Unconditional Parenting

It is such a joy to be a naturopathic doctor observing, working with and supporting parents and children. As a parent too, I draw on my experience with my daughter, Ella, to provide information that inspires the intuition of my patients.

As Ella approaches her 7th birthday, I am reminded everyday of the amazing beauty she brings to my life, and the opportunities to love and parent her in a way that will support her throughout her life.

One patient recently asked about bedtime, and how to lovingly support a child who is resisting sleep. I would like to share the bedtime pattern Ella and I follow.

After reading stories and turning out the light…in bed together, first we "shake out any wiggles"…then I say…what are you grateful for today. After she answers, I say "I love you no matter what. You are a very special girl and mommy is so happy that you are my Ella."

I rub Ella's back for a few minutes. Meanwhile I say… "time to turn off your brain. Time for sleep." Then I say "now close your eyes, and take a deep breath" (and I wait for her to do it). "Only think of your dreams." If she talks or moves again, I say "no more wiggles, no more talking…time for sleeping."

I see each of you as incredible moms and dads…loving your children as only you can. Many warm wishes to you, and to your beautiful children.

For more reading on unconditional parenting, I highly recommend Alfie Kohn, who wrote the book "Unconditional Parenting." You can find an article by Alfie Kohn in the New York Times here: New York Times.