My Parenting Philosophy: Unconditional and Natural Love

by Charise Rohm Nulsen

Welcome to the July Carnival of Natural Parenting: Parenting Philosophy

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared their parenting practices and how they fit in with their parenting purpose. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

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After only a year of parenting, I know I still have a lot to learn, but there are certain things I know for sure based on what my instincts tell me:

1. Unconditional Love:

I will always love Baby unconditionally, and I will do everything in my power to let him know this. I hope to show Baby my unconditional love by never making him feel as if I will only express my love for him when he is behaving in a way that is convenient for me or when he is achieving something. I really love Alfie Kohn’s ideas in Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason. Love withdrawal in the form of certain methods of discipline is not something I ever want to engage in.

2. Stay as close to nature as possible:

mama lifts baby with the sunset behind them

I have only unconditional love for the little light of my life!


This philosophy means many things to me. It means doing things like feeding my son in the most natural way possible with breastfeeding and with as many whole and organic foods as possible. It means helping Baby develop a lifelong appreciation of nature and our world. It also means focusing on good health and natural remedies whenever possible and prioritizing living a green lifestyle.

Even with all of the life lessons I still have to learn as a mama, I know that I can feel confident in any parenting decisions I make as long as they stem from a focus on unconditional love and living and parenting as naturally as possible!

Do you have a parenting philosophy?

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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be live and updated by afternoon July 12 with all the carnival links.)

