Sunday, October 16, 2005

Principles of Green Parenting – Understanding Your Fears and Transforming Them

We have focused much of our green parenting energy on removing toxins from our house, which is fear-based action. We are afraid of hurting our child and ourselves, so we get rid of the Windex. But green parenting, in my opinion, shouldn’t be the conglomeration of fears. If I focus on protecting our baby, keeping her safe, and making our home secure, then I am just reproducing all the fear in our society. I’m not saying that we can be fearless. That’s for off-road bikers. “Extreme Parenting Dude!” No, I’m all about fear. While the pregnant mother bears the overwhelming physical burden of pregnancy, I actually think the partner bears a huge psychic burden. My fears as an expectant father are as overwhelming as they are normal. I just don’t want to be trapped in a green prison of our own making. Our quest is to search out our fears and transform them rather than react to them.

What MaGreen has done with our cleaning supplies is a good example. It’s all about process. Researching the way people cleaned before the Windex era put us back into touch with traditions and with the chemicals we use. Mixing the ingredients ourselves is more engaged, not to mention cheaper and less toxic, than buying the latest spray with some new mystery chemical additive. But again, as MaGreen has written, it’s an ongoing process. The homemade dishwashing detergent didn’t work, so she bought the Seventh Generation brand. We went from being uninformed to fearful; but instead of stopping there, MaGreen is taking the time to find alternatives. That process of understanding our fears and transforming them is, in my view, a basic principle of green parenting.

No comments: