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Discussion Starter #1
This is a sort of spin off of @dakotacake's thread on vaccinating and being part of a non-vaccinating leaning sub culture.

As vaccinating parents, I'd love to discuss what it means to us to be natural parents and why we like the MDC philosophy.

I'm in the middle of cooking dinner, so I'll contribute my views later, but just had time to post the question.

Ps. What is a Dakota cake (preferably with a recipe!).
 

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I am NOT very eloquent so forgive me in advance. To me, natural living means following my intuition. I appreciate that mothering doesn't tell me what natural parenting means and provides me with a space to express myself and share ideas with people who have made similar decisions in there natural living situation.
 

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I am NOT very eloquent so forgive me in advance. To me, natural living means following my intuition. I appreciate that mothering doesn't tell me what natural parenting means and provides me with a space to express myself and share ideas with people who have made similar decisions in there natural living situation.
Yes, exactly. In my opinion, there is nothing more natural than a parent wanting to do everything they can to prevent their child from dying or suffering from illness and disease. Preventing disease via vaccination, making sure they have access to clean water and good doctors who can prescribe antibiotics for illnesses like scarlet fever and pneumonia that used to kill children in droves a century ago is all a part of that.

For example, the practice of variolation (blowing dried smallpox scabs into the nose) goes back centuries. It was done to give a person a milder case of smallpox. The death rate was still fairly high at 1-2%, but that was significantly better than the 30% risk of death a person had by contracting the "natural" full blown disease.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
To me natural parenting and natural living is about trying to have minimal impact on the planet. What led me to MDC was actually my interest in cloth diapers believe it or not! I also favour local in season foods, recycling, natural energy etc.

Going along with this is a sense of being in tune with my kids, gentle disciple, not being shouty (this one I could use help with) and when they were younger baby wearing and co-sleeping.

I also am a big proponent of critical thinking and applying the scientific method to my life. That's where I get the strong belief that vaccination is the best choice - based on the evidence that it saves lives. I apply this to other aspects of what are more traditionally considered natural parenting - like breast feeding, minimising interventions during child birth (I in fact had two drug free labours), the safety of cosleeping etc.
 

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for me it is about being in touch with my kids and guiding my parents by what my specific children need. I also want to have the lowest interventions that are advisable. And I am a big proponent of prevention through healthy living rather than treatment. that is part of the reason I vaccinate, a MMR at 1 year and 4 years is a lot less doctors, intervention and risk, than Measles at any age.

I also want my kids to be able to experience nature be outside and mature slowly and by they own, developing interests and dreams that are theirs and not prepackaged for them. I agree with gentle discipline, and treating children as people with their own goals and viewpoints which should be respected.

I also try to make sense of my world with natural laws of science. As such I am a big proponent of scientific studies, which have led me to vaccinate, they have also led my husband to chiropractic treatment for his jacked up back and my use of lavender, neroli, eucaplyts and lemon essential oils, yoga, and exercise for my mild insomnia and anxiety (which I find far preferable to potentially addictive pharmaceuticals). Making since of nature with science also leads to interventions as opposed to solely using natural remedies, I had an injury which lead to a pelvis that doesn't allow natural childbirth (I tried with my first son), but that isn't an all or nothing thing, I can have a woman centered c-section which is more breastfeeding friendly (a big part of natural living to me as well).

I grew up a farm girl, where we grew and raised most of the foods that we ate, and as such I am a big proponent of natural healthy eating and using fresh ingredients and trying to avoid processed foods for me and my children.

As for what a dakotacake is...Sadly no recipe. it is silly. When I was in Grad School there were two "pams" they started saying they were going to call one pamcakes, then it came out that I wast rom South Dakota, which is a rather rare thing, so they started calling me dakotacakes. When I signed up for forums, I just used it because almost every other user name I could come up with was taken :grin:
 

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It's a mindset for our family, I guess. It is my goal to tread gently on the earth, to be gentle and connected emotionally in relationships... Use common sense and take personal responsibility for my actions, model good choices to my child by practicing critical thinking, researching things thoroughly, and applying scientific method to decisions. Demonstrate how natural consequences affect quality of life, with both desired and undesired results...

