I just want to give a shout-out to some of the truly awesome people and groups that I’ve had the pleasure to know and be involved with either virtually and/or tangibly in this global community of Natural Parents (there’s innumerable different sub-headings, but I think we all fit cozily under that general term). I am so thankful for what I have learned and am learning from all of you, and for the good word that we are working together to share with all the other parents out there looking to connect and co-operate with their children rather than just trying to control their behaviours. We are changing the world, my friends, and I am so glad to be out here marching for the revolution with you all.
I also want to share some of the amazingness coming from these people with all of you who maybe haven’t met them yet. We’re all in this together, and I hope you’ll find support and inspiration from them and from each other, as well. Everyone working to parent with empathy and compassion, and teaming up with their children and with the natural biological processes of human maturation/child rearing, even if you’re not a blogger, or a parent mentor, or natural parenting support organization — you are part of this movement, part of this community, and down in the proverbial trenches of everyday parenting, you are the front line of human/social evolution.
So here’s a current list of co-conspirators, dreamers, and voices in the wilderness inspiring me, and so many others — I am so thankful for you all:
- Talkfeeleez — Of course… that’s Natalie’s blog, we’re partners, she’s amazing. She’s also the graphic designer of our business Feeleez, creator and owner of the Fairy Food Market, and co-facilitates the Parenting on the Same Team and Building Emotionally Safe Space workshops with me.
- Teaching Children Empathy — A public Facebook group for sharing ideas, tools, and strategies for parents, care-givers, and teachers.
- Attachment Parenting — This open but private Facebook group is a pretty great forum for AP parents to share ideas, ponderings, and struggles.
- Attachment Parenting UK — This is a great support group for AP parents. www.attachmentparenting.co.uk
- Ask Dr Sears.com — Great website for parents wanting to learn more about Attachment Parenting techniques and natural childcare. One of my colleagues (thanks G.S.!) just informed me that Dr. Sears does suggest using timeouts (naughty, naughty…), so you may have to overlook that part as I apparently have, but the site itself and the bulk of the Sears family’s collective books and materials are jam packed with attachment-focused and connection-based approaches, information, and ideas. Some of my earliest direction and encouragement in AP came from the Searses, so they get to stay in my line-up, time-out errors notwithstanding.
- Parenting Science.com — Research-based parenting information from Gwen Dewar; not always Natural-oriented, but always with some scientific data behind it.
- Parenting for Social Change — Don’t personally know anyone here, but I love and totally agree with the concept and the approach to parenting as altering the course of society. http://www.parentingforsocialchange.com
- The Natural Parent Magazine — Over the years, I’ve become more and more connected and intrigued with the flourishing natural parenting community Down Under — these folks are leaders there, and with good reason. http://www.thenaturalparent.co.nz http://www.thenaturalparent.com.au
- The Peaceful Parenting Institute — Genevieve Simperingham is one of my New Zealand stars. Somehow we are perfectly oriented around each other without even knowing one another, often writing about similar ideas from a similar perspective (in fairness, we are now virtually acquainted via the FB group Gentle Parents Unite…). She’s one of the more articulate parenting educators I’ve ever read. She also has the best name in the parenting mentor business. http://genevievesimperingham.com
- Hakea — Narelle Smith, another of the Down Under contingency, and I have had such wonderful virtual conversations on child care over the years, and have more recently become involved on The Empathy Hotline together (Narelle is on the admin team).
- Kloppenmum — Karyn Van Der Zwet (another New Zealander) has been a natural parenting inspiration to me from my first days on WordPress, and always challenges me to trust human biology. Her book: All About Tantrums.
- Aware Parenting Institute — I’m just getting to know Dr. Aletha Solter, but I find her work very intriguing, particularly the ideas she has around “crying in arms”. http://www.awareparenting.com
- Language of Listening — Sandra Blackard and I have been admiring each other’s work in parent education and support for some years, and are now teamed up on the Live Like A Child page and The Empathy Hotline on Facebook.
