do list, we must be mindful that our children still need to know that we are there if they need us. So give a quick kiss, a little tickle, a short snuggle or just say a few words. For the toddler set, you may need to do more than stop by with a quick hello.

9.       Be prepared for your typical routine and rhythm to be disrupted at any given moment. Tackle the unexpected challenge with a smile on your face and a calm demeanor. Model joy for your children so that they come to appreciate the little curves life throws our way.

10.   Don’t sweat the small stuff and make mountains out of molehills. Keep your reactions balanced with the action that occurred. A spilled drink hardly warrants any emotion. Simply tell your children that “WE” both need to clean up the mess and that “WE” will try to walk more slowly while carrying a drink next time. Share responsibility for your children’s normal mishaps. Save big reactions and stern “no’s” for events like touching a hot stove and running into the street.

I hope this list helps guide you to a more harmonious daily home life with your young children. Take steps now to help create the best daily environment to peacefully and lovingly parent your children!

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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit 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:

(This list will be live and updated by afternoon March 8 with all the carnival links.)

Photo Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.com

Comments

  1. love this!!! I struggle to keep harmony with boys and cats and housework and sewing and DH at work, I will definitely try these!

  2. Aw, man, you’re convincing me I should really try to get more of a routine going with sleeping & eating. We’re astonishingly lackadaisical about those things! Interesting to know that about stomach juices.

    I definitely have noticed a difference between getting outside and not. It makes such a difference! But I have to admit I need help on the getting dirty thing. I think we allow it pretty often, but I’m always so nervous about it that I fear Mikko’s picked up on that. I hate being messy myself (and did even as a baby, if my mom’s to be believed!).

    The checking-in part is so important, too. I read someone (a mother of ~6) once say that she knows how frequently she needs to check in using this formula: child’s age x 5 = minutes. So a 2-year-old needs engaging every 10 minutes, while a 12-year-old needs some small acknowledgment every hour. This was just an approximation to give parents a sense of how much their children need their attention, but I’ve found it to be pretty accurate!

  3. I LOVE this! Especially about letting kids get dirty…If I care about an outfit that I put on either of my girls, I take a picture while it’s still nice looking. After that, I don’t care a lick about what they’re wearing because it won’t fit them in 3 months anyway! :)

  4. Great list! 6,7, and 8 are my favorites!

  5. I was just talking with my husband today about kids getting dirty. Our little one is only 7 months old, but I know as soon as he starts crawling he’ll be into everything. A definite argument in favor of buying used clothing! :-)

  6. Dionna @ Code Name: Mama says:

    I love your suggestions to get outside and get dirty. Those are both areas where we fall down in, but I keep trying! (Isn’t it funny that I have to *encourage* my child to get dirty?!)

  7. Two of the most frequent parent blunders I witness is that of arguing in front of the children and handing out developmentally inappropriate discipline. I’m glad you mentioned these as two issues that can negatively alter the harmony within a family.

  8. Another great list. This carnival is AWESOME. We are pretty good at getting dirty and getting outdoors. With no pets, we’ve made animal parks, city farms, zoo’s, pet shops and so on a very big part of our ‘outings’ since my daughter was a month old!

    My biggest downfall is routines. We have NONE. But then, at 12 months and 1 day, my daughter had been to 13 different countries. That’s very much part of OUR way of life, which makes routines very very very hard.

    Fab post. Bookmarking it so I can come back to it again. Also sharing it on my FB group! Thanks!

  9. Thanks for sharing! These are all so grounded and simple, really, but oh so hard to remember when things get hectic!
    We are very much alone locally in our routine keeping~ but my 5 year old still goes to bed at 7 PM (vs. the 9 pm of her peers!) and keeps the same routine, essentially as we have had since toddlerhood.

    Lori
    http://www.beneaththerowantree.com
    Come & join the Playdate!

  10. THANK YOU to everyone for your wonderful comments! This was a really fun post for me to write and I am glad that it is inspiring a few mamas out there! I’m so pleased to hear that many of you are already incorporating a few of these techniques. Harmony within in family is just sooooo important!

  11. such a good list! #5 is one i really struggle with — i know how important it is for my child to see me cleaning and cooking, feeding cats and chickens and doing yardwork, but for some reason i always find myself trying to sneak chores in while he’s distracted. what is my problem?!

  12. #8 is great. Ha! I made a rhyme. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in cleaning or other projects. It’s good to have a reminder to stay connected.

  13. This is fantastic, so much of this resonated with me too – thanks for sharing. No 1 is absolutely the no 1 in our home; rhythm is what holds everything together and whenever things are less than harmonious it’s always our rhythm that has stepped out of beat ;)

  14. Seriously, I suck at #1. Part of it is not my fault, Hubby’s schedule, since he’s a retail manager, and when he’s home for bedtime, it is NEVER on time. It is a battle I have decided I will not fight. But a bedtime routine, that has come and gone and I really need to get it back.
    As far as same mealtimes, that also varies. I had no clue about the enzymes. Hopefully that will be the kick in the pants I need. Peanut needs this.
    #2 has been more difficult with a second baby, + the heat advisory keeps me weary, but 10 mins a day would be beneficial.
    #4 I really, really want to do yoga with Peanut when Pistachio is napping. I think it’d be fun, plus it would teach her to calm down, plus it’s something for just us. Know of any good dvd’s?
    #5 GOOD IDEA, I like the same room on the same day part.
    #10 yes, I need to be mindful and see if I say “we” when things like that happen. I don’t know if I do or not. Hmmmm
    Thanks

  15. The checking-in part is so important, too. I read someone (a mother of ~6) once say that she knows how frequently she needs to check in using this formula: child’s age x 5 = minutes. So a 2-year-old needs engaging every 10 minutes, while a 12-year-old needs some small acknowledgment every hour. This was just an approximation to give parents a sense of how much their children need their attention, but I’ve found it to be pretty accurate!
    Very good info, thanks Lauren!

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