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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

How to Raise Great Kids through Lazy Parenting

Welcome to the July Carnival of Natural Parenting: Parenting Philosophy
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared their parenting practices and how they fit in with their parenting purpose. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
How to Raise Great Kids Through Lazy Parenting

What is a Lazy Parent?
Okay I admit it I am a Lazy Parent, well really more of a laissez parent, as in laissez-faire. How is that? Well when my first child was born, I had had an emergency c-section. I was not able to sit up for days without being in extreme pain. So instead of putting the baby upstairs in her crib while I slept downstairs I put her in the bassinette next to my bed. But that still was a hassle to sit up and pick up the baby, She was more than I could lift.  So I started putting her in bed with me.  Co-sleeping made it so much easier to nurse on demand. I was able to just roll over and my daughter nursed all she wanted.
As my daughter grew, I continued in my lazy ways. She was a high maintenance baby, and needed to be held all and she wanted me.y me. Daddy was not to her liking. My husband, good man that he is went to the baby store and found one of the original Dr. Sear’s Baby Slings.  Now I did not have to hold my daughter in my arms. I could put her in a sling and get some other things done, like housework.
We move ahead about 4 months, I go into my daughter’s well baby check up. The Doctor is pleased, she is growing well, and is healthy and happy. The doctor asks if I have introduced solids yet. I say no, we are still exclusively breastfeeding. I was too lazy to go out and buy baby food and spoon feed a baby.  The doctor’s response was “that’s fine, but you should start  some food around 6 months so she will learn how to eat with a spoon”  I did my best  not to break out into hoards of laughter. I waited until my daughter showed signs of wanting to eat and did not introduce solids on a time schedule. My daughter waited until about 9 months to begin eating food. She began eating real food straight from the table. She even learned how to use a spoon, fork and a knife, now at  13 she is a connoisseur of food and cook it.
As my children left babyhood and progressed to toddlerhood I did not rush to get them into preschool programs. I was too lazy to drive around town.  Instead, we went out and did things together. We went to the zoo as a family, playgrounds, even  family hikes with a toddler in a sling. Not enrolling my kids in fifteen different activities allowed me to spend more time with them.
As a lazy parent, I did not cook separate kid food for my kids. They were expected to eat what everyone else ate. No, I do not make kid food for the whole family. I make Real Food for the whole family. Sometimes my kids don’t like their food mixed up, that is fine, I let them pick what they want from the offerings.
I let my kids pack their own lunches too. I buy the food, nothing gets past me. I only ask that they have a protein, fruit and vegetable. My 7 year has been packing or helping to pack his own lunch since he was 3. Guess what he likes what he packs and eats 98% of it for lunch. I am willing to bet you if I packed his lunch I would pack too much food and we would have wasted food.
As a lazy parent I do not do things for my children that they are otherwise capable of doing, nor do I do things that do not enhance or make our lives better. I do not go out and buy the latest greatest of all things electronic. My kids do not have every  video gaming system, nor do they have televisions in their rooms. I don’t go out and by the “it” phone for my teenager. We did however allow her to spend her own money on a used Blackberry. Money she earned from working as a soccer referee.   I have however, empowered them to get jobs and provide themselves with these things.
As a lazy parent, I provide the basics for my children. nutritious food,  comfortable clothing, education, love, and support. There is an old saying ' “give a man a fish you feed them for a day, teach them to fish you feed them for a lifetime.” I am teaching my children to fish.  I want to raise, healthy, intelligent, self-reliant children, who will grow up to give back to society and make this world a better place to live.
I am still I am a lazy parent, but my kids have thrived because of it. They ate solids late. Which means the breastfeed longer. They did not sleep on a separate floor with a baby monitor. They slept in my room, allowing us all to get a better night’s sleep. They are left to their own devices to play and create things. If they have a problem I don’t immediately jump up and fix or solve the problem for them. I let my kids find their own solutions to whatever problems, large or small life may give them..
Being a lazy parent has been good for my kids. It has worked so far.  After looking at all that I have done, perhaps I am not so lazy after all. I have taught my children to do for themselves and sometimes that can be harder than doing the job myself.


