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

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.)

  • Attachment Parenting in the NICU — Erica at ChildOrganics shares some strategies to help you parent naturally in some unnatural circumstances.
  • 10 Reasons to Choose Baby Led Weaning — Luschka from Diary of a First Child shares ten reasons to choose Baby Led Weaning when it comes to solids.
  • Choosing to Breastfeed — From selfishness to self-giving, CatholicMommy at Working to be Worthy lists reasons why breast is best for her and her family.
  • Ten Things I Wish I Knew About Before Little Man — In this reflective post, The ArstyMama discusses ten things she wishes she knew more about before the birth of her son, Little Man.
  • 10 Things That Helped Me Become a Natural MamaThe Accidental Natural Mama counts down ten things that helped her find her moderately crunchy inner mama self.
  • Top 10 Reasons to Breastfeed Your Toddler — Extended breast-feeder Kate Wicker of Momopoly makes her own top 10 list for why she loves nursing her 2-year-old.
  • Top 10 Tips on Authentic Grandparenting — Mamapoekie of Authentic Parenting offers a list of tips to make the grandparent-parent-child relationship flow smoothly.
  • Top Ten “Dad” Things — Liam at In The Now talks about his favourite ways to spend time with his children.
  • Top 10 Natural Strategies for Conception (aka How to Get Pregnant!) — Despite facing plenty of health issues, Jessica Claire at Crunchy-Chewy Mama found her way to two first-try pregnancies thanks to these natural strategies.
  • Top Ten Reasons Why Home Birth Rocks — Lucy at Dreaming Aloud shares her passion for birthing at home – the natural place for natural birth.
  • Top 10 reasons why cloth nappies are fun — Tat at Cloth Nappies Are Fun shows how using cloth nappies can brighten up your day.
  • Top Ten Ways to Be Present With Family — Amy at Innate Wholeness shares how to make the most of parenting and family life through being present.
  • Top 10 Things In My Arsenal of Kitchen Witchy Mama Tricks. — Joni Rae at Tales of A Kitchen Witch shares with us the simple things she would never want to be missing from her cupboards.
  • Top 10 ways I’m not very good at natural parenting (and why I keep trying anyway) — Jenny at Babyfingers shares the ways she is imperfect as a natural parent, and why she embraces natural parenting anyway.
  • Top 10 Ways to Know You Are a Natural Parent — So what makes us “natural parents,” anyway? A lighthearted look at the Top 10 Ways to Know You Are a Natural Parent by the editors and readers of Natural Parents Network.
  • The Top 10 Things Every Natural Household (with children) Should Have — Amanda at Let’s Take the Metro shares a list of the most common natural products and remedies she uses for health and cleaning.
  • Top 10 books for raising loving, spiritual children — In her ‘food for the soul’ post, Mrs Green from Little Green Blog shares her favourite spiritual books. No matter what religion you practise, there’s something for everyone!
  • Top 10 Things No One Told Me About Natural Parenting — Adrienne at Mommying My Way explains that the best things about natural parenting are things she never expected.
  • Top 10 Flower Essences for Families — Kim of Nature Baby Bloggings lists her pick of the top ten flower essence which can help ease families through the ups and downs of life.
  • My Top Ten Parenting Tools — Amyables at Toddler In Tow names the top ten tools that have been helpful to her while learning to parent respectfully and successfully.
  • Ten Ways Families Can Enjoy Nature (for free!) — Spring is nearly in the air, and Jenn at Monkey Butt Junction is dreaming of the fun and frugal ways that her family is going to get out and enjoy nature this summer.
  • 10 Reasons We Unschool — Patti at Jazzy Mama explains why unschooling is the right choice for her family.
  • Must Read: Natural Parenting Top Ten — Amy at Anktangle wants you to do a little reading! She shares her top ten favorite books to help parents prepare for pregnancy, birth, and parenting.
  • Top 10 Breastfeeding Misconceptions — Sheila at A Gift Universe examines ten reasons women give for why they didn’t breastfeed as long as they wanted, and shows how these obstacles can be overcome.
