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Eco Parenting

Eco Parenting is about consciously creating a life of wellness for you and your family. One that is deeply connected to our environment. It is about aligning our work, education, spirit and happiness with the needs of our planet. In doing so, it is how we align ourselves. The key word is conscious because the mainstream world of parenting is dominated by corporate players who can potentially create and control your children’s entertainment, information input, device use, diet and social norms.

As parents, our role is to view these sources through adults eyes, assess their value to our own family and to include or exclude them. It is knowing YOU ARE IN CONTROL of this that is the most important step. It is an exciting and empowering path to take for your family.

The World exists in its current form only by our co-operation with the corporate machine. Parents are therefore, perfectly placed to be the quiet revolutionaries. It is our decisions about where to put our dollar, what to feed our kids, what products to use and what social, educational and spiritual input they have that influence the people they will become. The people who will make the decisions of the future. The very people who will decide if we live alongside or separate to our environment.

Our busy-ness, our exhaustion, our stress, our ill-health and our financial restrictions completely cut most of us off from exploring these ideas and allowing change. How do we take time out to have this conversation as parents? How can we be bothered? When are we not too tired to have a conversation about the fundamentals?

Pregnancy is the perfect time to have this conversation. Change is upon us in the biggest and brightest form that life has offered. It is the exact, perfect moment to stop and think, what kind of family do I want to have? What environment and lifestyle do I want to create for them? These questions have much bigger answers than a geographical or career answer. But they can start in small steps such as changing how you eat, how you shop, what products you embrace or reject in your life.

Our Intellectual, Spiritual and Physical health are directly connected to the health of our planet. The two realms co-exist. When one is out of balance, it shows up in the other. We sense this imbalance all the time whether we are conscious or not. It shows up in our health, our tiredness, our frustration. It determines how satisfied and loved we feel in the long term.  It is at the very core of our Mental Health.

Bruce Lipton says it beautifully when he says “Since organisms exist as a physical complement of their environments, the loss of the environment means the loss of the complementary organisms.  As we destroy our environment, we destroy our selves! Bruce H Lipton

The good news is that we have the power to correct this. So if you want to know more and be a part of the eco parenting revolution. Please follow these writings and share your thoughts back with us.

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TOP 10 HOMEMADE GIFT IDEAS

One of my mummy friends this week proudly told me how this Christmas, she would be doing only eco-friendly presents and asked my advice for ideas. This is one of my favourite questions and easiest answers. Read our TOP 10 ideas for an Eco-Friendly and Personal Christmas.

Christmas is a great time to establish habits and traditions. Think carefully about how you want your Christmas time to be in your family. Your child will learn from you how to establish a Christmas tradition and will develop expectations based on the Christmas culture you created while they are young. Each year, no matter how old my boys become, they love to set up the Christmas tree with me and hear the stories I have told every year since they were little. They pull out all the handmade angels, the new ones that we made each year when they were younger. I love the look on their faces when they recognise this precious tradition.

1 – Wrapping: There is nothing more delightful than paper that is decorated with your own children’s paint and drawings. Here is a wonderful solution if like most of us; you are running out of places to stash the mountains of drawings and paintings that your child produces. Put those extra drawings to use as birthday wrapping all year round. Your family and friends will be delighted by the personal touch. If you need something more upmarket, brown paper is making a comeback in eco circles and you can still decorate it with your favourite coloured ribbon for eco-chic.

2 – Gifts: We can spend hours trying to pick the “right gift” for a friend or relative but if you think about the time when you got the most heart-warming reaction from a gift, the answer is something personal and homemade every time. Gift buying should be fun, not quick and stressful! Homemade cakes, chocolates or biscuits are always a favourite in our neighbourhood. Wrap them in a tea towel or fabric offcuts for a personal touch, tie with a ribbon and make a hand-made card.

3 – Cards: Homemade cards are getting sophisticated, ambitious and more personal in eco-friendly circles. Think carefully about the person you are giving to; what is their passion? Make it really personal with photos and images of their favourite hobbies.

4 – For the gardener: Put some seeds in the card, wrapped in fabric. Include a one-paragraph story on why you chose these seeds for their garden in particular. Do the same with a pot plant if that words better. A pot of herbs goes down well if they don’t have a garden yet.

5 – For the Cook: Include your favourite recipe and perhaps a gift voucher from your local organic store for the ingredients. Even better, why not purchase all the ingredients and add the recipe to go with it! Perhaps the kids can write the recipe out or decorate the recipe card.

6 – For the musician: Put together some music tracks you think they will love and make a homemade label for the CD. Give it a personal name, like Jannine’s Party favourites, Xmas 2014!

7 – For the wine lover: make your own wine label, include a photo and a Merry Christmas message, this will be appreciated for more than just a bottle of wine.

8 – For the teenager: Money is the most coveted gift with most teenagers, so you have to be creative with how you give this one. The eco-friendly way to satisfy this need that I use is this. Some cash for them, and a voucher for a charity with their name on the certificate. I’ve tired the certificate only, but it does not quite have the same impact as doing both. They are more likely to ‘get’ the lesson if you do both. Especially if you choose a local ‘youth off the streets’ or other youth – related charity.

9 – For the home owner: for the budding home owner or new baby, there is no better gift than their first land to own Go to www.rainforestrescue.org.au to buy some land starting from $25 that counts for the planet.

10 – Charity: There is a selection of amazing charity sites now that allow you to give in a specific way. I gave my brother who lives in Indonesia a charity gift of supporting a local school in his area. One year, my staff gave me the gift of supporting a midwife in a third world country. It was one of the best gifts I could ever get. Personalise the charity for the personality, rather than a general one that matters only to you. Here are some websites to get you started, but be open to exploring the search engines for a specific charity.

http://www.karmacurrency.com.au/

http://www.charitygifts.com.au

http://www.greengeckoproject.org

The most important eco-friendly thing you can do this Christmas, is to help make Christmas more personal and community-orientated. Choose at least one neighbour and invite them over for a drink or make them some Xmas cookie treats and deliver them. Enjoy the delight on their face and the connection that can be made from this simple action.

Have an eco-friendly Christmas!  Visit our site to see a few simple and delightful toy ideas for babies and toddlers here https://staging2.natureschild.com.au/

Love Jannine x x

Wooden Endless Pounder

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THE CLOTH NAPPY CHANGERS

Congratulations on the launch of the recent AUSTRALIAN NAPPY ASSOCIATION (ANA) last month. Known for their love of Cloth Nappies, the business women behind this launch are now officially the greatest Cloth Nappy Changers in Australia.

Look out for their members parading around in Orange Capes as The Cloth Nappy Crusaders at Baby Expo’s and in retail stores near you! Stop and say Hello when you see the orange badge of the ANA at an event or drop an email to any nappy website who are members! Here is the badge to look out for!

You can immediately benefit from the ANA by downloading lots of FREE resources such as the FACT SHEETS and their informative WEEKLY BLOGS.

If you know a local parent group, community organisation or sustainability officer at your local council who would be interested in purchasing a GET INTO CLOTH KIT to help educate your local community about cloth nappies, head on over the the ANA website to purchase the first of many awesome educational kits

Nature’s Child are proud to be founding members of the ANA and thank fellow members for the years of planning and service that led to its creation. You are the true Nappy Changers!

The ANA believes in supporting families through education and resources, the provision of cloth nappy services and products, and empowering families with the ability to save money through the use of cloth.

The ANA also values sustainability and the environment, advocating the use of reusable cloth nappies, and environmentally-friendly processes and products.

If you believe that we can Change the World, One Nappy at a time, recommend your friends and local baby shop owner to visit and join the ANA http://www.australiannappyassociation.org.au/

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BOTTLE FEEDING HELP FOR NEWBORNS


Every woman plans to breastfeed but not every woman can. It is clearly the best option for both mum and baby with mountains of research supporting this view. If you cannot breastfeed, its good to know that you can still get all the benefits from bottle feeding with the right support and right products.

When we came across MINBIE teats recently, I have to say we were extremely impressed. That someone had understood the importance of breastfeeding as much as the importance of alternatives to mimic breastfeeding felt like a really special discovery.

Speaking to the lovely family about their 13yrs of research on this product confirmed my intuition that this product was a true revolution for newborns who needed a bottle full time or even part time.

With Minbie, babies can feed intuitively with the technique that is developmentally right for them and that helps release digestive enzymes for proper digestion of the milk

For these reasons, I am proud to offer Minbie in the Nature’s Child Organic Baby Range. We do not add new products lightly around here. Our entire philosophy is about supporting natural parenting and avoiding unnecessary products that get in the way of bonding and Natural Physiological Functions. Minbie meets this criteria and I am thrilled for the new parents out there who can take advantage of this product. Click here to discover all that we did about Minbie.

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ORGANIC FUNDRAISING POWER – INTRODUCING DANA: THE NEW FACE OF NATURE’S CHILD ORGANIC COTTON BABY FACE WIPES.

Proudly Sharing with you our New Fundraising Project with our Organic Cotton Face Wipes  RRP $8.95

A few months ago, I was looking for a new face for our popular organic cotton face wipes. I knew I wanted to go beyond a stock photo. I wanted a photo with meaning. When chatting to my old school buddy Tania, my friend for almost 40 yrs, who runs a very successful kids project in Cambodia, I nervously asked how she would feel about one of her babies being the new face of Nature’s Child Organic Cotton Face Wipes.

Fundraising is a constant challenge for this project so I knew some extra funds would be welcome. I also knew that Tania would only agree if the families and kids were happy. I have never seen her agree to any fundraising that was not ethical as well as beneficial.

I wanted to help raise awareness of her amazing work while meeting our own needs for a very special baby to appear on our packaging. I love the idea that we can just buy what we need as consumers in Australia, and just by the way, someone is being fed or schooled, we are not only a profit centred business.

I was thrilled when Tania agreed. I had known these kids at the very beginning. I had visited Cambodia back in 2005, I knew many of these kids when they were starving, begging living on the streets. I have watched them grow through photos and videos over the years into healthy, housed, happy, educated, tall, proud young adults.

As a long time supporter of the Green Gecko Project for street children in Cambodia, I knew that one of these gorgeous kids would have a brother or sister that could be our perfect model. Dana, who finally made it on to our packaging, is a wonderful example of a healthy, happy baby. This was not the case for her aunty when Tania took her in to Green Gecko many years ago. Dana is a testament to how successful the Green Gecko project has been. She show us that it is not just the kids at Green Gecko that benefit from the project,  it’s the extended families as well.

In true Gecko style, our photo project involved the kids and families of Gecko. We extend a heartfelt hanks to the professional guidance of professional photographer Olivia Bradley – also friend of Tania’s for 25 years – who guided the process. The winning shot was taken by Nang, Green Gecko kid and resident photographer.  Thank you Nang and Olivia!

So here is the result… we are sure you will agree that Dana is just beautiful! Your purchase of Nature’s Child Organic Cotton Face Wipes is a great addition to any skincare or food item you are buying for your baby. Plus, you have the added knowledge of knowing that $1 is going to Green Gecko. $1 is equivalent to a day’s wage for some of the poorest people in Cambodia so imagine when we hit our target of $5000! Thank you for being a part of this project.  You can purchase Face Wipes here.

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HOW TO GET YOUR CHILD TO BEG TO GO TO BED by Margaret Saunders

As you know, it is not always easy getting your child to go to bed, let alone staying there and then falling asleep. Your child may be the “stay-up late, no matter what” type. You know, its ten o’clock and you’re bleary eyed but he is wide awake and bushy tailed. Or its 3 a.m. and it’s the fifth time your angel has woken up and called for you from her bed. Perhaps it seven-thirty, bedtime and your “adored one” won’t budge from the television set and lounge room. Or, all of these scenarios apply to your household or its something else and you too are drop dead tired. Sound familiar?

It was like this too in our house, and on top of all this one of my daughters liked to wake up at 4.30 a.m. and that was the time she expected us to start our day, and for a while we did. However, the time came when all this stopped and I invented a fool-proof never-fail-go-to-bed-routine which also included both my daughters falling asleep fast! Yes, a dream come true – for us all!

It did take a while, but not forever, and it did happen and now daughter number 2 who is 7 goes to bed happily at 6.00 p.m. and is asleep by 7.00 p.m. without a fuss and her older sister who is nearly 11 goes to bed at 7.30 pm. and is asleep by 8.30 p.m. Night after night after night!! I have the philosophy that there is no guarantee that I will have my daughters tomorrow. Things can happen. Just as life is given to us it can be taken away. I use the attitude that this day may be the last I have with them, and that this night may be the last one that I put them to bed. And that if this is the last night I have with them, well I want them to have bedtime bliss and fun at bedtime.

When I wake up I want to remember that the last moment I had with them was a happy one. So with this in mind, I make going to bed fun. Sometimes there is a treat for my child by her bed. Sometimes I may do something amusing, like dress her favorite teddy in her pajamas and have her tucked into my daughter’s bed. I use a lot of humor. We all laugh a lot at bedtime, and my routines and activities are strictly adhered to over and over again and they are now embedded into my children’s subconscious minds. So if your child won’t leave the television set at 7.30 p.m. why not try horse backing him all through the house with outrageous horse noises and jokes until you eventually get him to the bedroom.

If it’s the fifth time your angel has woken up calling out for you why not sing in your sleepiest voice a go-to-sleep song that you have made up just for her as you tuck her in one more time. And if it is ten o’clock and your child is still wide awake and bushy tailed this is the time to get serious about considering a bedtime routine to get him into bed at say 9.00 p.m. for a week, 8.30 p.m. for the next week, 8.00 p.m. for the next week and then 7.30 p.m. for the rest of the year.

This takes planning and tenacity and courage, which is definitely worth while which eventually leads to the “in bed by 7.30 p.m. and asleep by 8.00 p.m.” stage and you all become wide awake and bushy tailed at 7.30 a.m. and ready for your day. When I did this for my eldest daughter the routine fell into place so well that there is one memorable night that she actually asked to go to bed early and it was a Saturday night. It was 6.30 p.m. Who were we to refuse such a request. It sounded too good to be true. And to top it all off she was fast asleep before 7.00 p.m. We had the rest of the night all to ourselves. Heaven and bliss! Until … we remembered that this was the night daylight savings was changing over and the clocks were to go back an hour. She had sort of gone to bed at 5.30 p.m! Oops! By now it was too late to change things, and we braced ourselves, and yes, she woke at 5.30 a.m. bright eyed and wanting to start her day. So we did! There were other times when she wanted to go to bed early, and that was OK with us, but, when it came to daylight savings change over we always took note of what time she went to bed. Both my daughters really adore a “go to sleep song”. I made one up and with individual words just for them. I am not musical, I do not sing well, but when I sing their song, especially at night I sing it very, very sleepily and the words are very, very sleep orientated. I cannot recommend this enough especially if your child is a baby or very young. After you have sung your own song a few times, your child will recognise that this is a go-to-sleep time and it is especially handy, if your child has woken in the middle of the night, had a bad dream, is restless or is sick. It can also be used to relax your children as you are driving in stress inducing traffic. These are just a few ideas and suggestions for getting your child to beg to go to bed. Here’s a summary Step by Step 1/ Use the attitude as if this is the last night you may have with your child. 2/ Make going to bed fun, use humor, jokes, horse-back rides or something unusual or funny on or in their bed. 3/ If your child stays up really late, start a go to bed routine, and put him to bed half an hour earlier each time on a weekly basis until he is in bed at a designated time of say 7.30 p.m. (More details of how to do this are in my manuals – see below.) 4/ Make up your own tune and add your own words and sing it to your child or children in a really, really sleepy voice when they are in bed. Please do not under value the simplicity of these suggestions and ideas which work best by implementing them over and over again. This article was written by Margaret Saunders at Bedtime And Toilet Training Solutions. visit www.BedtimeAndToiletTrainingSolutions.com.au