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
(This list will be live and updated by afternoon July 12 with all the carnival links.)
  • Between Love and Fear: On Raising our Children Sensibly — Mamma Earthly at Give an Earthly discusses the fear factor in parenting and how she overcame it, despite societal pressures.
  • really, when do i get my cape? — Sarah at small bird on fire is a working city mama trying to learn how to set aside her expectations of perfection and embrace the reality of modern parenting.
  • Baby, Infant, and Toddler Wearing — Child wearing is part of Sarah at Nourished and Nurtured's parenting philosophy. In this post, Sarah describes benefits of child-wearing and gives tips for wearing babies, infants, and toddlers (even while pregnant).
  • First Year Reflections — As her daughter's first birthday approaches, Holly at First Year Reflections reflects on how she and her husband settled into attachment parenting after initially doing what they thought everyone else did.
  • Making an allowance — Lauren at Hobo Mama welcomes a guest post from Sam about the unexpected lessons giving a four-year-old an allowance teaches the child — and the parent.
  • How to be a Lazy Parent and Still Raise Great Kids — Lisa at Granola Catholic talks about how being a Lazy Parent has helped her to raise Great Kids.
  • Philosophy in Practice — Laura at A Pug in the Kitchen shares how her heart shaped the parenting philosophy in her home.
  • What is Attachment Parenting Anyway? — Gaby at Tmuffin describes the challenges of putting a label on her parenting philosophy.
  • Of Parenting Styles — Jenny at Chronicles of a Nursing Mom talks about how she and her husband tailored various parenting styles to fit their own preferred parenting philosophy.
  • Moment by Moment Parenting — Amy at Peace 4 Parents encourages those who care for children (including herself) to explore and appreciate parenting moment-by-moment with clarity, intention, trust, and action.
  • Maintaining Spirituality in the Midst of Everyday Parenting, Marriage, and Life — Sarah at Nourished and Nurtured shares her perspective on finding opportunities for spiritual growth in every day life.
  • Parenting Philosophy — Lily, aka Witch Mom's parenting philosophy is to raise child(ren) to be compassionate, loving, inquisitive, and questioning adults who can be trusted to make decisions for themselves in a way that avoids harming others.
  • Long Term — Rosemary at Rosmarinus Officinalis thinks about who she would like to see her daughter become — and what she can do now to lay a strong foundation for those hopes.
  • Connection, Communication, Compassion — She's come a long way, baby! After dropping her career in favour of motherhood, Patti at Jazzy Mama discovered that building solid relationships was going to be her only parenting priority.
  • My Parenting Inspirations - Part 4 — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama looks at her biggest parenting inspiration and how that translates into her long-term parenting philosophy.
  • A Parenting Philosophy in One Word: Respect — Jenn at Monkey Butt Junction summarizes her parenting and relationship philosophy in one word: respect.
  • Knowledge and Instinct — Kat at Loving {Almost} Every Moment believes that knowledge and instinct are super important … as are love, encouragement and respect. It's the ideal combo needed to raise happy and healthy children and in turn create meaningful relationships with them.
  • THRIVE!The Sparkle Mama wants to set a tone of confidence, abundance, and happiness in her home that will be the foundation for the rest of her daughter's life.
  • On Children — "Your children are not your children," say Kahlil Gibran and Hannah at Wild Parenting.
  • This One Life Together — Ariadne aka Mudpiemama shares her philosophy of parenting: living fully in the here and now and building the foundation for a happy and healthy life.
  • Enjoying life and planning for a bright future — Olivia at Write About Birth shares her most important parenting dilemmas and pours out her heart about past trauma and how healing made her a better parent.
  • My Parenting Philosophy: Unconditional and Natural Love — Charise at I Thought I Knew Mama shares what she has learned about her parenting philosophy from a year of following her instincts as a mama.
  • An open letter to my children — Isil at Smiling Like Sunshine writes an open letter to her children.
  • My Starter Kit for Unconditional Parenting — Sylvia at MaMammalia discusses her wish to raise a good person and summarizes some of the nontraditional practices she's using with her toddler son in order to fulfill that wish.
  • Responsiveness — Sheila at A Gift Universe has many philosophies and goals, but what it all boils down to is responsiveness: listening to what her son wants and providing what he needs.
  • Tools for Creating Your Parenting Philosophy — Have you ever really thought about your parenting purpose? Knowing your long-term goals can help you parent with more intent in your daily interactions. Dionna at Code Name: Mama offers exercises and ideas to help you create your own parenting philosophy.
  • Be a Daisy — Becky at Old New Legacy philosophizes about individuality and how she thinks it's important for her daughter's growth.
  • What's a Mama to Do? — Amyables at Toddler in Tow hopes that her dedication to compassionate parenting will keep her children from becoming too self-critical as adults.
  • grown-up anxieties. — Laura at Our Messy Messy Life explains her lone worry concerning her babies growing up.
  • Why I Used Montessori Principles in My Parenting Philosophy — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now tells why she chose Montessori principles to help her now-adult children develop qualities she wanted to see in them as children and adults.
  • Parenting Philosophies & Planning for the FutureMomma Jorje considers that the future is maybe just a fringe benefit of doing what feels right now.
  • Not Just Getting Through — Rachael at The Variegated Life asks what truths she hopes to express even in the most commonplace interactions with her son.
  • Parenting Philosophy? Eh... — Ana at Pandamoly shares the philosophy (or lack thereof) being employed to (hopefully) raise a respectful, loving, and responsible child.
  • Parenting Philosophy: Being Present — Shannon at The Artful Mama discusses the changes her family has made to accommodate their parenting philosophy and to reflect their ideals as working parents.
  • Who They Will Be — Amanda at Let's Take the Metro shares a short list of some qualities she hopes she is instilling in her children at this very moment.
  • Short Term vs. Long Term — Sheryl at Little Snowflakes recounts how long term parenting goals often get lost in the details of everyday life with two kids.
  • Parenting Philosophy: Practicing and Nurturing Peace — Terri at Child of the Nature Isle sets personal goals for developing greater peace.
  • Yama Niyama & the Red Pajama Mama — Part 1: The Yamas — In part 1 of a set of posts by Zoie at TouchstoneZ, Zoie guest posts at Natural Parents Network about how the Yoga Sutras provide a framework for her parenting philosophy.
  • Yama Niyama & the Red Pajama Mama — Part 2: The Niyamas — In part 2 of a set of posts by Zoie at TouchstoneZ, Zoie explores how the Niyamas (one of the eight limbs in traditional Yoga) help her maintain her parenting and life focus.
  • Our Sample Parenting Plan — Chante at My Natural Motherhood Journey shares hopes of who her children will become and parenting strategies she employs to get them there.
  • Philosophical Parenting: Letting Go — Jona at Life, Intertwined ponders the notion that there's no right answer when it comes to parenting.
  • Unphilosophizing? — jessica at instead of institutions wonders about the usefulness of navel gazing.
  • Parenting Sensitively — Amy at Anktangle uses her sensitivity to mother her child in ways that both nurture and affirm.
  • how to nurture your relationships — Mrs Green at Little Green Blog believes that sometimes all kids need is a jolly good listening to …
  • Philosophy Of An Unnatural Parent — Dr. Sarah at Good Enough Mum sees parenting as a process of guiding her children to develop the skills they'll need.
  • Life with a Challenging Kid: Hidden Blessings — Wendy at High Needs Attachment shares the challenges and joys of raising a high needs child.
  • Flying by the Seat of My Pants — Heather at Very Nearly Hippy has realized that she has no idea what she's doing.

Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama


Lauren Wayne said...

I love being a lazy parent! That's why I knew I needed to cosleep and learn how to nurse lying down. Sooo much easier than getting my groggy self out of bed to go to another room! I like your attitude, and I'll be taking some of your other tips to heart.

Dionna @ Code Name: Mama said...

I'm reading and nodding along - I love watching Kieran explore his own abilities. It's something I've been learning more since he started walking - I definitely hovered too much when he was a baby. For #2, I'll be lazy from the start :)

Sarah Smith said...

You are parenting in the most intuitive way, and doing what works. I don't think that is lazy at all, just wise. Seriously, nursing while lying down is amazingly wonderful. When else would I ever get a chance to read?

earthlytreasures said...

Oh YES! Matching the laziness stakes, we did BLW with both our children which is fantastic because you don't have to sit and spoon feed a baby whilst a toddler screams for "more" and your own belly rumbles on empty... of course it also happens to be fantastic in many, many ways for the kids too, just like other intuitive parenting philosophies - which of course is why your brand of lazy parenting is so good all round :)

Lisa - the Granola Catholic said...

Letting children explore and grow on their own. I did not rush to send my kids off to summer camp, but this year my two oldest have gone off on their own. The oldest, now 13, has gone on a month long adventure, visiting far flung family members, traveling on her own. My little girl is now off to her first residential camp for a week of learning and fun.

Gaby @ Tmuffin said...

Yup, I say this all the time: how I am a lazy parent. I never heard someone else say it, and it's so nice to hear! Breastfeeding, cosleeping, and BLW are so EASY! What is so funny is that I was afraid of cosleeping with my first son, and I scheduled his feedings a little more. With my second, because of convenience (and "laziness"), I feed him completely on demand--who has time to look at the clock when you're chasing after a toddler at the same time--and I coslept from day 1. In becoming "lazy," I have a lot more time for my kids now.

Lisa - the Granola Catholic said...

I never considered it lazy, but I had a LLL Leader call it being lazy, because it is a lot of work to stick to a schedule and wean and use the CIO method of sleep training.

Terri said...

:-) Love the Laziness and right there with you!

...sarah. said...

I am right there with you! I watch my son like a hawk to make sure he doesn't get into trouble, but I'm letting him make the decisions most of the time. He will learn from his experiences. I also co-sleep with him because it is easiest: and because I know that this period of his life will be over before I know it!

Lisa - the Granola Catholic said...

Sarah, sounds like you son is at age when he needs an attentive parent. As my kids have grown I have to remember that at my kids ages I did so much more than they did. My mother let us roam the town(it was a small town). I enjoyed that freedom, and hate that my kids don't have access it to it.

V said...

Good post... I live in South America and what is "lazy parenting" for you it's completely normal for us so it's just a matter of culture.

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