  • Ten Reasons to Plan a Home Birth — Since a home birth can be an incredibly empowering experience, Leslie at Lights and Letters outlines ten reasons why you should plan to have your baby at home.
  • Top Ten Books for Birth, Breastfeeding and Parenting — Megan at Just Me(gan) writes about the ten books that have helped her the most in her natural parenting journey.
  • A Top Ten Letter To Me… — Kat at Loving {Almost} Every Moment writes herself a letter of reflections and bits of wisdom she would have liked to know as a new mama.
  • Top Ten Mama Necessities Money Can’t Buy — Buying baby gear is fun, but Emily at Crunchy(ish) Mama knows real parenting must-haves can’t be bought in stores (or even on Amazon).
  • Top 10 Books for a Natural Mum — Isil at Smiling like Sunshine talks about her Top 10 Books for a Natural Mum.
  • Ten Great Spring Activities To Do With Preschoolers — Kellie at Our Mindful Life and her family have come up with a great list of activities to do together this spring.
  • 10 Ways to Reuse Yogurt Containers — Acacia at Fingerpaint & Superheroes keeps the stacks of yogurt containers out of her recycling bin by reusing them in both practical and creative ways.
  • Top Ten Ways To Have a Harmonious Home — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares her natural parenting-inspired methods for maintaining a harmonious daily life with her toddler.
  • 10 Natural Baby Items I Love — Charise at I Thought I Knew Mama shares product ideas to support your natural parenting.
  • The Pandas’ Top Five Crunch-osophies — Top five crunchy philosophies, as employed at the Panda Residence by Ana at Pandamoly.
  • Top 10 Reasons to Leave Your Son Intact — Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children has shared 10 reasons why you should leave your newborn son intact.
  • Ten things everyone should know about unassisted homebirth — Olivia at Write About Birth shares practical tips for women considering an unassisted homebirth and debunks some common myths
  • 10 Most Popular Ways To Treat Cloth Diaper Stains — Chante at My Natural Motherhood Journey gives ten easy tips to make your diapers like new.
  • 10 Lessons in 1 Year — Abbie at Farmer’s Daughter shares 10 parenting lessons that she has learned throughout her first year of motherhood.
  • Top 10 Ways to Get Breastfeeding Off To a Good Start — Sheryl at Little Snowflakes shares 10 effective ways to ensure breastfeeding gets off to a good start.
  • Top 10 Ways to Avoid a Time-Out — If you are uncomfortable using time-outs in an attempt to control your child’s behavior, try one of these gentler alternatives. Dionna at Code Name: Mama shares her Top 10 Ways to Avoid a Time-Out.
  • My Top 10 Parenting ScripturesDulce de leche is learning to integrate faith and parenting. Whether it is breastfeeding, babywearing, comforting her children, or gentle discipline, she finds that the Bible has beautiful passages to encourage her on her journey.
  • Natural Cleaning Ideas – Top 10 — Laura at Laura’s Blog lists the ways she keeps her house clean and clear of chemicals.
  • My Top Ten (plus two) Life Altering and Growth Inspiring Books — A top ten list of books from MJ at Wander Wonder Discover that changed her life as an individual, a parent, and an earth dweller.
  • Top 10 Ways to Use Natural Parenting for Children with Special Needs — Danielle at Mommy Makes Cents feeds the needs of her family and special needs child through the use of Natural Parenting.
  • Ten Fundamentals — Seonaid at The Practical Dilettante gets philosophical with a list of the fundamentals that drive her natural parenting.
  • 10 reasons why I chose breast over bottles — Becky at Old New Legacy writes a quick list of why she chose breast over bottles.
  • Top Ten Natural Tools for the Work of Play — Lori at Beneath the Rowan Tree offers insight into 10 natural toys that will span the early years (and save you money).
  • 10 differences between pregnancy and parenting in Japan and the US — Megan at Ichigo Means Strawberry gives her impressions about differences in pregnancy and parenting in Japan and the US.
  • Natural Parenting Benny & Bex Style — Pecky at Benny and Bex explains why Natural Parenting principles work best for her boys.
  • Top 10 Reasons to Co-Sleep — 10 practical, emotional, and completely selfish reasons to co-sleep and share a family bed from Lily, aka Witch Mom.
