What If…(Radically Rethinking My Parenting Beliefs)

  • The following was orginally written and published on Lovefrombaby.com in 2013 when my littles were still little. Eight years later and I love every brave word written more than ever.
The Sword of Truth!

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex… It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. “
Albert Einstein

I’m in a stage of my Mothering Career where I’m unraveling ALL the “beliefs” that have been crammed into me since I was a child myself. What if beliefs are just a fancy word for “very strong falsehoods based on fear”. Okay, that’s even fancier, but you get my point. Parenting in our current culture is set up in such a way to promote daily struggles ~ or if not daily struggles, then simply squashing our children’s input by bullying them.

Oh, I know “bullying” is a dramatic catch-phrase these days. Usually we talk about bullying in peer settings, such as school. We never talk about parents bullying their children.  But, isn’t FORCING them to brush their teeth every day a form of bullying? I know most would say it’s for their own good. But when we say things like that, we clearly have an agenda ~ and it’s  a FEAR-PUSHING agenda. We are saying “You HAVE to do this thing you don’t want to do OR something REALLY BAD will happen!”

How many times are we, The Loving Parents, FORCING fear down Our Dear Children’s throats?

The following are all the things I’ve been questioning in regards to my children, my Mothering, and our cultural consciousness over the past year. Since November 2011, I’ve been in a period of rapid awakening, and within that awakening I’ve found that our fears have been TRAGICALLY limiting us. When we are living simply to “keep bad things from happening” it takes our energy away from far more important pursuits…like our LIMITLESSNESS. And in our LIMITLESSNESS, anything is possible…ESPECIALLY the impossible.

So, even if the following content challenges you (or you just think I’m a crazy loon) indulge me a bit and consider:

What if our kids REALLY DON’T need to brush their teeth everyday?

I started considering this one when my second son was about 2 years old and each tooth-brushing session became a reality trip straight through hell. I would literally have to pin him down to do it and it became the most stressful part of the day.  It didn’t take long for me to realize that pinning him down to brush his teeth was probably much more harmful than skipping it and keeping our relationship intact. It was at this time I decided to approach teeth-brushing from a place of LOVE instead of fear ~ if he wanted to do it we would sing silly songs as we brushed, if he wanted to skip it, we did. It became much more harmonious, and now at 5 years old tooth-brushing is done very smoothly…on a semi-daily basis.

Now, both of my older children had early cavities, but this happened BEFORE the semi-daily-love-brushing-changeover. They got their cavities while I was forcibly brushing from a place of fear, which brings me to my next question:

What if cavities are not caused by certain foods..but by cultural conditioning?

It would have been so easy for me to blame myself for my children’s cavities…and in fact, I did. I blamed myself, beat myself up, and then went on a rampage to “fix everything.” I cut out sugar, read all the alternative-tooth-care books and links, started cramming cod liver oil down their throats, said “NO!” to all grocery-store-treats, among various other fun things. Yes, in my fear I decided to create even more fear.

Then I started talking to other people about their children’s teeth and it seemed like ALMOST ALL OF THEM had dramatic tooth stories to tell! Even the people who were “doing it all right” with raw food, gluten-free-crap, and zero-taste-fun had children with cavities. There seemed to be no magic formula for healthy teeth….except maybe one. In my informal sociological research, I discovered that the people who worried very little about their children’s teeth had children with healthy teeth. And on the flip-side, it seemed that the MORE “health-conscious” the parents were, the worse off were they kiddos. Now, I’m not saying this is the way IT IS….it’s just what I noticed in my own daily life. And this is what led me to the dramatic reconsideration that perhaps it’s not food at all that causes cavities ~ perhaps it is the WORRY and FEAR and EXPECTATION of cavities that leads to cavities.

I know I didn’t want to teach my children to be afraid of food. So I stopped regulating and controlling and just went back to saying YES. Imagine my dismay when there was more cavities at the next visit. As I sat there, frustratingly pondering WHY the hell there would be more cavities when I’m NOT afraid of food anymore, my infinitely wise inner voice said, “You’re not afraid of food. Now don’t be afraid of dentists.”