This life model has led me to be anti-circumcision, but pro delayed vaccinations... I had a natural home birth with a midwife... We use a mix of natural remedies and regular medicine... I did child led weaning and co sleeping till 2.5 yo, child led potty training at 3 yo. He attends public school in a small rural community for elementary, but will be homeschooling for grades 8-12. We eat primarily organic whole foods, but also enjoy a coca cola and a toblerone bar every now and then too... We live in a small house, we collect rain water off our roof into cisterns, but we heat with electric base board heaters cause it's cheaper than firewood where we live... We love the outdoors, and spend the summers hiking or swimming in the ocean, but when it's rainy all winter we hibernate with Netflix... My point is we are doing our best and we have no delusions that we will ever be "perfectly" natural. I think it's silly to label people one way or another, we are all trying to raise our kids in the best way we know how and that's pretty awesome!


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Good topic! I don't have a well-formed answer.

I came to MDC not because I think of myself as having a natural parenting philosophy, but because particular practices appealed to me--breastfeeding, babywearing, co-sleeping, no circumcision, gentle discipline, cloth diapering--and this was a place to learn about those practices. I guess there may be some underlying philosophy or approach to life that makes those things appeal to me, but I'm not sure what it is. I like things that are simple and convenient. I like things that are environmentally friendly. I like things that are inexpensive. I like snuggling with my children. I like things that are safe and healthy. And when those values are in conflict, I make a judgment call and do what seems right for my family. (For the record, I ended up doing some of the things on my list and not others, for various reasons.)

I have never seen any tension whatsoever between being in favor of the things on my list above and being in favor of vaccination.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
This has been interesting. It's so nice to talk this way.

I don't see any conflict either with my natural parenting style and vaccinating. As a scientifically trained person I do tend to apply the methods of science to all areas of my life, so I stick with "natural" ideas which work, and go with "super natural" where it's clearly better. Best of both worlds for me.

It's interesting and slightly disturbing to me how much of a conflict some people do seem to see in my parenting choices, when I see none.
 

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Good topic. :)

I actually feel that vaccinating is the natural choice. Instead of using medicines, supplements, energy or whatnot to cure an illness, you let your body do it on it's own. All you have to do is tell it what to look for. Once it knows what the enemy is, the immune system works naturally to prevent the illness from taking over.

For me natural parenting and living is eating food we grow ourselves, making as much as we can ourselves, such as soap, knitting socks, having our own bees, etc, guiding our children as they grow without forcing them to be something they aren't.

Have to run. maybe more later.
 

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I feel like I'm a mix of what everyone else says. To me, natural parenting is an idea I'm trying to move into but living in an urban environment makes it a bit harder as well as both me and my SO working full time so often convenience wins over healthy, unfortunately. But it is something I would love accomplish as time moves forward.

To me being natural is not swearing off all things "unnatural" but just having that good balance of necessary. Such as leaving a baby boy intact is concidered natural but to me my thought process goes to "why, if not medically necessary?" Me and my SO are planning on getting and keeping bees within the next few years because we love the idea of local, real, honey because the stuff typically in the store is mostly sugar syrup with a bland taste. I plan on breastfeeding but will more than likely not be doing cloth diapers.

I came to MDC originally for advice on step parenting as I have very little experience with kids and, in that respect, MDC has been a wealth of knowledge and I love the different ideas and creative solutions people have as well as most peoples candidness :)
 

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I LOVE keeping bees! We have an orchard, huge garden, and 2 hives to pollinate it. Of course we use the honey, but we also process the wax for soap, lip balms, etc. And some people think that the propolis is some sort of medicine or health supplement. I don't think so, and actually, it is kind of nasty. The bees put that junk everywhere. If you want bees, this is the time of year to get on the wait list for a nuc and get going, otherwise you have to wait until next year. Oh, and we tried the whole natural beekeeping thing, and my hive was killed off because of mites. Now I treat the mites, and they're fine. Some people are very into the natural beekeeping, but in my experience, you are risking the life of your bees. Nature isn't kind.

The MDC special needs forums were great for me when looking for info for my special needs kids. I haven't been there in a long time, but it was definitely the best place on the web for info about AP and special needs.
 

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I don't think of myself as into "natural" parenting, but when pregnant, baby center really didn't appeal to me. Even though many of the attributes currently associated to "natural" parenting are ones I share, I bristle at the suggestion that those who don't are somehow "unnatural". I'm probably much more of a specific type of hipster parent than anything else.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
@SerenityNow - I love your description of vaccinating as supporting a natural process. I agree that training our immune systems to fight diseases is simply giving nature a helping hand.

I hadn't thought about what the statement natural parenting means to this who don't identify with it. It does seem unkind to suggest they are unnatural parents know you mention it. Everyone (pretty much anyway) is just doing the best they can.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
A bump to make this easy to find for parents wondering what vaccinating parents get out of MDC.
 
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