- Aha! Parenting — Laura Markham is an inspiring mover and shaker, to me — she’s getting the message out there — and her message is inspiring, too. Her book: Peaceful Parents, Happy Kids. http://www.ahaparenting.com
- The Tiny Toes — Seema Karecha and Krupa Sinroja Dalal are some of the India contingency and aside from fun drawings, they also have great info on early childhood development and education. These ladies are also part of the admin team for The Empathy Hotline. http://thetinytoes.blogspot.com
- Authentic Parenting — Part of the Europe contingency, Laura Shuerwegen of Authentic Parenting offers education, support, and community for Natural- and Social-Change- minded parents. Laura also has a few great books under her belt, available on her site: http://www.authenticparenting.info
- Positive Parenting Connection — Ariadne Brill, also part of the Europe contingency, was writing for Authentic Parenting, with Laura, but now also has the PPC, and her own Facebook page (linked above). Ariadne is also one of the more articulate parenting writers I’ve ever read. http://www.positiveparentingconnection.net
- Little Hearts Books — If you haven’t had the pleasure yet, please allow me to introduce you to the prolific L.R. Knost. Linda is a fabulous writer as well. If you’ve been to any of my FB pages or groups, you’ve likely seen something I’ve shared of hers. She may have one of the most ubiquitous FB presences of any parenting mentor because she’s so darned good a crafting poignant parenting memes. She also has her own open FB group. And her new book is about gentle parenting from a Christian perspective, for those of you who’d enjoy that angle. http://www.littleheartsbooks.com
- The Consciously Parenting Project — Rebecca Thompson is another busy author and parenting mentor offering multiple forms of support to natural parents everywhere. She’s on The Empathy Hotline as well. http://www.consciouslyparenting.com
- Evolutionary Parenting — Want more brain-based parenting ideas and information? Tracy Cassels, currently from the Canada contingency, has got the goods. She’s actually doing the neuroscience to understand the nature of empathic behavior. And I love her unflinching willingness to look at challenging parenting issues with her no-nonsense-and-still-gentle gaze. http://evolutionaryparenting.com
- “Good Job” and Other Things You Shouldn’t Say or Do… — Jennifer Lehr is kind of a bad ass (seriously, check out the long version of her blog bio); she offers great humour and sometimes searing perspective to help keep us in our right parenting minds. She says in the tiny “about” blurb on her FB page: “ Some love my no-bullshit tone, some hate it. Some get my humor. Some don’t. Welcome!”. Welcome, indeed. http://goodjobandotherthings.com/good-job-blog/
- The Twin Coach — I’ve only known Gina Osher via the internet (so far!), but I feel like she’s been one of my closest parenting allies for years now; we both also like to wax neuro-geek from time to time. She’s a parent mentor and blogger; and an active sharer of excellent material on Facebook via her page (linked above) as well as a group she has for “parents, family, caregivers, and teachers whose children are not developing in a neuro-typical way…”; she’s also a member of The Empathy Hotline. http://www.thetwincoach.com
- Positive Discipline — If you’re like me, you may have previously been scared off by the name of this international organization, but Natalie and I are now certified PD Parent Educators, so I can assure you it’s all about parenting through connection, allowing emotional processing, and working together with our kids. Jane Nelsen, also a prolific author, is at the helm, and has worked with various cohorts to create parenting material and courses full of brilliant metaphors and experiential exercises that move passed our thinking brains and right to our hearts. Everything I’ve seen with a PD stamp on it has been excellent. http://store.positivediscipline.com/blog.asp
- I also want to toss in a couple of just fun connections in the parenting world — they aren’t parenting mentors or offering support, per se, but they boldly share their experiences of living as conscientious parents, are members of The Empathy Hotline, and I find them compelling for one reason or another:
• Dig this Chick — Local Missoula, Montana businesswoman, writer, designer, artist, Mama. Proud to walk the streets with such a go-getting parent.
• 6512 and Growing — In the neo-classic story of virtual acquaintances becoming friends and even eventually meeting in person and becoming tied with each other’s families — over the years, we’ve gotten to know and love Rachel Turiel and her down-home family in Durango. Not to brag too much, but we’ve even gotten home-crafted Pinyon Salve from her… She’s a gut-punchingly stellar author, and shares recipes! Rachel writes at the blog above, is plugging away at a memoir, and can be found in various publications, like the Durango Herald, and Edible San Juan Mountains among others.
• Eco-Womb — This whole family is modeling light, sustainable living, while traveling around the U.S. in a bio-diesel bus, and selling earth-friendly family stuff, like our Feeleez game and poster, organic clothes, baby wraps, diaper covers, wooden toys, and safe soap, for example. We got to meet the Malsons coming through Santa Cruz during our “back of winter” time there, and loved chatting with them and sharing family time hiking in the redwoods. http://www.ecowomb.com
• I also want to include the ladies at Mamalode — a Missoula-made magazine full of amazing women writers, thinkers, business owners, and moms.
There’s more, too — if you know me and I forgot to put you down, just remind me and I’ll add you in, for sure — but this is the list in my head at present. I’m truly glad to be sharing all of you with each other now. I’m so grateful for you all and so pleased with the work we are all doing together — parents and parent-supporters alike!
**Update — there have been some additions that others have asked me to include on the original post of the content on this page, those are published in the comment section below.**