Holistic Parenting

Welcome to Good Dirt Radio… reporting on positive solutions taking root.

The classic definition of ‘holism’ or ‘holistic’ refers to the relationship between the parts and the whole, where each part contains the whole, and yet the sum of the parts forms a greater integrated system. Further, if you change any of the parts, the whole reflects the change. Holistic living includes making healthy, sustainable choices that affect the world in a more positive manner.

Nancy Massotto, a new mother in Caldwell New Jersey, faced some tough consumer choices in a culture that prioritizes profit over sustainability. She knew her decisions were important to the whole… so she organized, and became Executive Director of Holistic Moms Network. With 120 chapters in the US and Canada, the group has over four thousand members sharing ways for families to live holistically.

Massotto: Well, the Holistic Moms’ Network is essentially an education and support network for parents who are interested in holistic health and green living. And what we’re trying to do is bring people together to build local communities where they can support each other in those choices and also become more educated about the options that are available to them and the ways in which they can live more sustainably. It’s really on the grass roots level, in our own back yards, if you will, where we can make a difference. All of our chapters across the country meet at least on a monthly basis and they often have themes or discussion topics or bring in local guest speakers to come in and teach us about some of these issues. So, for example, a local chapter might have an area organic farmer come in and teach about what is organic farming, why does it matter, why should we buy organic produce, why its better for us and really just get connected to the people in their own community. As parents, the one thing we know is that our children learn more by doing then they do by saying. And teaching your children from a very early age about the importance of the choices that we make whether its choosing organic foods or recycling or reusing or living simply or making energy smart decisions in whatever way, is really important because its lays the foundation for their future.

Lisa Rooney joined Holistic Moms Network while scouting better lifestyle choices for her family. Now, she’s a chapter leader, in the Chicago suburbs. She says sustainable choices and natural systems and go hand in hand.

Rooney: We teach our kids to be less consumer oriented and focus more on the Earth and looking to nature to create good health. This year, we are focusing on buying local and so we are participating in a local CSA so that the kids can see exactly where our food comes from. My goal in parenting them holistically is to teach them how to make choices that are good for their bodies, that are good for their minds and that are good for their communities at large.

Peggy Robertson, a former educator in Centennial, CO also started an area chapter to share parenting sustainably in her community. We asked her why she is so committed to learning about holistic living.

Robertson: Mainly to really know why I do what I do. When I make any sort of decision that affects myself or my family, I know that all those decisions ultimately affect the world. You know I think the first thing that I do is I meet with the Moms in my group every week to do a social event, or a learning event. You have to have people to talk to to bounce ideas off of.

Robertson has been making her own cleaning materials for over three years and says its simple and saves money.

Robertson: They’re non-toxic, they’re safe for the environment, your own children can clean the house with them with no bad repercussions. What I have found is that holistic living is so simple and really kinda pulls you back to the earth and it makes you grateful for what you have and respectful for the Earth and for me, that’s where the passion comes in. Its green, you know, its green living.

Massatto says Dads also have a large role to play.

Massotto: Unless the family, the moms and the dads, step up and teach their children about why it matters and why we need to protect the earth and why we need to protect the environment, children are really not gonna gain that knowledge and education and that appreciation for all that we have before us.

Rooney: Its not about one particular choice. Its about making your lifestyle much more natural, much more simple, much more community focused. And I think that is what is going to create the world I hope our children are gonna to live in and raise their children in.

Good Dirt Radio encourages all parents to consider learning how to create a more holistic family life and to check out Holistic Moms and other free related resources on our website, gooddirtradio.org.

Change Happens….from the bottom up… when millions of people change their minds. We encourage you to find issues you care about and get involved in the shift toward sustainability.

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