Welcome back to the Raising Health Families series, join us each week as we take a look at different ways to keep your family healthy and vibrant in a not-so-healthy world.
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Written by Sara from Your Thriving Family
Many of us are trying to eat real food and get back to natural products, for what we believe to be the best for our families. The wall we sometimes hit, unfortunately, can be our well-meaning and loving extended family.
How do you continue along your journey and keep the peace with the extended family? Natural Living in a Regular Family, is about finding the balance and putting relationships first. Find the grace in what goes in and on your family.
Some of us may have experienced opposition from our family as we switched from canola to coconut oil, lowfat to full fat, scent laden face soap to an oil cleaning method and fluffy pink bubble bath to four ingredient homemade soap. Either they don’t understand, are confused because some decisions go against all they’ve grown up knowing, or they simply don’t care. Whatever the reason, we must remember that relationships are more important than eating well, being green or using natural products.
Don’t Be Loud
I know we are all excited about our lifestyle and the things it is doing for us. Our new found wellness. Soft happy skin and less waste in our trashes. Cleaning products that we aren’t afraid to let our kids be near. These are all great things, so who wouldn’t want to shout it from the rooftops?!?
There is always a time and a place. Wait for your opening to share. If your message falls on deaf or uncaring ears, it will just be incoherent screams. Instead, wait for those small questions that allow you to speak truth.
Don’t Be Weird
Some of us call ourselves (or are called) crunchy, green, hippy, tree-huggers, and a favorite of my hubby’s – a nutter. We’ve become accustomed to less sweet treats with beans in them and odd “flours”. Oil in our coffee and smoothies. As well as plethora of other unconventional ingredients. Guess what? That’s weird.
Putting essential oil on your kids, instead of tylenol inside them can generate some eyebrow raises. As cool as other nutter mama’s think it is, the average person will probably be turned off. When that potluck comes up, instead of bringing what most people would perceive as an “out there” dish, share your healthified version of a familiar one.
Don’t be Ungrateful
We all have friends and family who love to bless us! You know, those whose love language is gifts or acts of service through food? Rejection of the “items” can be rejection of them.
When you refuse that store-bought “homemade” chocolate chip cookie, you aren’t saying no to a cookie, you are saying your food isn’t goo enough for me. So, suck it up and have a small bit. Now, I will say, if you or your kids have real allergies, this must be made clear – even if it means going into detail about what it does to you. Cause sometimes that is what it takes.
And don’t forget to say thank you! Take the colorful, fluoride filled toothpaste, smile and say thank you – then donate it to someone. Let the grandparents give your daughter just one lollipop, for the whole month – your kids will know what a treat it is. And if you have taught them well, they may even say, “no thank you.
I went through the stage of saying, “no” way too often. Sometimes it would even cause confrontation with my husband and I. Quite often I felt like the food police, constantly eyeing what was in my children’s hands while we were at social functions.
Most often this caused my kids to ask about most everything and sometimes incited a bit of deceit. Preparing for these holidays or special functions beforehand will help with not having to say no. Setting down rules for what is expected before they get a treat will become normal for them.
Allow your kids to make mistakes, they learn better from these than from your words. When my daughter has a tummy ache from less than desirable food and we can discuss why it happened, she knows first hand that I’ve been speaking truth. Eventually we will get to the point where, “trust me” will mean something.
And Say Your Prayers
We can only do what our family can afford. Sometimes we can’t do the ideal. Sometimes we have less than best options before us. Sometimes we have to take what we can get. In these cases, pray. You’ve done what you can, it’s not up to you anymore.
What lessons have you learned with relating to family and friends? Where are your biggest challenges?
Next week is learn about the power of tea and some great homemade recipes.