Family Life Articles

A Message from our Editor, Issue #53 - Something to Cluck About

The Rooster Makes All the Noise, But the Hen Rules the Roost! We got our first chickens when we were in college. Tom and I were paying our own way and chickens seemed to be an easy, economical source of food. We bought 18 young chickens...

Five Reasons Your Birth Can Affect Your Baby and Your Parenting

When I meet a new mom, dad, and baby for the first time at a consultation for colic and sleep, I always start by asking them to tell me about the birth. Mostly I’m met with confusion, wrinkled eyebrows, and curious looks. Very often they ask me w...

Creative Fertility: An Interview With Jeannine Parvati Baker

There are many wisdom traditions that understand the importance of privacy, and of treating a baby, mother, and father like a holy trinity, allowing the parents to celebrate together by focusing on the needs of their baby as they continually honor...

Understanding the Power of Chiropractic

Why do so many women become pregnant under chiropractic care, when they were never able to become pregnant before? Why are so many women seeking out chiropractic care in pregnancy in preparation for safer, easier births? Why are so many birth care...

This Is a Mother's Love

I recall vividly the first night our son, Harper, slept at home with us. He was all of two days old. He slept right next to us in a tiny hammock thing. The idea that he was now on the outside of my body was so bizarre to me that no matter where he...

The Arc of Healing

When your child is sick, you don’t need to freak out. One thing I teach all my clients is that symptoms follow an arc. Like every process, there is a cycle to healing: a beginning, middle, and an end.

Hear My Cry

Why “cry it out” may be one of the most misguided parenting philosophies of our generation.Babies cry. Then they angry cry. Then they stop. Imagine you’re hanging out by a riverbank with some co-gatherers a couple million years ago,...

The Manager in My Home…and the Five Words that Changed Everything

Every couple of weeks I patiently untangle the knots of strawberry-blonde hair that sit at the base of my child’s neck. As I sat on the corner of the tub the other night, gently loosening an especially stubborn clump while my daughter chattered a...

Play Makes Us Human

Have you ever noticed how we, as a society, use agricultural metaphors to talk about parenting and education? We speak of raising children, just as we speak of raising tomatoes or chickens. We speak of training children, just as...

School ADD Isn't Homeschool ADD

I hesitated at the heavy glass doors of my son’s school. I’d cheerfully walked through these doors many times. I’d volunteered here, served on the PTA board, joked with the principal and teachers, and even helped start an annual ...

Please, Thank You, I'm Sorry...

“Say please.” “Say thank you.” “Say you’re sorry.” “Say hello.” “Say goodbye.” We can instruct our young children or insist that they parrot our words, but if we want them to develop true kindness, if we want them to develop social graces and true...

A Message from our Editor, Issue #50 - A Day in the Summer

If there is one pearl of wisdom I could share with young parents it would be John Lennon’s words: “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” My husband and I birthed six children at home. We created a successful business. We...

Fears and the Fathering Paradigm

The Choices We Make, the Fears We HaveWe all have choices in life. To be sure, some of us have more choices than others. Some choices are easier for certain people than they are for others. And some people refuse to see, or are unable to...

Can Early Food Trauma Adversely Affect Our Brains Decades Later?

For six weeks this summer, my wife and I participated in a program on Whidbey Island, Washington, called Detox and Discovery. It was led by Toni Marthaller-Andersen, a professional nurse-practitioner who’s passionate about the role of nourishment i...

Let Them Go Barefoot: On Why Our Toddler Doesn't Wear Shoes

Disclaimer: This isn’t an article suggesting everyone and every child should be barefoot. We are not telling anyone how to live or what to do. We are sharing information and giving another perspective on footwear and barefoot living. I get many...

Vitamin N: 10 Reasons Children and Adults Need Their Daily Dose of Nature

In Last Child in the Woods, I focused on why children need nature. In my new book, The Nature Principle, I tell how the whole family— and whole communities—can become happier, healthier, and smarter through more contact with the natural world. I do...

Our Fear of Freedom

Like many of you, at the core of my childhood experiences was the belief that using control and force with children is necessary. We still live in a culture that primarily operates from this belief. We grew up under the control of adults and...

10 Homesteading Skills Every Child Should Learn

When we offer our children the freedom to participate, they learn life skills.When kids learn basic homesteading skills, they get a number of really important advantages in life. Here’s a short list of what they gain:

Better Have Another

The first of the blueberries are coming in now, and most mornings one of us stops by the patch on our way in from chores to snag a handful or three. We planted the 90-something bushes 16 years ago, before we’d even broken ground on the house. This...

My Father Is a Great Man

He is a man. He is 44 years old. He has black hair and sparkling blue eyes. He is my father. He is by far the person of whom I am most proud. Taking care of his children and relatives is his top priority. Everyone that knows him sees him as a...