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Naturally Peaceful

Your DIY Guide to Changing Times

Naturally Peaceful Families

            "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)

Green Childhood


         The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that "all children are afforded ample, unscheduled, independent, non-screen time to be creative, to reflect, and to decompress."  

 

"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."
 
"For far too many, pregnancy and birth is still something that happens to them rather than something they set out consciously and joyfully to do themselves." Sheila Kitzinger
 
            
 
"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.
 
"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#

 

All pregnant women, in all maternity care settings, deserve respectful, woman-centered care. "With the increased accessibility of midwives and doulas, women are now able to receive the support they need to move through the birth process naturally."  And we can rest assured that low-tech midwifery provides labor outcomes as good or better than those found in high-tech hospital settings, with fewer interventions.

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://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/

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

                                                                       


        "Parenting is a responsibility that links us to Earth - to the air we breath, the water  we drink, the food we eat, and the homes we create for shelter and security."
     
   To best care for our children, "means fundamentally to care for the planet, that place where they will live for decades, and their childrens' children after them." (Wendy Gordon)

                             

      Our kids are the key to transforming our future into a peaceful reality.


They come to us fresh - straight from God. You can feel it from them. Just holding a newborn, and breathing in the fresh-born smell, can be a window, an opening to Spirit.                          Their eyes reflect their deep, unrestrained and malleable potential.                                                 Our little ones accept whatever we offer them - good, bad or indifferent.
 * Let's raise our impressionable young ones with the beliefs and the everyday habits that support Peace, Justice and Ecology.
 
 * Let's raise them to understand and know and appreciate Nature, the source of all our needs.
 
* Let's nurture them in loving, supportive families, schools & communities.

 * Let's provide our kids with safe, nourishing food and clean water & air.

                    
Generally speaking, the lifestyles and routines kids are raised with - day in & day out - become the habits and beliefs they carry into their adult lives. If for instance, we're ferrying our children everywhere in cars, they grow up believing this is normal and right. But if we're going to honor our planet, we need to wean ourselves away from car culture.


   The foods that kids are raised with, will greatly influence their eating choices as adults.

In many American families, a third of kid's meals come from fast food outlets.
Many of the ingredients in these heavily processed foods actually come from                     chemists labs, not farm fields.
Check it out: The book "Fast Food Nation"- lists the ingredients in a "strawberry" shake from a leading fast food outlet. It's an A-Z list of about 45 synthesized chemicals, including: amyl acetate, butyric acid, cinnamyl isobutyrate and more.

That's not real food. And these "food-like" substances don't support real health.

So - yes, it does takes more time to prepare food from scratch, from the good, basic ingredients available to us in our grocery stores, our gardens, and farmers market.
But if we feed our family real food, grown on healthy soil,
we'll notice the difference it makes in our childrens' health and well-being.
  We need to notice that our youth have some serious health problems!
 Obesity.
 It was rare to see severely overweight children just a couple of generations ago.
 Now it's commonplace. Since 1980 the rate of obesity has tripled among children.

Depression. 
Ten percent of American children and teens are taking antidepressants !

WHY ?  Honestly, why are so many of our youth suffering so deeply?
Childhood should be a time of vitality and hopefulness.

The number of reported cases of autism in the U.S. have skyrocketed way beyond anything attributable to better diagnosis and public awareness. There are rising concerns about environmental risk factors, like pesticides and heavy metals.                                    

More girls are starting puberty at younger and younger ages. A significant number are starting breast development as early as age 7 or 8.
Toxic chemicals known as endocrine disrupters are playing havoc with our daughters hormonal systems."Bodies that grow up too fast can break down too easily" (cancer risks & skeletal problems). "When presexual minds find themselves in newly sexualized bodies, a there is emotional damage that can be done as well."  TIME magazine

 
 

---- please check out ----

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

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

                                     

 


Where are our kids and grand kids playing?  Outside in nature?           Or indoors, eyes glued to a screen?

 

American youth aged 8-18 spend an average of 7.5 hours a day consuming media.                                     Kaiser Family Foundation

"What we witness on TV, in films, and on the internet, what we read and therefore imagine, all are firing mirror neurons in our brains and forming us." Francis Moore Lappe

Imagination is more important than knowledge

Albert Einstein

 

Currently in the U.S. about one mother in three now gives birth by cesarean section.

"Pain medications often dull a woman's senses, leading to a physical detachment from the           birthing process.        Many women report dissatisfaction with their    birthing experience when they are not fully alert for their first out-of-womb contact with their baby."

"More women need to hear that natural child birth is doable and can be a wonderful experience.  

  Women need to regain trust in their body's ability to birth and understand the pain they experience     is never in vain.  

For many moms-to-be, having a natural child birth isn't about being         'brave' or a 'martyr', it's      about treating labor and delivery as a natural event."

By using free web sites like Take Them a Meal, friends and family can help provide new parents with meals and encouragement for weeks postpartum.  www.takethemameal.com/

Let's face it, "most of our environmental problems stem from large numbers of people consuming too much, especially in rich places like North America."

"The average American child will consume almost 30 times the resources the average child in India does."

 

"One of the most important choices we can make is to reduce the distinction between the child in India and our own children as much as possible - to use a fair share of the planet's resources. But what a fair share actually is depends on how many people there are in the world sharing."

 

 

"If we are to reach real peace in this world ... we shall begin with the children." - M. Ghandi -

 

 

 

So let's get out and ride bikes with our children. 
 And encourage them to walk to school and their friends houses. Rely more on human power. Increase our use of mass transit.                   Perhaps just stay home a bit more ... not be in a race to go, go, go.

 

 

 Overweight kids are suffering from ailments more often seen in aging adults -
 high blood pressure, joint pain, type 2 diabetes and liver damage. They are at higher risk of suffering heart disease, stroke and atherosclerosis.

 

Here in the U.S.- "for the first time ever, a generation of children may have a shorter   life expectancy at birth than their parents."                                   TIME 3/3/2014

 

Isn't it reasonable to make some serious lifestyle changes for the benefit of our children?

 

Let's get together and raise our kids in harmony with nature's ways, and we'll  transform our   culture as joyfully, playfully and rapidly as possible.