Children can have permanent emotional issues when their parents raise them in a distant manner, valuing perfection over embracing who the kids really are as people.
This is why a lot of parents are now considering the holistic approach. Holistic parenting involves embracing parenting as a journey. Essentially, it recognizes that the choices we make are all interconnected, and are further connected with our health and well being. The idea behind it is that we as parents make informed decisions.
Holistic parenting acknowledges that the decisions we make may not always be perfect. You can't know everything, and the fact is that as time passes, you will make mistakes. But the more you are informed about not only the conventional parenting choices but the ones that are often considered "alternative" by more traditional parents.
Holistic parenting often means parenting with a green approach and trying to live a life as non-toxic as possible. This benefits not only you, but your children, and ultimately equals a better life. All living things are considered when parenting holistically, which also means letting your kids make more decisions and treating them as individuals. This encourages children to be confident, and build nurturing relationships with others. With that being said, let's look into some simple ways that you can parent holistically.
Let Your Kids Choose Their Own HairstyleThis may not seem very important to you, or perhaps it's extremely important. A lot of parents force their children into styles that they aren't comfortable with. For instance, a boy may have naturally gravitated towards letting his hair grow long, but his parents always made him wear it short. Perhaps a girl is interested in experimenting with wearing her hair in crazy styles that you wouldn't necessarily choose for her.
But that's the point. You shouldn't choose for her.
Letting your kids choose their own hairstyles allows them to build their own personal sense of expression up. In fact, it's been shown that 88% of women report that their hair has a direct effect on their confidence levels. You may not agree with the hairstyle your child chooses, but it's a small sacrifice to make as you build them into a more confident person.
Include Your Kids In Major DecisionsThink about how many major decisions you make without your kids' input. The fact is that lots of kids feel a diminished amount of confidence and security when big decisions are made without their input. At the same time, you can't necessarily change major decisions like, say, moving to a different house, because your kids want you to do so. You can still listen to their input, however, and honor that input. And in some cases, you really can consider your kids' opinions when it comes to major decisions that are a bit more subject to personal feelings.
Say, for example, you're renovating your home. Each year, homeowners remodel over 10.2 million kitchens and 14.2 million bathrooms. If some of the parents considering such projects take the time to talk to their kids and consider their input, their children feel like it was their project too. Furthermore, giving your children the ability to add their input gives them a bigger sense of responsibility for the house, which will make it easier for them to do their chores and clean.
Let Your Kids Choose Their Outfits For The DayMany parents may already be familiar with the conflict they can have over clothes with their kids. You may be worried about how your child is dressed, and you may want to edit their daily outfits. But there's an easy way to avoid that conflict we mentioned. Simply don't worry! Let your kids choose their own outfits, even if they look silly.
You may be worried about how people will judge your child, and that is understandable. But it's important for your child to have control over their personal creativity, and furthermore interactions, both positive and negative, can be turned into learning opportunities. Right now, you may be like the average consumer, who spends $1,700 on apparel and related services. But how many of the clothing items that you buy for your kids do they really enjoy? By allowing them to pick out their outfits, you'll probably end up wasting a lot less money on clothes your kids don't even like!
Teach Your Kids About The Natural WorldThere are so many reasons why children should be in touch with the natural world. Most kids naturally like animals, and you can springboard from this to help them learn about how important it is to recycle and to take responsibility for the earth. Perhaps help your kids grow their own gardens, or pull weeds and fertilize the lawn. Ideally, this will help your child grow up with a respect for nature and the ecosystem. This will benefit not only them in the future, but the world at large. Teach them about the natural wonders of the human body, too. Lessons like not judging yourself based on appearance -- you have dimply thighs? So does 90% of the population! -- can help them accept their natural selves.
At the end of the day, nobody can have total control over their kids, and you'll probably be a better parent if you don't try to do so. Accept your child as they are, and gently guide them; you'll be glad you did!
Devin is a writer and an avid reader. When she isn't lost in a book or writing, she's busy in the kitchen trying to perfect her slow cooker recipes. You can find her poetry published in The Adirondack Review and Cartridge Lit.