If you've never participated in a blog carnival, a carnival is an opportunity to read and write posts on a specific theme once a month from a variety of bloggers. Besides a monthly theme, a carnival has an overarching perspective, in our case, natural parenting. Monthly themes are listed below and will be kept updated.
The submission deadline is the first Tuesday of every month, and the carnival posts on the second Tuesday. To submit an article for consideration, please email your submission to both Dionna (codenamemama @ gmail.com) and Lauren (mail @ hobomama.com) no later than 11:59p.m. PST on the first Tuesday of each month.
Please write a new, previously unpublished post for the carnival. We will email you with instructions on posting before each carnival day. Please do not post your article until the carnival date.
We reserve the right to accept submissions based on relevance to the topic and quality of writing. We also reserve the right to edit submissions for clarity (i.e., spelling and grammatical mistakes), but we will never edit the substance or meaning of your article. Articles requiring excessive editing will be returned and may be accepted at a later date. Please allow the co-hosts sufficient time to confer about the submission over email before expecting a personal response.
What is not acceptable: excessive profanity (there is a time and a place, but it’s not this carnival), poor spelling and grammar, personal attacks, off-topic articles, and articles that advocate for methods of parenting or family living that are directly contrary to natural parenting principles (e.g., we will not host an article on the benefits of spanking or “crying it out”).
Monthly Carnival Themes
January 2010: Parenting resolutions: How do you want to parent differently (or the same!) in the New Year? Submission deadline: January 5. Carnival posting: January 12.
February 2010: Love and partners: How has a co-parent supported your dedication to natural parenting — or not? Submission deadline: February 2. Carnival posting: February 9.
March 2010: Vintage green: What sorts of "green" things did you do as a kid (even if you didn't know at the time they were eco-friendly) that you now do with your own kids? Submission deadline: March 2. Carnival posting: March 9.
April 2010: Parenting advice: We all need a little input. Write a Dear Abby-like letter asking your readers for help with a current parenting issue. Submission deadline: April 6. Carnival posting: April 13.
May 2010: Role model: It can be daunting to parent against the mainstream, but sometimes people take notice in a positive way. How has your natural parenting inspired someone else? Submission deadline: May 4. Carnival posting: May 11.
Bookmark this page and stay tuned for future themes. Subscribe to our RSS feeds or follow on Twitter to stay updated on any carnival announcements: Hobo Mama's feed and Code Name: Mama's feed, @CodeNameMama on Twitter and @Hobo_Mama on Twitter. Also, check out our Facebook page, and become a fan.
If you are a participant or supporter and want our delightful button to put in your sidebar, grab this code and proclaim to the blogosphere that you are a natural parent!
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What is Natural Parenting?
“Natural parenting” is based on a desire to live and parent responsively and consciously. While no two families who practice natural parenting may define it the same way, there are several principles that are widely agreed to be part of this lifestyle. These are ideals that natural parents tend to hold — even if we don't always live up to all of them, we keep them in mind as goals.
1) Attachment/Responsive Parenting: Attachment parents prepare for pregnancy, birth, and parenting; practice exclusive and full-term breastfeeding if possible, and feed with love and respect regardless of whether it is at the breast, with a bottle, or beyond; respond with sensitivity; use nurturing touch (including babywearing and skin-to-skin contact); ensure safe sleep, physically and emotionally (including bed sharing and co-sleeping, responsive nighttime parenting, and no “crying it out”); provide consistent and loving care; practice positive discipline (with no physical punishment); and strive for balance in personal and family life.
2) Ecological Responsibility and Love of Nature: Families strive to reduce their ecological footprint by living consciously and making Earth-friendly choices, such as by choosing organic when possible, using cloth diapers or practicing elimination communication, supporting local economies, and so forth. Parents may choose to find toys and clothing made of natural fibers and materials. Families spend quality time outside enjoying the natural world.
3) Holistic Health Practices: Parents research medical choices and make educated decisions regarding all health care (vaccinations, medical interventions, medications, etc.). Many families choose to use alternative or natural healthcare such as herbal remedies, chiropractic care, natural childbirth, and so on.
4) Natural Learning: Families spend time together, and children learn through everyday activities. Parents try to facilitate learning without “teaching,” to help children ask questions that develop thinking, to develop consideration for others without shaming or training, to give choices while guiding the children, to listen to instinctual cues, to honor emotions and desires, to allow development to take place in its own time, and to engender cooperation and harmony without manipulation. This might include the decision to pursue uncommon methods of education, such as alternative classrooms, home schooling, or unschooling.
Above all, natural parenting is making the choice to develop a deep bond with your children and family based on mutual respect. An attached child grows into a mature and interdependent individual who understands how to develop healthy, secure relationships with others.
For more information on natural parenting, please visit the following resources:
- Attachment Parenting International
- Dr. Sears
- Holistic Moms Network
- The Continuum Concept
- The Daily Groove at EnjoyParenting.com