Becoming a parent is a life-changing experience. Apart from the obvious responsibilities attached to becoming parents, it is during this time that we actually become more attentive to what we put in and on our bodies. When we are single or just us and our partners, we usually do not mind our lifestyle. Only having coffee for breakfast? A bowl of sundae ice cream for dinner? Why not?
However, once we become parents, we begin paying closer attention to labels, products, and how these things impact our family. We start to wonder if the brands we have been loyal to throughout these years are toxins and chemicals that would harm our children and the environment.
Similarly, we begin to reflect more on the values and principles we uphold over the years. It makes us question our own thinking patterns if it is good, beneficial, and helpful to our family, especially our children.
Becoming parents compels us to educate ourselves more in terms of bettering communication lines and relationships. At the same time, we should strike a balance between career and family life. In essence, parenting pushes us to consider a holistic philosophy in going through with the journey.
What Is Holistic Parenting?
Holistic parenting essentially means being aware of all the aspects of your children’s development. It is about being aware that the choices and actions you make are correlated to the health and well-being of your kids.
Being a holistic parent, though, is not a contest. Like everything else in life, it is a combination of trial-and-error and the determination to make the best choices for our family and the world.
A holistic approach to parenting does not mean abandoning old traditions and going for a “perfect” green lifestyle. It is more about making informed choices that would produce a positive impact for everyone.
Adopting a Holistic Parenting Approach
1. Give Your Children a Room for Independence
It is only natural for us parents to be protective of our kids. But we should not overdo it. Learn to accept the fact that children learn best through trial and error. If you are too quick to “rescue” your kids, they will get used to the fact that mommy and daddy will always save the day.
While your intentions might be good, overprotected kids tend to develop more anxiety and stress as they grow older. They are also more likely to build ineffective coping strategies as adults.
You can do this instead while showering their love and protection, teach them about responsibility and accountability at a young age. One way to do it is by assigning them regular household chores.
2. Consider Changing Your Parenting Style
As we know, there are four types of parenting — authoritarian, permissive, uninvolved, and authoritative. Of all these four, it is said that authoritative parents raise more mature and responsible children.
Several studies show that kids raised by authoritative parents are well-adjusted in social, academic, and psychological aspects. They are less likely to engage in socially destructive behaviors. You build responsible and pragmatic decision-makers by encouraging your children to express their opinions in making family decisions.
3. Embrace Simplicity
If you look at social media these days, there is so much emphasis placed on material stuff. But that should not be the case. Teach your children to enjoy the simple things in life like walking in the park, enjoying sunrise and sunsets, taking photos of scenic views, or a cozy family movie night. Kids who take voluntary simplicity are said to be more creative and more in touch with their emotions.
4. Be Your Kids Emotional Coach
There are many benefits in teaching your children to identify difficult emotions and how to respond to them. Some parents commit the mistake of downplaying or repressing their kids’ emotions. Do your best to avoid that.
Children who are well aware of their emotions and know how to respond to them grow up to have fewer behavioral problems, better social relationships, and good academic outcomes. They are also less likely to turn to violent adults.
5. Stimulate Curiosity
Curiosity is something that is not natural, as opposed to what most of us know. Instead, it is something that is stimulated. Being a holistic parent means fostering our children’s curiosity. It is for good reasons we should do so. Several studies have concluded that there is a strong correlation between curiosity, intelligence, and academic performance. Not to mention, curiosity boosts creativity.
6. Discuss Financial Matters
For most parents, the topic of money is tabooed. But that should not be the case. At an early age, your children should be made aware of the value of money as it is an important tool that will help them navigate their adult lives.
Studies have shown that as early as seven, kids already have formed financial habits. Nonetheless, the best method of teaching your children the value of money is by using real-life situations. At a young age, kids cannot grasp abstract concepts yet.
For starters, you can teach them the value of delayed gratification. Allow them to handle some money and teach them the value of savings by being an example. As they grow older, you can discuss practical family financial decisions like hiring an arborist and remodeling the bathroom for home renovations.
Being a parent is a huge responsibility, and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. Hopefully, these pointers can help in fostering a holistic approach to raising kids.