Natural parenting has many benefits, not simply for the children, but for many areas of family life.
Natural parenting proponents advocate a simple, natural lifestyle for raising children. Natural parenting believes in natural childbirth, breastfeeding, close attachment parenting and bonding, stay-at-home parenting, co-sleeping, positive discipline, natural and organic foods, home schooling, natural health, and disallowing vaccinations, circumcisions and other intervention from medical and technological advances.
The Benefits of Natural Parenting
Research from natural parenting advocates suggests that children raised in an old-fashioned, more natural way produce healthier, more secure children with fewer problems.
* “We turned out OK.” Natural parenting advocates claim that children of past generations have been raised naturally and had far fewer medical and social problems, as compared to children today, who are raised in a world where technology intervenes at every turn. Natural parenting experts say the incidences of attention deficit disorders, mental illness, behavior problems, health problems and food reactions are far more prevalent today.
* More bang for the buck. Natural parenting and family living is far less expensive than trying to keep up with the plethora of toys, gadgets and gear that seem to crop up continuously. Parents of young children are bombarded by “must-haves,” which can be a strain on family finances.
* More secure children. Natural parenting proponents say they’ve debunked newer parenting theories suggesting that babies need to “cry it out” at night and that parents who pick up a baby every time he cries are “spoiling” him. Their research suggests that babies whose cries get an immediate response from parents grow up to be more secure, more confident and more independent.
* Health reasons. Most doctors would agree that breast milk is healthier for an infant than formula. Breastfeeding passes on immunities from the mother to baby and greatly reduces sickness in babies. Generally, a more natural lifestyle is healthier for a child, natural parenting proponents say. Returning to a more natural life eliminates some of the problems that have appeared since modern parenting practices, such as colic, rashes, sleep problems, attention deficit problems, diabetes, obesity, hyperactivity, and behavior issues.
* It’s simply more natural. Just as parents in the animal kingdom instinctively know how to raise their young, humans have natural instincts on how to give birth, treat childhood illnesses, feed and care for their children.
Criticisms of Natural Parenting
Critics of natural parenting claim there is no evidence that it is superior to more modern, mainstream parenting methods. Natural parenting means a lot of work for parents and the demands can be exhausting, critics say.
Natural parenting opponents condemn its refusal to take advantage of modern advances, particularly in the medical arena. By refusing to allow their children to be vaccinated against disease, natural parents are putting their children at risk, as well as public health, critics say. While there are perceived adverse effects of immunization, medical opinion is that the benefits of immunization greatly outweigh the risks. Some diseases have been cut to negligible rates and others eradicated altogether because of immunizations.
Co-sleeping, in which parents and children share a bed, can be dangerous for infants. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission have both warned against co-sleeping, saying it increases a baby’s risk for suffocation and strangulation.
Source : http://www.life123.com/parenting/young-children/child-discipline/the-benefits-of-natural-parenting.shtml