MOTHERHOOD is a remarkable journey filled with joy, wonder, shared discoveries as well as self-discovery, regardless whether you and your child are having a silly moment or he is having a backseat meltdown.
When a baby enters the world, he grows and develops through different new experiences. But it is not only the baby who grows in this journey, you grow too.
As mum and child explore the world together, they both grow through shared experiences and discoveries.
Following the child’s own strengths and character, mums then take on a dynamic parenting style, which allows their children to grow and learn at their own pace rather than a one-size-fits-all template.
This dynamic parenting style is contrary to the rigid “tiger mum” parenting style and it allows mother and child to understand as well as learn from each other, grow closer, enrich each other’s lives and forge a close-knit bond. These shared experiences then enable mum and child to grow up together, naturally.
There is no specific definition of natural parenting. Basically, natural parenting refers to a lifestyle that parents have with their children, which goes back to the very basics of parenting, involving joint engagement and mutual love and respect.
Parents learn to respond sensitively to the child’s needs while also remaining spontaneous to go with the flow.
Generally speaking, natural parenting is about:
? Embracing a child’s uniqueness and his natural rhythms;
? Following a mother’s natural instincts;
? Not rushing a child’s milestones;
? Sharing experiences and discoveries;
? Practising free play and being outdoors;
? Connection and bonding by enjoying and embracing the growing-up moments; and
? Self-care for mothers.
At Friso Gold, it is encouraged for both parent and child to experience growth together in the context of their unique relationship.
As new as natural parenting may be here, it is being practised across the world. Examples of how natural parenting is successfully practised can be seen in Finland and New Zealand.
With Finnish children producing some of the highest scores in mathematics, science and reading in OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), their parents seem to have it figured out.
Interestingly, it is not an emphasis on studies, but a natural parenting style focusing on play, happiness and health that seems to have cultivated a genuine love for learning.
Here are three beliefs of Finnish parenting you may find useful:
? Playtime is educational: Parents see play as an opportunity for children to learn. They believe that compared to rote learning, young minds are better stimulated when they learn from doing something they enjoy.
? Every child learns at his/her own pace: Recognising that each child has a different pace of learning and allowing children to take their time. Parents don’t put priority on academic preparation before formal school. Instead, they impart skills for independence and self-reliance.
? Learning is done independently: Children in Finland are taught from a young age to be independent when it comes to learning. Children are encouraged to take the initiative in learning. Without supervision, children come home from school, make lunch and do their homework.
New Zealand offers some of the world’s most jaw-dropping scenery and natural attractions that lift, soothe and inspire.
So how has living so intimately within the wonders of nature influenced the Kiwis’ parenting style?
Here’s what we know:
? Kiwi parents lead their children in exploring nature: Swimming in the ocean, bush hiking and spotting friendly wildlife in the middle of nowhere is a big part of family life in New Zealand. Taking children out to follow in their literal footsteps not only helps little ones develop a natural taste for adventure, it also gives parents a chance to spend time in natural surroundings.
? Kiwi parents and children are both involved in cultivating life skills: In school, rather than focusing on academic studies, there is a bigger push for children to learn outdoor, practical skills such as gardening, cooking, woodworking, sewing and even the legendary haka! This means that when Kiwi parents help their children with “homework,” they go all in and get their hands dirty to learn or refresh important life skills together.For more information, updates and to watch the “Growing Up Together, Naturally” campaign videos and TVCs, go to Friso Gold’s website (www.frisogold.com.my) or Facebook page (www.facebook.com/FrisoGoldMY).
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