Of course! Fear of food, fear of dentists, fear PERIOD creates cavities.

I know I’m right on this.

Which brings me to my next question:

What if our bodies know EXACTLY how to heal themselves without any outside help?

I’ve always felt this way about our bodies ~ that they have enough natural wisdom to do what they need to do. It’s why I’ve always had unassisted homebirths and we’ve never had a regular doctor. And since we’ve been speaking of teeth and dentists, let’s keep that conversation going.

I believe children have an innate wisdom about their bodies that stays intact until well-meaning adults squash it. If it weren’t for my old programming of fear around food and/or dentists I do believe my children’s cavities would heal themselves without them even having to think about it  ~ who knows maybe they’re healing right now even as I write this! I believe an intentionally well-guarded secret is that our bodies actually need NO OUTSIDE assistance to heal…but that little gem would sell a lot less drugs and lots of high-paid people would be out of a job, so I don’t expect the masses will jump on board just yet.

I’m not even jumping on board 100% yet, as I will keep taking my children to the dentist…while also expecting their cavities to heal themselves.

If we trusted our children a little bit (okay, A LOT) more I think we’d be utterly amazed by what their bodies can do…all by themselves.

And speaking of children’s body wisdom…

What if our children dislike vegetables for a reason? Maybe little bodies don’t need a lot of vegetables yet?

If forcing our children to brush their teeth is a form of bullying, then forcing them to eat vegetables is too.  All three of my babies have been great eaters ~ they will eat whatever I put in front of them whether is cake or carrots. Somewhere around toddler-hood is when they start to get picky. I can count on one hand how many vegetables my two older sons will (willingly) eat. Now, at almost 8 years old, my oldest son is starting to get adventurous again ~ he asked me to buy him an orange pepper at the store last week because he’d never had one before. I’m happy to see it and it also strengthens my notion that perhaps at certain ages, kids DON’T NEED to eat a lot of veggies. Right now, my just-turned-5 year old will only eat raw carrots, lettuce, and black olives. For years my first son only ate lettuce and onions (on tacos). I never really got perturbed by this, because I remember my own childhood-body-wisdom that only wanted to eat lettuce and onions.

Now, if you have a kiddo that loves veggies, all the power to you (though try not to look so smug). If you don’t, try not to worry. Keep offering veggies (without fear or expectation) and eventually one day (perhaps many years from now) that child will say “Yum” and ask for more.

I would say this notion of trust also applies if your child likes only a limited amount of any food. Maybe they NEED to eat just peanut butter sandwiches for a year. Which brings me to:

What if our children can get the highest nutrition from ANY food they eat?

Let’s just play with this one for a bit. What if those peanut butter sandwiches are giving that child’s body everything it needs. Futhermore, what if that peanut butter sandwich is giving that child even more than what it says on the nutrition label? I once read about a gifted child telling an interviewer that he could eat a potato chip and get the same nutrition he would from an apple.Why rule it out when believing it is JUST SO MUCH MORE FUN?!

Let’s take it one step further and say:

What if our children don’t really need food at all, but eat it just because it’s fun?

Okay, this may be stretching us a bit too far right now. But, speaking from personal experience, I fully know that when we raise our vibration to a certain frequency not only can we eat any food and have it go through us like water, but we actually need very little food at all. 

If this is something I’ve been experiencing in the last year and know to be true, why shouldn’t it be true of our children who are already at a higher vibration than we are?

Look, I know this is challenging. I know that there are probably only a handful of people that will read this and GET IT. Probably even less that will read this and BELIEVE IT.  All of this could be considered crazy, impossible, outrageous, and lunacy. It goes against the grain of EVERYTHING we’ve been taught. Which brings me to my final question…

What if EVERYTHING we’ve learned up until now is….FALSE?