Sunday, July 3, 2011

Guest Blog: Parenting in America from Hybrid Rasta Mama

Well, today officially kicks off my Blog Carnival: Parenting in America and I am pretty sure I will be banned from ever having another one haha.  I meant to write a post yesterday to post up here today but between kids, house, laundry, unexpected b-day party, church and life I didn't finish mine.

THANK GOODNESS Hybrid Rasta Mama ROCKS and wrote 3 posts.  She graciously agreed to let me put up 1 of them on my blog today to kick things off.

If you plan on participating on your own blog please make sure you message me with the link so I can post a link on here each day with a short intro into your blog.  Each morning I will be posting 1 piece on here and links to the other posts for that day.  If you post yours later in the day I will include it on the next days list so no worries there.

Without further ado, here is Hybrid Rasta Mama's excellent post.......

Parenting in America

I wrote this post as part of the Parenting In America Carnival hosted by Adventures in Mommyhood: Mommy Outnumbered. The Carnival is running from July 3-10, 2011. This is post number one in a series of three.

Parenting in America is a hot mess (and I would love nothing more than to see that change). Maybe not everyone sees it the same way I do but honestly, there is a lot to be desired in the way we now parent our children. I don’t know when the shift took place or what went wrong specifically, but today’s parents seem to really struggle to be parents. I will admit that the United States is a hot mess in general but shouldn’t that spur parents to do an ever better job at parenting so that we can send our sons and daughters out into this world as adults who can make the changes this country of ours needs?

Personally, I worry about the future. A lot. Why? Well…

I am going to make a BIG generalization here. I believe that most parents have been brainwashed into thinking that they do not know how to parent by money hungry “experts” who are looking to get rich quick off of their “parenting book/t.v. show that will solve all of your parenting problems in one day.” These experts have us stuck in our heads. They have torn us away from parenting with our hearts. They have encouraged us to forget about what is best for our children from a developmental standpoint and instead have forced us into a mindset where children should become little robots who do and say all of the right things because society expects and demands it. These experts have us believing that we need to create “good” children. I have a HUGE issue with this.

Children, by their very nature, ARE GOOD. Children are not born evil. They do not understand evil nor do they understand good. They learn that over time.

Children live in the moment. They exist. They take in their surroundings, they explore, they LIVE. But then, WE step in. WE discourage childhood. WE discourage innocence. WE discourage children being children. WE WANT society to praise us for having “good” children. WE do not want to be embarrassed by “bad” behavior. Therefore, WE employ parenting techniques that alienate us from our children. Each time we step away from a gentle, peaceful, natural parenting approach, we are altering the bond of trust, respect, and love that we had with our child the moment he or she was born. Every time we spank, every time we send a child to time-out,  every time we yell, every time we threaten, every time we expect more than a child is capable of and punish them for not meeting an impossible expectation, every time we squash natural curiosity, every time we hinder appropriate development, every time we fail to provide clear and consistent boundaries, every time we fail our children by not providing an environment safe for them to live and play in, WE,THE  PARENTS, are contributing to the hot mess that is Parenting in America.

It is time for a change. I am proud to be part of that change. I have found a community of like-minded mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts and uncles who understand that mainstream parenting is failing our children. Together, we are employing parenting practices and creating parenting philosophies to respect each individual child’s needs and combine that with supportive, loving, positive, and gentle parenting. We are connected to our children. We are in tune as a family. We are shunning ineffective parenting techniques that are continually shoved down our throats. We seek to educate and inspire other parents who are open to becoming the kind of parent their child needs them to be. And we are not condemning those parents who still have a ways to go on their journey.

Ideologies do not change overnight. But they CAN and DO change.  We just have to come together as parents and get back to the basics. So today, I encourage you to parent with heart, to parent from the place that your child needs you to parent from. Only you know where that place is. Dig deep (if you haven’t already) to find it.

One love,

Hybrid Rasta Mama blogs at  She calls herself the Hybrid Rasta Mama because, in her words she sees herself " a hybrid mama.  I take a little of this and a little of that and blend it all together into something that works for me, Tiny and my husband."  Click here to read more about who Hybrid Rastsa Mama is.
Make sure to check out her blog and her FB, give her a like, you won't be sorry/

Are you participating this week?  It's not too late, check out my announcement blog First Ever Blog Carnival: Parenting In America 7/3-7/10 for information on how you can participate.  You don't need a blog, you can write a peice for me to post on here 1 of the days.


  1. Thank you for sharing a perspective that many people are afraid to share themselves - or even consider!

    Looking forward to jumping into the carnival tomorrow!

  2. Jennifer,
    after a day of being the type of momma I don't want to be, raising my voice, getting angry, threatening and finally spanking, I desperately needed to hear this.
    I really don't want to be that momma.
    Long way to go on this journey.
    So glad I found you when I did.
    Tomorrow will be better than today.

  3. I certainly agree that parenting in America has sure gotten off track. I was raised on a farm where all of us - mother, father, sisters, brothers and myself worked every day managing the farm and dairy herd.

    Today kids have it too easy; but having said that I wonder? Maybe they don't have to work as hard, but perhaps they don't have the opportunity either - and that could be a shame.

    In any case I love the photo of the "gang" at the top which reminds me that we should always be thinking about photographing our children as they grow before it is too late.


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