Introducing Family & Parenting

 

Family & Parenting on All Things Healing
by Nicki Parr, MA

 

Welcome! Here you will find a collection of articles and videos themed around raising children, and, specifically, raising children who are conscious, compassionate and confident. Each month, we will feature a variety of postings that we feel support these ideals and that may help us to become better parents and caregivers. 


The modern family comes in many shapes and sizes from single parents to step-parents, same-sex parents and adoptive parents; the child growing up in a heterosexual two-parent household for their entire childhood is increasingly rare. Yet what matters most is not necessarily the number, age or sexual orientation of the caregivers, the number of siblings (pure, half or step), or the relative income of the family household but the amount of meaningful connection a child receives from those raising him.


If good parenting could be summarized in just two words, then it would surely come down to these: meaningful connection. And what gives rise to meaningful connection? Time and Presence. There is nothing in this world that can contribute more to children’s healthy development than spending quality time with their primary caregivers, typically (though not exclusively) their parents. 


Beginning in the womb, the developing fetus has some level of awareness of its environment and is susceptible to the stressors that his mother may be facing. Even at this early juncture, a mother can begin to communicate with her baby, acknowledging his presence through taking care of her body during pregnancy, and minimizing the environmental stress that can impact prenatal development. Many parents are now returning to having their babies at home, rejecting the modern medicalization of childbirth and choosing instead to deliver their babies in a quiet, nurturing and relaxed environment, under the expert guidance of qualified doulas and midwives. It is also now widely accepted that babies have a far greater level of awareness at an earlier developmental stage than previously thought. 


In particular, babies are sensitive to smell, vocal tone, gaze and touch. Babies love touch! They need to be cuddled and held in order to grow and develop. Parents can build meaningful connections through watching and learning how their babies respond to this sensory language, a process often known as “attunement.”


In fact, all of this non-verbal communication during the first two years of life is critical to how the neural pathways of the baby’s brain develop. The neural foundations laid now will last a lifetime; hence, the importance of fostering meaningful connection during this period. 


And on it goes, into pre-school, school-age and teens. Granted, children will come to depend less on their parents as they get older but throughout childhood the consistent presence of a conscious parent or caregiver remains a crucial factor in helping them develop the coping skills to successfully navigate life. 


There is no question that parenting can be one of the hardest undertakings we perform as adults, requiring unprecedented levels of patience, perseverance, unconditional love and acceptance. The temptation to abdicate this responsibility to television, computer games, babysitters and peers can be powerful, and it is easy to understand why so many of us succumb, at least on occasion. 


Yet the rewards gained by our children when we invest our time and attention in them are readily apparent, impacting their self-esteem, performance in school and physical wellbeing. Here at All Things Healing, we hope to support you in your family and parenting journey by providing articles that encourage and inspire you to deepen your connection to our next generation.

 


 

About the Author


Nicki Parr, MA holds an MA in Somatic Psychology and is a passionate advocate of integrative wellbeing. She is a coach, writer, Reiki practitioner, community volunteer and mother. Nicki is also a certified infant massage instructor and has worked as a postpartum doula. Originally from England, Nicki now lives in Santa Barbara, CA.

Contact: 
nickijparr@gmail.com
Visit her website: www.nickiparr.com

Santa Barbara, California USA
(805) 669-8535

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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