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20 TOP PARENTING TIPS FROM A MUM OF ADULT CHILDREN

First things first

1. There is no such thing as a PERFECT PARENT

2. No parent can truthfully claim to have all the answers

3. Theres no single right way to parenting.

 

Whilst children are trying to learn how to grow, parents are trying to learn how to teach them. Plenty of people have written books and made useful parenting suggestions throughout the ages, but I dont believe any parent has ever been fortunate enough to leave the hospital with their new-born baby in one hand and the rule book, pre-read and understood by the baby, in the other hand. Every parent makes mistakes. Why? Because every child is an individual and parenting has new twists and challenges at every turn of the journey.

Whilst over time, parents build up a library of references based on experiences, theres always bound to be one from left field  that leaves a parent wondering how the **** do I deal with this one?

At the most basic level, children need to feel loved and safe. They need to be fed, clothed, educated, and have their health needs met. They are dependent on their parents for this. If these basics are being met and the children are happy then I believe you are succeeding, to the best of your ability, in the worlds most difficult yet rewarding job.

 

Below is My Top 20. I have made them up based on 20+ years of trying to get this parenting thing right, and trust me; Im still no Wonder Mum. However, my 4 children have all turned out to be happy, successful adults who make a contribution to society, so I must have done something right along the way. I hope these words of wisdom might also assist you.

Here’s 20 helpful Parenting Tips

1. Tell your children you love them, & love them for who they are, no strings attached

2. Dont fight their battles for them, but help them pick up the pieces now & then

3. Stick up for them, always let them know youre on their side, & support as many of their decisions as you can. Whilst you may not always agree, guide them dont dictate to them

4. Provide a solid, nurturing foundation on which your children can build their own person. Include underpinning values like love, trust, patience, honesty, respect, determination, assertiveness, courage, & the desire to just give it a go

5. Ask questions, listen to advice & suggestions, then make your own decisions

6. Dont push your children into pursuits they are not interested in

7. Discipline your children & be consistent in your approach. All children need boundaries, & they will try to stretch those boundaries along the way – always keep firm & consistent

8. Be involved in their life, education & interests but dont smother them

9. Get to know their friends & welcome them into your world

10. Never forget where you came from. Put yourself at their level occasionally & try to remember what it feels like to be a young individual finding their way in life. Remember, as a child you probably did to your parents what your children are now doing to you

11. Be patient. Sometimes all you need do is listen, while at other times you might have to step in and take action – be tuned in to knowing the difference

12. Use positive reinforcement rather than negative criticism

13. Pick your battles & save the war for the big things

14. Use kisses, hugs & calm words to soothe cuts, bruises & disappointments

15. Keep communication lines open – talk lots about all things

16. Be prepared for when everything will be all your fault & they tell you they hate you

17. Remember, you can never put old heads on young shoulders

18. Never close your eyes to the wonderment of children for they can teach you so much

19. Hold on to your sense of humour

20. You will need to learn when to let go.

 

At some point in their lives, your children will want to put into practice everything you have taught them along the way, & believe me, they will undoubtedly have all the answers! It is hard to let go, but the important thing to remember at this time is that whilst you are letting go of their hands & stepping back from the teaching, you will always hold their hearts, their love & their thanks.

 

Tips by Cole-Sinclair, A Paramedic in Victoria