We will welcome families and single parents if they are in alignment with our values and requirements for membership.
I will be writing more about our values regarding parenting, but for now I want to share some books that will give you a taste of the parenting style that we are in alignment with. Barbara and I have talked extensively about this topic, and I am happy that as with every other topic we have explored, we are in agreement about our outlooks.
Having raised two children who are now 20 and 27, I am overjoyed that I was able to intuitively find the style of child raising that suited my values even during a time when not that many people who I knew were doing the same thing. Chris (27) and Mahriyanna (20) are amazing human beings and we still enjoy a close relationship. I was blessed to be surrounded by a group of mothers who supported me in having a home birth and to get acquainted with attachment parenting.
I was deeply inspired by Dr. Sears and his wife who coined the phrase Attachment Parenting. I really enjoyed this article which is chock full of great advice for parents.
The book How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk was an invaluable guide from the time my son was born 27 years ago, and I still recommend it highly to parents.
I recommended The Whole Brain Child to a friend who then ordered it. I had only read a review of the book, but it really made sense. I was glad to read the whole book once she received it, and discover that it seems like the perfect companion to the book How To Talk. I wish I had known this information while raising my children because it would have given me a deeper understanding of what their needs were.
The Continuum Concept : In Search of Happiness Lost, is a book that was very inspiring to me. Here is a quote from the description: “Jean Liedloff, an American writer, spent two and a half years deep in the South American jungle with Stone Age Indians. The experience demolished her Western preconceptions of how we should live and led her to a radically different view of what human nature really is. She offers a new understanding of how we have lost much of our natural well-being and shows us practical ways to regain it for our children and for ourselves.”
Unschooling is defined on http://www.holtgws.com website as “interest driven, child-led, natural, organic, eclectic, or self-directed learning. Lately, the term “unschooling” has come to be associated with the type of homeschooling that doesn’t use a fixed curriculum.”
Since our children did not enjoy any kind of structured learning experience, Robert (Mahriyanna’s father) and Cliff (Chris’s father) were in agreement with me that we should give them lots of freedom to play, especially outside, and spend a lot of time with their friends who also homeschooled. We were fortunate to live in situations where, for the most part, they had safe places to just this.
Chris and Mahriyanna both learned to read at age 9, but it only took them about 3 weeks to really get the hang of reading. Chris is now an adjunct professor at University of Arkansas. Mahriyanna graduated from a great on line high school and is active in serving a Christ-centered community center where among other things, she co-facilitates groups that help adults heal their addictions and hang ups and helps in many ways with children. They are leaders among their peers, well-respected by all ages, and deeply loved by many.
We were blessed to find a community and larger network of mostly Christians where our children could thrive both with attachment parenting and unschooling. This community, Living Springs, is a kind of an intentional neighborhood of which Jesus Vegans Community is a part. You can learn more about this neighborhood at http://www.christiancommunities.com This website is rather outdated but it can give you some ideas of what some of the folks who live around here are like.
We haven’t really found any great books by Christians about parenting that inspired us, but there is a trend in Christian circles called Grace-based Parenting which focuses more on many of the principles I have covered in this article rather than the authoritarian, “spare the rod, spoil the child” type child-raising philosophy that I thoroughly disagree with.
There’s lots more to cover about parenting, but I hope these words help you to see if you are in alignment with our beliefs, values and practices. I hope you might be inspired, as well. I would enjoy hearing your feedback and other helpful resources that you have found in the realm of parenting.