Tuesday, March 10, 2009

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Raising Crunchy Kids…

While I’m not a biggest granola bar in the pack, I do enjoy living a healthier, natural lifestyle, and thus enjoy teaching my children the same. Since children are little sponges, absorbing everything we do (and sometimes more than we wish they would), this task is quite easy to do. My tried-and-true method has always been teaching by example.

I’m typically able to give my daughters some much needed attention while educating them but having fun at the same time. Encouraging them to sit down with me on the couch to nurse their dollies while I nurse the baby while enjoying a book, or having them change their dollies while I change the baby’s diapers. I also use my extra scarves as slings so they can wear their dollies too, just like mama wears the baby while we’re grocery shopping or at the store running a quick errand.

Given that we use cloth diapers, it’s only natural for my daughters to want to cloth diaper their cloth dolls too! While I have yet to break down and order those wonderfully cute dolly diapers, I’ve given them a few old infant prefolds to use on their dolls along with a couple Snappi’s. This also reinforces the idea that, regardless of what type of cloth diaper you use, cloth diapering is lots of fun!

I also allow them to bring their dolly strollers with them to the store from time to time (especially when I need to prevent them from running around like hooligans). Naturally, everyone just adores how cute my two little mommies look pushing their doll strollers through the store.

Of course this has also led to other less than desirable messes – such as the time when my girls decided to give their dollies a bath in the sink. [Keeping in mind they have cloth dolls and stuffed animals, so those make a BIG mess when they’re soaking wet]

My oldest daughter Aaliyah oftentimes gets frustrated with her “littleness” and says, “I want to be big like you.” It is at these moments when I try to persuade her that one day she will be. In the meantime this is her time to play and learn by practicing how to do all the “BIG” things like mama does, such as cloth diapering, breastfeeding, etc…

Teaching and encouraging these natural alternatives, in spite of the disposable and convenience-based world we live in, reinforces the likelihood that our children will follow in our footsteps.

25 comments:

Kelly Wels said...

Serena,
Your girls are absolutely beautiful and the pic you took are priceless!

Upstatemomof3 said...

So very well said! You have beautiful little girls who seem to be enjoying the lessons you are teaching.

Angela said...

Those pictures are so cute. I always melt when I see a little girl pushing her dollies in a stroller.

TheOGMamaBear said...

How adorable. I hope to teach my children the same values. We try to live naturally and show the importance of cloth diapering and breastfeeding to everyone, especially since Lilian isn't old enough to be "taught" about them yet. But she is learning!

Future Mama said...

hahaha! This is too cute! I love those pictures, beautiful children! I'm not a mom yet so I wonder how "crunchy" I'll be!

Melissa said...

Teaching by example is so important. I really enjoyed reading your blog. When my daughter is old enough, I hope to teach her by example like you are teaching your beautiful daughters.

one day in the life of me said...

Yes, I agree we need to teach by example. Love the pictures of your little mommies, so cute!

Kimberly said...

Your girls are beautiful! I love the "nursing" picture :-)
I agree about teaching by example and hope that I am able to do it with ease as my daughter grows!

Organized Nutrition said...

OH, How I miss the days of my children NURSING their babies! LOL!
And oh how I just miss nursing! AND cloth diapering now that my baby just potty trained herself!
Great way to raise those future mama's!!!!

Kristin said...

I love my slings...and so of course my daughter needed her own. I found a very quick (15-20 min) pattern for making a sling just like mine sized perfectly for my 2-year-old. Hannah loves putting as many of her "lovies" as possible in the sling...maybe I should have made it a bit bigger to accommodate the crowd!

For anyone who is interested in sewing a doll-sling the link is:

http://www.sleepingbaby.net/jan/Baby/kidsling.html

Enjoy!

Brena said...

Oh snap, this is making me hard core ache for a little girl. I love my little guy, but this is really making me hope that next time we have a girl. (Not that I would even hesitate to give my son a doll and a sling if he wanted one!)

Maggie said...

Your daughters are beautiful and those are some really cute dolls. Good for you for setting a good example for them!

Suzy said...

It is so wonderful to see you showing a wonderful example . I hope I am doing the same for my kids.

angelina said...

love the breastfeeding, my son does the same!!!

Brenda L said...

I love the dolly they're playing with. Did you buy it somewhere or did you make it from a pattern? If you made it, what pattern did you use?

Erika said...

I had forgotten about my oldest breastfeeding her dolls. She used to hold them upside under her shirt:) Thanks for reminding me about that sweet memory.

Sara in Seattle said...

Very well said, Serena! I hope that my little girl will value living healthily and naturally.

Sara in Seattle said...

commented on Raising Crunchy Kids

Amanda said...

That was a wonderful article. Your girls are beautiful! I would think that when baby # 2 comes along, having your little one nurse their doll would be really helpful in preventing the older child from feeling left out. I plan on doing that when we have #2.

Katrina said...

I agree - our children definitely learn by watching what we do. You're girls are adorable.

Liz said...

Great post Serena! Leading by example is something I have to constantly remind myself.

I like your idea for the slings. I told my daughter that and I hope to find my scarves tomorrow!

I love this blog! I get so much information and some great ideas!

Serena said...

Thanks everyone for the wonderful comments! My little monsters, oh, I mean my daughters *LOL* can be absolutely precious!

For those of you who have little boys - rest assured, even they can learn by your example. One of my very closest friends (who just so happens to be a cloth diapering mama who also follows this blog) has some absolutely LOVELY pictures of her son holding her NEWBORN BABY in a sling! It's ADORABLE!

Please don't hesitate to teach the little man/men in your world the same values... that way they'll grow up to be wonderful husbands!

the momma said...

My girls love playing Mommy to their dolls, too! I've made them a few cloth diapers for their dolls, which they love!

Jess said...

hehe my boys sound like your girls! How fun! The youngest even breastfeeds his dolly *sigh*

Kelly said...

Even though I have boys, I love to read about all the girly things that moms do with their daughters. And I agree with Serena's comment about raising boys by example too. Even though mine don't have dolls to carry around, I feel I definitely lead by example in showing and explaining why we breastfeed, cloth diaper, carry babies in slings/carriers, recycle, etc.

Thanks Serena for the post. And I am with you, not a very crunchy mommy but love the little things I do to help our world be a better place for our children.