"Strong families and communities that build relationships of mutual trust         and caring and that support all people in realizing the potentials of their humanity are the best guarantee of human security."  (David Korten)
                                                   

             Naturally Peaceful Families

 


"Play is a young child's primary occupation. Through play, children develop their imagination, their understanding of the world around them, and their critical thinking skills. Through play, children also have the opportunity to learn about their environment, and how important it is to protect it."   Green Guide Families

                     

"When children are fed a diet of video games instead of real-life frogs and bugs          they are deprived of crucial nutrients for their psychological and spiritual development. These kids grow up to be alienated adults who do not know how            they fit into the big picture and who are less likely to care about ecological issues. Having unstructured childhood experiences in wild nature plays a central role in           the making of environmental activists, whereas having only electronic information about the plight of the planet actually tends to turn people away from environmental activism."               Andy Fisher (Radical Ecopsychology)

   

This Great Turning we find ourselves in, begs us to reconsider     how we live out the seasons of our lives, from cradle to grave.                                       

                          * Let's begin with BIRTH *

"Women have been delivering babies naturally for millennia.                      It is what our bodies were designed to do. However..."Due to the medical institutionalization of birth in North America, most women forget birthing  is a natural experience that, in most cases, does not need medical intervention."        
The techno-medical model of childbirth that has gained popularity in most industrialized societies, normalizes surgical interventions, such as caesarean sections, episiotomies, forceps and vacuum deliveries, and the routine use of anesthetic medications.

Unfortunately ..."Pain medications often interfere with the body"s natural way of laboring and can slow down contractions. This increases total laboring periods. In addition, women often do not feel their contractions and do not know when to push."

"Many women don"t realize the pain medication they receive is also passed on to their baby. Because of this, many babies are born slightly drugged from the pain medication. This can interfere with their innate suckling behavior that normally expresses itself shortly after birth."

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"Some women choose to give birth using no medications at all, relying instead on techniques such as relaxation and controlled breathing for pain. With natural childbirth, the mother is in control of her body, usually with a labor assistant gently guiding and supporting her through the stages of labor." A woman who is supported to labor as she instinctively wants to, is a woman who's likely to feel positive about her birth experience and future parenting skills. Her baby is better able to be alert, and breast-feeding is more likely to be enjoyable and successful.The fact that neither mom, nor baby, is medicated means natural instincts can emerge and the bonding that normally manifests between a mother and her baby can take place.

I can attest to the fact that women often feel great after their baby is born. "The euphoric feeling ... is caused by the release of endorphins in      the body during labor. Endorphins are calming and pain-relieving hormones the body naturally produces when dealing with pain."


"Frequently, women who have natural childbirths are extremely empowered and feel               much more confident. Being able to birth naturally, and successfully make it through              the extreme demands of labor, often makes a woman feel stronger and less fearful              about handling other challenges in life." 


      http://www.naturallysavvy.com/natural-pregnancy/the-benefits-of-natural-childbirth
      http://kidshealth.org/parent/pregnancy_center/childbirth/natural_childbirth.html#



Aside from encouraging more women to give birth naturally, we should as a society, be allowing new parents ample time off from work to heal and to bond with their newborns. There are few transitions in life as all encompassing as birth, and accordingly, most cultures throughout history have proscribed a lengthy, sheltered quiet time for the weeks following birth.
These days I'm so glad to see that my grown daughters and their peers are re-embracing these birth traditions in a modern style .... recreating women to women networks of help and understanding.
And fortunately, so called "attachment parenting" has become popular again.This emotionally available parenting style encourages close physical contact between parents and babies, and through sensitive understanding of a baby"s needs, helps foster a child's emotional development and well-being.


  When we raise our children naturally and peacefully from             birth onward, we enhance peace on earth

     recommended: "Ina May's Guide to Childbirth" by Ina May Gaskin

                            http://http://inamay.com/



 Thinking about how our birth choices impact our lives, leads us to naturally consider             issues of birth control, over-population and over-consumption, as well.

            Talking about population issues can be a sticky matter.

"Obviously, women aren't the only ones who create babies - but study after study has shown that population policy is linked to policies on women, and that population and women's status are inevitably tied together. We cannot talk about population without talking about women's lives and women's bodies."

"Policymakers concerned about humanity's growing numbers would find their interests best served by guaranteeing women everywhere the full spectrum of human rights. For example, fertility rates drop when women and girls are able to realize their right to education; in fact, according to the World Bank, it is estimated that one year of female schooling reduces fertility by 10 percent.

Women with formal education are much more likely to use reliable family planning methods, delay marriage and childbearing, and have fewer and healthier babies than women with no formal education."

"At the root of my own perspective on population issues, is the premise that we have to respect and trust women."  "Depletion and Abundance"   http://sharonastyk.com/

father and mother kissing a smiling boy on each cheek | image

Shall we choose to limit our population growth, or simply                                 let our numbers overwhelm our natural and man-made systems?

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                  Right now, we have an awful lot of people sharing this precious planet.

..."as population soars ... in the next 50 years, increased demands for food, clean water and fuel will have disastrous results. Among the projections are the emergence of new diseases, deteriorating water quality, dead zones along the coasts, the collapse of fisheries, and large shifts in regional climate."    Riane Eisler


                                   

        ... to be continued:       
            * healthy relationships
 


       ---- please check out ----

               
"
The Hurried Child: Growing up Too Fast Too Soon" by David Elkind

    "Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids"               
  by Kim John Payne

    "Last Child in the Woods" Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv

    "Living Simply With Children" by Marie Sherlock

    "The Conscious Parent: Transforming Ourselves, Empowering Our Children" by Dr. Shefali Tsabary
      
    "Child Honouring ... How to Turn This World Around"  Raffi Cavoukian (ed)

    "Earth in Mind" by David Orr
   "Green Guide Families" (The Complete Reference for Eco-Friendly Parents) National Geographic
This book offers good advice and hard facts. You've got to wonder though, who chose the book cover, with a photo of           a baby wearing disposable diapers? Aside from the fact that disposable diapers contain a number of toxins, including  dioxins, styrene and acrylic acid, they take about 500 years to break down in landfills.                                                       Can any single use item be considered "green"?


                                                                    

We're overdue for a shift toward a more just, cooperative and ecologically sustainable culture.

If not now, when?



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love & determination will see us through