A Parenting Philosophy in One Word: Respect


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.


For me, it began early.

As a child, I didn’t always listen to my mom.  Her rules seemed arbitrary, and she never understood what it was like to be young.  But I respected her because she was my mom.

As a student, I didn’t always agree with my teachers.  At times, their methods seemed outdated and their principles appeared to have no real world value.  But I listened to what they had to say because I respected their positions.

It continues to this day.

As a wife, I’m not always in total harmony with my husband.  Sometimes he says things that leave me speechless, and sometimes I run my mouth at him while shutting off my brain.  There are days where it feels like it takes great effort, but because I have the utmost respect for my husband, I work hard at understanding his point of view.  If I am at my worst and I can offer him nothing else, I offer him my respect.

Respect.  Now that we have a son, it has become our parenting philosophy.

My son is a little person.  He has his own thoughts, his own mind.  He has questions that he doesn’t yet know the words needed to ask, and he has a huge capacity for love.  He has curiosity as big as the sky, and his mind knows no fear.

It is those things that drive every one of his actions.

When he’s reaching for a glass high on the table, even after I’ve told him “no,” it isn’t because he’s being bad.  It isn’t because he wants to disobey, or be stubborn.  It is because he wants to see the glass, he wants to taste what’s in it.  He probably wants it because he sees that mama has it, and he loves doing whatever mama is doing.

Respect means putting myself in his shoes.

When he’s tugging at my hand, when he’s trying to push the keys on my laptop, when he’s unplugging my computer or trying to push it off of my lap, it isn’t because he’s trying to annoy me.  It isn’t because he’s needy or a pest.  It’s because he wants some acknowledgement.  He wants to be the center of his mama’s attention, even if only for a few moments.  Even if just for a three-second snuggle.

Respect means stepping outside of my own needs to see my son’s needs.

Someday, my son will come into his own, as a young man.  When the day comes where my son has made a thoughtful decision, where he has educated himself on options and has weighed his choices and comes to a conclusion that I disagree with, I can’t lie:  it will be difficult.  I will question whether we’ve guided him as best we can, whether we’ve given him all the tools he needs to cope with life and its many trials.  And I will do everything I can to respect his decision because it is his decision.

And I hope that someday, when he’s making that decision, he remembers that even when my rules seem arbitrary, and even if it seems like I don’t know what it is like to be young, and even when he thinks I’m ridiculous for disagreeing with his choices, I hope that he respects me.  Because that’s how we are raising him.


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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12 Responses to A Parenting Philosophy in One Word: Respect

  1. Dionna @ Code Name:

    The running theme of "respect" in this month's carnival is so refreshing to read about! So many parents *want* respect from their children, but forget that children also deserve our respect. What better way to teach the concept than to model it?!

  2. Kat

    "Respect means stepping outside of my own needs to see my son’s needs."

    Love this! This is exactly how I approach parenting as well. I see so many examples where parents are unable to do this, and it just breaks my heart! I hope little by little more parents can take on this approach.
    Kat recently posted..Knowledge and Instinct

  3. The Sparkle Mama

    Great post! So true. Respect is sooo important. Since birth Vi has been respected, her feelings considered and promptly attended. She's become an amazing little toddler with confidence to spare. It's true you see so many parents demanding respect and giving none it beings with giving and giving some more and then they grow out of that stage into this little being who is secure in their place in the family they start saying thank you because they've heard it since birth, they start saying sorry since they've been told it since birth whenever they are feeling bad, "mommy's so sorry you're sad" Now if my daughter bumps into someone she's says "sorwee" or if she sees someone cry. When someone gives her something or says something nice to her she says "dank you" and we have never had to prompt her to say these things. Her foundation of respect is so strong. She's still a toddler so to me she's a sweetheart who can do no wrong haha!


  4. I Thought I Knew Mam

    I grew up respecting others in the exact same way, and I love everything you said about how you are raising your son. I want Baby to respect me because he feels respected by me – not just because I'm his mom. Great post!
    I Thought I Knew Mam recently posted..My Parenting Philosophy: Unconditional and Natural Love

  5. Hannah

    You can't teach respect by being disrespectful. Children are not so different emotionally to adults (although they seem to feel their feelings so much more vividly than we do) and we know how we feel and react when we're disrespected. It just makes complete sense to me and I appreciate the way you've written about it so eloquently here.
    Hannah recently posted..On Children

  6. Ariadne

    So simple and yet so often overlooked…thank you for sharing!

  7. Heather Tomasello (@

    respect is something that's often overlooked when dealing with our children. thank you. i wonder how different children would be if all the adults in their lives respected them.

  8. Lauren @ Hobo Mama

    I've often thought of respect in relation to my husband, because I see a lot of failed relationships where the partners weren't on the same team — where they weren't showing that respect to each other. I love the idea of applying that same grace and courtesy to my children, and I do try. Thanks for the reminder!
    Lauren @ Hobo Mama recently posted..July Carnival of Natural Parenting: Making an allowance

  9. Write About Birth

    Great post! That is the only word that really matters in parenting; everything else kinda flows from it.

  10. Mrs Green @ littlegr

    Oh I just love this. We've been having the 'respect' conversation with DD who is ten because she doesn't always seem to understand respect. I love how you summed it up "Respect means putting myself in his shoes". and "Respect means stepping outside of my own needs to see my son’s needs." this is just great – I'm going to use those powerful phrases to help my daughter understand more. Thanks for the eloquence!
    Mrs Green @ littlegr recently posted..Shopping without plastic waste

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