  • Between Love and Fear: On Raising our Children Sensibly — Mamma Earthly at Give an Earthly discusses the fear factor in parenting and how she overcame it, despite societal pressures.
  • really, when do i get my cape? — Sarah at small bird on fire is a working city mama trying to learn how to set aside her expectations of perfection and embrace the reality of modern parenting.
  • Baby, Infant, and Toddler Wearing — Child wearing is part of Sarah at Nourished and Nurtured‘s parenting philosophy. In this post, Sarah describes benefits of child-wearing and gives tips for wearing babies, infants, and toddlers (even while pregnant).
  • First Year Reflections — As her daughter’s first birthday approaches, Holly at First Year Reflections reflects on how she and her husband settled into attachment parenting after initially doing what they thought everyone else did.
  • Making an allowance — Lauren at Hobo Mama welcomes a guest post from Sam about the unexpected lessons giving a four-year-old an allowance teaches the child — and the parent.
  • How to be a Lazy Parent and Still Raise Great Kids — Lisa at Granola Catholic talks about how being a Lazy Parent has helped her to raise Great Kids.
  • Philosophy in Practice — Laura at A Pug in the Kitchen shares how her heart shaped the parenting philosophy in her home.
  • What is Attachment Parenting Anyway? — Gaby at Tmuffin describes the challenges of putting a label on her parenting philosophy.
  • Of Parenting Styles — Jenny at Chronicles of a Nursing Mom talks about how she and her husband tailored various parenting styles to fit their own preferred parenting philosophy.
  • Moment by Moment Parenting — Amy at Peace 4 Parents encourages those who care for children (including herself) to explore and appreciate parenting moment-by-moment with clarity, intention, trust, and action.
  • Maintaining Spirituality in the Midst of Everyday Parenting, Marriage, and Life — Sarah at Nourished and Nurtured shares her perspective on finding opportunities for spiritual growth in every day life.
  • Parenting Philosophy — Lily, aka Witch Mom’s parenting philosophy is to raise child(ren) to be compassionate, loving, inquisitive, and questioning adults who can be trusted to make decisions for themselves in a way that avoids harming others.
  • Long Term — Rosemary at Rosmarinus Officinalis thinks about who she would like to see her daughter become — and what she can do now to lay a strong foundation for those hopes.
  • Connection, Communication, Compassion — She’s come a long way, baby! After dropping her career in favour of motherhood, Patti at Jazzy Mama discovered that building solid relationships was going to be her only parenting priority.
  • My Parenting Inspirations – Part 4 — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama looks at her biggest parenting inspiration and how that translates into her long-term parenting philosophy.
  • A Parenting Philosophy in One Word: Respect — Jenn at Monkey Butt Junction summarizes her parenting and relationship philosophy in one word: respect.
  • Knowledge and Instinct — Kat at Loving {Almost} Every Moment believes that knowledge and instinct are super important … as are love, encouragement and respect. It’s the ideal combo needed to raise happy and healthy children and in turn create meaningful relationships with them.
  • THRIVE!The Sparkle Mama wants to set a tone of confidence, abundance, and happiness in her home that will be the foundation for the rest of her daughter’s life.
  • On Children — “Your children are not your children,” say Kahlil Gibran and Hannah at Wild Parenting.
  • This One Life Together — Ariadne aka Mudpiemama shares her philosophy of parenting: living fully in the here and now and building the foundation for a happy and healthy life.
  • Enjoying life and planning for a bright future — Olivia at Write About Birth shares her most important parenting dilemmas and pours out her heart about past trauma and how healing made her a better parent.
  • My Parenting Philosophy: Unconditional and Natural Love — Charise at I Thought I Knew Mama shares what she has learned about her parenting philosophy from a year of following her instincts as a mama.
  • An open letter to my children — Isil at Smiling Like Sunshine writes an open letter to her children.
  • My Starter Kit for Unconditional Parenting — Sylvia at MaMammalia discusses her wish to raise a good person and summarizes some of the nontraditional practices she’s using with her toddler son in order to fulfill that wish.
  • Responsiveness — Sheila at A Gift Universe has many philosophies and goals, but what it all boils down to is responsiveness: listening to what her son wants and providing what he needs.
  • Tools for Creating Your Parenting Philosophy — Have you ever really thought about your parenting purpose? Knowing your long-term goals can help you parent with more intent in your daily interactions. Dionna at Code Name: Mama offers exercises and ideas to help you create your own parenting philosophy.
  • Be a Daisy — Becky at Old New Legacy philosophizes about individuality and how she thinks it’s important for her daughter’s growth.
  • What’s a Mama to Do? — Amyables at Toddler in Tow hopes that her dedication to compassionate parenting will keep her children from becoming too self-critical as adults.
  • grown-up anxieties. — Laura at Our Messy Messy Life explains her lone worry concerning her babies growing up.
  • Why I Used Montessori Principles in My Parenting Philosophy — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now tells why she chose Montessori principles to help her now-adult children develop qualities she wanted to see in them as children and adults.
  • Parenting Philosophies & Planning for the FutureMomma Jorje considers that the future is maybe just a fringe benefit of doing what feels right now.
  • Not Just Getting Through — Rachael at The Variegated Life asks what truths she hopes to express even in the most commonplace interactions with her son.
  • Parenting Philosophy? Eh… — Ana at Pandamoly shares the philosophy (or lack thereof) being employed to (hopefully) raise a respectful, loving, and responsible child.
  • Parenting Philosophy: Being Present — Shannon at The Artful Mama discusses the changes her family has made to accommodate their parenting philosophy and to reflect their ideals as working parents.
  • Who They Will Be — Amanda at Let’s Take the Metro shares a short list of some qualities she hopes she is instilling in her children at this very moment.
  • Short Term vs. Long Term — Sheryl at Little Snowflakes recounts how long term parenting goals often get lost in the details of everyday life with two kids.
  • Parenting Philosophy: Practicing and Nurturing Peace — Terri at Child of the Nature Isle sets personal goals for developing greater peace.
  • Yama Niyama & the Red Pajama Mama — Part 1: The Yamas — In part 1 of a set of posts by Zoie at TouchstoneZ, Zoie guest posts at Natural Parents Network about how the Yoga Sutras provide a framework for her parenting philosophy.
  • Yama Niyama & the Red Pajama Mama — Part 2: The Niyamas — In part 2 of a set of posts by Zoie at TouchstoneZ, Zoie explores how the Niyamas (one of the eight limbs in traditional Yoga) help her maintain her parenting and life focus.
  • Our Sample Parenting Plan — Chante at My Natural Motherhood Journey shares hopes of who her children will become and parenting strategies she employs to get them there.
  • Philosophical Parenting: Letting Go — Jona at Life, Intertwined ponders the notion that there’s no right answer when it comes to parenting.
  • Unphilosophizing? — jessica at instead of institutions wonders about the usefulness of navel gazing.
  • Parenting Sensitively — Amy at Anktangle uses her sensitivity to mother her child in ways that both nurture and affirm.
  • how to nurture your relationships — Mrs Green at Little Green Blog believes that sometimes all kids need is a jolly good listening to …
  • Philosophy Of An Unnatural Parent — Dr. Sarah at Good Enough Mum sees parenting as a process of guiding her children to develop the skills they’ll need.
  • Life with a Challenging Kid: Hidden Blessings — Wendy at High Needs Attachment shares the challenges and joys of raising a high needs child.
  • Flying by the Seat of My Pants — Heather at Very Nearly Hippy has realized that she has no idea what she’s doing.

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dionna @ Code Name: Mama July 12, 2011 at 8:10 am

Kohn’s book really resonated with me too – it’s a constant work in progress with us, since it’s not how we were raised. But unconditional love is definitely something we want our own children to know!

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2 Jenn @ Monkey Butt Junction July 12, 2011 at 9:39 am

You can’t go wrong with a parenting philosophy like that. I can’t understand how a parent could withhold love from a child – I don’t think I physically or mentally or emotionally could do it if I wanted to.

Great post, as always.
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3 Kat July 12, 2011 at 2:16 pm

Absolutely wonderful! Your son truly is lucky to have such an amazing mama!
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4 Heather Tomasello July 12, 2011 at 6:01 pm

this is wonderful!!!! this really resonates with me; unconditional love and respect for nature. I love it!!!

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5 Pinky Tan@World of Love Quotes July 13, 2011 at 2:08 am

great post :) breastfeeding does help strengthen that special connection between mother and child. And it is not spoiling the child when we show unconditional love, it is actually what the child needs needs it most this early stage.
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6 Hannah @ Wild Parenting July 13, 2011 at 4:45 am

I also believe nature doesn’t goof and natural living is close to my heart too. I *still* haven’t read Alfie Kohn’s book! I must, I really must but I have quite a queue of books formed here and I promised I wouldn’t buy anymore until I read the ones I’ve got. Might just have to make an exception though as it does seem to have made an impact on so many like-minded mamas. Thank you. H.
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7 Lauren@Hobo Mama July 13, 2011 at 5:49 am

That’s beautiful, Charise. I love Unconditional Parenting as well, and it’s really convicted me in so many ways and blown open my mind. I want to keep learning (over and over) not to use love withdrawal. Thanks for the reminder!
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8 The Damsel in Dis Dress July 13, 2011 at 11:36 am

Beautiful! Your children will thrive.
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9 Renee Huggins July 13, 2011 at 2:12 pm

Unconditional love rocks! Stumbled from BF :)
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10 Bibi July 13, 2011 at 2:29 pm

That is wonderful parenting philosophy to have….and once again Baby is blessed to have you.

I can’t wait to find some time and read some of the links.

My parenting philosophy is simple….to be real and true to myself…..living by example….not being afraid to let my kids see me being vulnerable and making mistakes (it’s what makes me human)…..always hear their side of the story and sometimes take their side even if they are little wrong….ALWAYS apologize if I wrong them…..and NEVER forget to hug them and tell them they are LOVED.
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11 Mimi July 13, 2011 at 4:21 pm

Unconditional love is a beautiful thing. Sometimes parenting in the moment isn’t always easy to show that unconditional love, but going back and making sure they know if you’ve blown it is SUPER important!
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12 Daisy @ Therapists Los Angeles July 13, 2011 at 6:20 pm

Thank you for sharing your parenting philosophy like this – I don’t have any children of my own just yet but I am bookmarking this page for my Preggo friends… And for me, just in case! ;)

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13 Write About Birth July 15, 2011 at 12:51 pm

Wonderful post, thank you for sharing. Unconditional love and following your instincts sure are the biggest gifts any parent can offer their children.

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14 Brenna @ Almost All The Truth July 16, 2011 at 2:20 am

Love this parenting philosophy. I heard something once and it really resonated with me and symbolizes everything I hope my parenting philosophy to embody: whenever your child walks in the room – whether it is first thing in the morning, when they come home from school, or when they are interrupting your work time – your whole face and body should light up and show just how important and wonderful they are.
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15 Lois July 18, 2011 at 2:02 am

Hi,
I am a SAHM as well breastfeeding advocate. i am a mom of 6 so I agree that breastfeeding is best. That would be ALOT of formula=)

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16 Rizza@Parenting Tips August 21, 2011 at 1:52 am

Whatever it takes, breastfeeding is always the very best. Alternatives sometimes are not reliable and some may cause allergies if it is not ideal for someone who taking it.
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17 Jan Ashby @healthy kids March 17, 2012 at 1:06 am

I so agree with Brenna – it is so good for children to see that their mom (or dad) is very happy to see them – no matter what.

It’s good to do this regularly, not just on weekends or special occasions. I also think it is worthwhile to read to your kids regularly – and when they’re toddlers to make expressions and “act out the part” including the sounds etc.

Thanks for sharing.
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18 Noel@baby stroller May 8, 2012 at 12:49 pm

Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it.
Look advanced to more added agreeable from you! However, how could we communicate?

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