This post is a continuation of my first post on how non-crunchy parents can love and support their crunchy kids. In part 1, you’ll find that the idea from this post stemmed out from when I heard from grandparents asking on ways to love their grown children who are now crunchy.
It can be tough when your children grow up, especially if they develop a lifestyle that is so different from yours. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t still love and support each other. Often times, it’s those who are “different” that need the most love and support. Not the type of love that is there hoping to trick them back into what you feel is right but the love that shows that you care about them even if you do think they are a little crazy. Speaking as a person who lives a natural lifestyle, it can be tough. There is a cost that comes with being crunchy that I wish was not a reality.
That is why, I was so glad to hear from the non-crunchy parents who wanted to know how best to care for their crunchy kids. They realized that it can be a very different way of living from their own but they also know that they still want to respect and support their children. As I mentioned before, this is the second part to this mini-series. The first post contains seven tips for loving crunchy kids. Part 2, will give you a few more ways to support your natural living children.
More ways you support your children despite not agreeing with their parenting style
Give Gifts With Your Children and Grandchildren in Mind
All grandparents love to give gifts it seems and I am sure you are no different. However, it is important to keep in mind your children’s parenting style when giving gifts. Nobody likes to be given a gift that they do not want. I am not saying the gesture will not be appreciated; most parents can see through even in improper gift and recognize the action behind it. However, with that being said, if you and your children have talked much about certain gifts or beliefs and yet you still bestow gifts that go against these beliefs then your actions may be perceived as intentionally going against them.
Ask What They Want or Need
This is pretty similar to the point I mention above but it’s in a more proactive sense. Ask your children what they actually want. I know this might seem blunt or even rude to some but people do appreciate getting things that they actually want. Whether that means you buy gifts from their amazon wish list (this is how my family does birthday and Christmas gifts now) or if it means that you just ask them what they would like from the store, your children will appreciate knowing that you care for them so much to actually ask about what they’d really like.
Give Advice When It’s Wanted
Nobody likes unsolicited advice. You didn’t appreciate it when you were a parent so why would your children? I’m not saying that advice is a bad thing. Often times parents can learn a lot from the grandparents. Just make sure that you give advice when it’s wanted and asked for.
Keep Comments to Yourself
I think this is probably pretty common knowledge but it’s worth saying. If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything. This of course applies to mean comments but it also applies to even the perhaps well intended or “I’ve been there too” comments such as, “it will never last” or “you can’t protect them from everything.” Yes, it might be true that many have tried the cloth diaper route and failed but that doesn’t mean your children will. When children are young, parents are always telling them that they can do anything. Why does that stop when the children become adults?
If You are Actually Curious, Then Ask
Believe it or not, crunchy parents love to tell others about what they are learning or doing. They don’t like to continually debate a subject but if you are genuinely curious as to why your child has decided to give up canned foods or cut out food dyes then ask! I’m sure they’d love to fill you in.
Don’t Make Your Kids the Bad Guys
It can be hard to get your children to listen to you and respect you. You know that! You’ve been there. When a well-meaning friend or relative tells Jr. to not tell mommy and daddy about the candy you sneaked them, it just belittles the parents and it encourages bad behavior from the kids. Help your grandchildren grow into respectful adults by showing that you respect their parents’ decisions.
Know That Your Grandkids are Not Being Harmed
I know it might seem like a child who is raised a vegetarian might be facing a worse health…particularly if you are of the meat is great belief but remember that your children want the best for their kids. They aren’t going to go off the deep end and start practicing something if it’s harmful for their children. This goes for the much debated vaccine topic as well. I know many think that a non-vaccinated kid is doomed to catch some horrid disease but the truth is that crunchy parents do not just practice avoiding something (in this example: vaccines), they also research their hearts out and find ways increase things (in this example, immune systems, natural remedies, fully understanding diseases and their symptoms). The crunchy parent is often well versed in the potential negative side effects of their practices so they are always on the look out for if something does go wrong.
Don’t Get Offended
I know it’s hard to not take things personally but I truly mean it when I say that natural living parents are not judging you. We do not think you are horrible person if you still use Lysol or if you buy non-organic foods. When we mention something we do, it’s because we just want to share or at very least we want to let you know what’s going on. We aren’t telling you that we make our own toothpaste because we spied your toothpaste in the bathroom and we think you are an awful person. So, while I know it’s hard please try to not get offended.
I hope these tips will help you show your crunchy children that you love them despite their natural living ways. For those of you who ARE crunchy are there any other tips you’d like to add? Something you have found to be really helpful?