Wednesday, December 5, 2007

FEATURE - "Primal Home" - What is Primal Parenting?


OK, before your mind floods with images of women with bare, tubular breasts harvesting crops with a baby strapped on their back, or a hairy, sun-baked man with a spear setting off for the hunt, we should take a moment to consider the word “primal.”

According to The American Heritage Dictionary, “primal” is defined as “being first in time; original; of first importance; primary.” Other sources include terms such as “essential” and “fundamental.” Used in the context of this magazine title, there is an intentional double entendre: “primal” embodies the aforementioned terms along with a hint of primitivism.

We all know that “parenting” can be simply defined as someone “acting as a mother or a father.” Pair that idea with “primal” and you can literally translate “primal parenting’ to mean “acting as a mother or father, which is of first importance.”

This definition resonates with me. I view a primal parent as someone who values his or her family above all else. She recognizes and embraces her responsibility as guardian, provider, and mentor. He is intuitive and integrative, conscious and conscientious. Primal parents seek ways to simplify the lives of themselves and of their family, both physically and emotionally.

Taking this definition further, we can see how “primal parenting” can transcend both biological and traditional stereotypes. It is not uncommon to find grandparents, aunts, uncles, and older siblings stepping in to fill, or assist in, the parenting role. Modern families come in all shapes, sizes, ages, and colors that are all unique, special, and undoubtedly valued.

Primal parenting is also a journey. It is a process of exploration and discovery with not only your children but also within yourself. It is a constant process of evaluation: of values, of lifestyle choices, of important life decisions. It is adjusting your receiver to tune into your own innate wisdom rather than lip-synching along with the latest parenting Top Ten.

Modern primal parents are uniquely challenged with technological tools that can both hasten and hamper our parenting ideals. Being aware of our contemporary habits and tendencies allows us to consider the impact that we have on the lives of those around us. We recognize and accept responsibility for our lifestyle and health choices. We educate ourselves about monumental parenting decisions, as well as seemingly benign options. We strive towards a simpler, greener, more natural existence.

Parenthood defines and molds us; it also enriches and challenges us. Primal parents embrace this venture as they see that the rewards greatly outnumber any sacrifices. The ultimate defining moment as a primal parent comes when you realize that you are not only the teacher; you are, most importantly, the student.

See you in class !

Primal Home is written by the staff at Primal Parenting Magazine, a revolutionary new publication seeking to educate and empower families. For more information on Primal Parenting Magazine go to www.primalparentingmagazine.com

The Primal Home column at The LOHASIAN will provide insights into living as a primal parent, tips and trick into simplifying your family life, and overall exploring the dynamics involved in manifesting the "primal home."

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