Partners in Parenting: Profile

Tamara Champion at store in Orillia

One of the reasons we wanted to have a store front in our town of Orillia is to make face-to-face connections with our customers. Recently, our local paper, the Orillia Packet & Times, published a profile of Parenting by Nature and owner, Tamara Champion. Tamara’s focus on what her community needs and what parents need is clear in the profile.

“We want to be a partner in parenting by helping parents find the information and products they need to give their children the gift of a healthier, better life and future,” said Champion, who has an exhaustive questionnaire for companies that want to sell their wares at “To me, it’s not all about making money. It’s about educating people, it’s about minimizing our impact on the planet… that’s what’s important.”

Read the full profile of Parenting by Nature, and you will find out:

  1. What is happening with the space above our store
  2. What kind of work Tamara was doing before babies &
  3. Why the store and Tamara’s family ended up in Orillia

Raising Thankful Children

Child at Thanksgiving Dinner

When I see my children in unguarded moments thanking one another for the help or kindness they give one another, I am incredibly grateful myself to be able to live in a positive environment where the people most important to me genuinely care for one another.

I didn’t actually witness the specific moment I am thinking of. About a week ago, my children were both so tired and whiny that I asked how they had slept the night before.

“I slept OK,” my daughter told me, “but I didn’t get to sleep until late. J was sad and couldn’t sleep, so I read him stories.”

My poor, tired son just nodded. They didn’t want to wake me or my husband, so she took care of her brother as best she knew how. She did for him the thing that comforts her, and it worked. He had be so tired but sleepless that he was crying, and she calmed him with stories.

How can we ensure that our children are thankful? I don’t think we necessarily can, but I have a few ideas how we might best set the stage for our children’s genuine gratitude.

First Step in Gratitude Is Giving

Before we ask children to focus on what they get, we need to help them focus on giving. For example, I think that my daughter’s desire to give helps her to be a thankful person.

Learning to be thankful is easier if we understand the flow of give and thanks from both directions: as the person who is thankful and the child who experiences others’ thanks for what they have done.

Awareness of Choice

Another important key to being thankful is understanding that others don’t have to give what they do. They choose to give.

If a person feel entitled to what they get, to what others do for them, they don’t necessarily see actions as gifts freely given. To raise a thankful child, help them recognize the choice in giving. Make sure that neither side of the equation—the giving or the thanks—is forced. If they truly understand their own choice in giving, they may be better able to understand that others also give by choice.

Receiving Specific Thanks Feels Good

When a child has experience in giving, they are more likely to know that doing good for others, even giving the smallest kindness, feels good. When someone thanks them for doing good, they get a positive feeling from the giving and the receiving.

A child can begin to see that they have a gift to give with their own thanks. Giving thanks is the gift of acknowledgment.

Model Thanks

If you model the thankful behavior you want to see in your children, they will develop a positive focus on giving and receiving.

Give them opportunities to say that they are thankful. Participate in rituals of gratitude. These could be as simple as going around the table at Thanksgiving and recognizing what each person is thankful for in their life, in the harvest, in their caring circle of family and friends, or on any level. The habit of stopping to recognize what one is thankful for can become ingrained.

Being thankful isn’t necessarily a comparison with others, as in “I’m thankful that we have a bountiful harvest this year because not everyone does.” Statements of thanks are more meaningful when they acknowledge the giving of others, as in “I’m thankful for the corn and potatoes on the table in front of us because my mother carefully tended them in the garden this year.” The more they are exposed to the specific and genuine acknowledgments for what they do, they more likely they will acknowledge and give thanks to others.

It’s the Giving

Raise thankful children by helping them focus on giving, both giving kindness and giving thanks for the kindness of others. When this kind of positive giving becomes a habit, there won’t really be so much distinction between the give and take since it can all be framed as giving.

To all of our Canadian readers, we wish you and your family a very happy and bountiful Thanksgiving.

Image © Dmitriy Shironosov |

Shopping online is easy, convenient and more & more Canadians are doing it!

According to eMarketer, Canadian consumers spent $3.8 billion shopping online in 2004 and $6.2 billion online in 2005. In fact, Canadians are poised to double their online spending for retail goods from $8 billion this past year to $16 billion by 2009. After a very, very busy holiday season we don’t doubt this! According to an Ipsos-Reid study, “all in all, it is a very positive story. You have more people buying online…and they plan to come back and do it again. The whole experience is improving”.

As a mom and a business owner I know the convenience and value of online shopping. We still get many customers, however, that are leery about shopping online and I don’t blame them. Having done an awful lot of shopping on the internet myself, I’ve been burned in the past, but I’ve also learned a great deal along the way. Online stores come and go with the change in the wind, and without a store “front” it’s difficult to determine what the consequence of any transaction may be. It’s important to learn as much as you can about the credibility of any online store that you would like to make a purchase from.

Some of the top reasons customers hesitate when making online purchases are due to poor customer service, a lack of communication or an inability to reach a “real, live” person. We hope that at the Parenting By Nature Online Baby Store we’ve helped to ease your mind as Customer Care is our top priority. We’ve been selling cloth diapers, baby carriers, baby toys and baby gifts online across Canada since 2004 and we know what it takes to make shopping online enjoyable. Our goal is that when making a purchase at our Natural Baby Store your online shopping experience will be one you want to tell others about. If you’ve enjoyed our store or services, please let others know at The Diaper Pin or The BabyWearer. Public review sites are instrumental to customers looking to find quality products & services online and they provide at least one way to confirm the integrity of an online store.

If you have any problems or concerns, please don’t hesitate to let us know. We would like the opportunity to do what we can to make things better. We are committed to being here, when you need us, for questions, returns or support. Happy Online Shopping!