  • My Top Ten New Mommy Moments — Melissa at The New Mommy Files recounts the ten most memorable moments of her daughter’s first year.
  • Top Ten Things Every Breastfeeding Mother Needs to Know — Kristen at Adventures in Mommyhood believes knowledge is power and wants all moms to be well informed.
  • Top 10 Nursing Positions / SituationsMomma Jorje uses her 5½ years of nursing experience to share her Top 10 Nursing Positions/Situations. She includes some adorable photos of her youngest daughter at the breast.
  • Ten Top Ways to Connect Kids with Nature — Terri from Child at the Nature Isle offers 10 ways to immerse ourselves in the natural world and develop a love affair with the Earth.
  • Top 10 Slacker Ways to Natural ParentGuavalicious is happy to show you how to parent naturally the slacker way.
  • Simply what it looks like — Andrea!!! from Ella-Bean & Co. offers a glimpse into natural parenting through the eyes of mama and babe.
  • Top Ten Reasons Why Natural Parenting Dads Are So Attractive — Nada at miniMOMist sure digs her husband, but it’s not just his good looks — it’s his parenting!
  • 10 Family Systems and Routines That Work for Us — See what routines, organizational systems, and parenting approaches work for Kristin at Intrepid Murmurings to help avoid conflict and maintain sanity in a family with three young children.
  • Top 10 reasons to choose midwifery care — Lauren at Hobo Mama lists the features that drew her to midwives’ care for pregnancy and birth.
  • 10 Ways to Cloth Diaper on a Budget — Michelle at The Parent Vortex shares her best thrifty cloth diapering tips.
  • Ten Reasons it Felt Sew Good To Make My Own Play Food — Brittany at Mama’s Felt Cafe lists her 10 (OK, 11) favorite reasons to grab a needle and start sewing your own felt play toys.
  • Top10 Ways to Spark Interest, Learn, and Have Fun With Everyday Tasks! — Bethy at Bounce Me to the Moon gives you her top 10 ways of incorporating fun and lessons into everyday tasks and chores.
  • Postpartum Gift Ideas — Alicia at I Found My Feet suggests a top 10 list of gifts for mother’s after giving birth.
  • My Top Ten Shows Worthy Of Screen Time — Tree at Mom Grooves shares her top ten list of shows that she believes are positive, educational, kind, joyful, and a nice way to share some downtime with your children.
  • The Top 10 Ways to Succeed as an Working Attachment ParentThat Mama Gretchen shares tried and true ways to succeed with attachment parenting even when working away from home during the day.
  • Top Ten Books for Natural Parenting — Pregnancy, herbs, cooking, and healthcare the ten books Asha at Meta Mom the most.
  • Preparing for a Hospital VBAC: My Top 10 — Thomasin at Propson Palingenesis shares 10 ways she’s preparing for her upcoming hospital VBAC.
  • Top Ten New Mom Survival Tools — Wolfmother shares her most beloved motherhood survival tools at Fabulous Mama Chronicles.
  • Top 10 Montessori Principles for Natural Learning — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now gives her top 10 list of Montessori principles parents can use to encourage their children s natural learning.
  • Going Granola — Tashmica from The Mother Flippin’ Blog describes the 10 ways that natural parenting sneaked up on her. She never expected to go all granola on the world.
  • Step Away From the Amazon List — Stefanie at Very, Very Fine wishes she hadn’t bought so much useless stuff.

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Comments

  1. says

    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!

  2. says

    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! :)

  3. says

    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! :-)

  4. 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?!)

  5. says

    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.

  6. says

    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!

  7. says

    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!

  8. says

    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?!

  9. says

    #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.

  10. says

    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 😉

  11. says

    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

  12. says

    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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