Parenting Resources: The Natural Child

This month, on Mondays I’m sharing with you some of my favorite parenting resources.  Last week I introduced you to my favorite podcasts and this week I want to share a book from from my personal bookshelf that has helped to guide my steps on this parenting journey: The Natural Child by Jan Hunt.

The Natural Child

The Natural Child: Parenting From the Heart by Jan Hunt was one of the first parenting books I picked up after my first child was born.  My mom subscribed to Mothering magazine for as long as I could remember and so editor Peggy O’Mara’s familiar name and endorsement in the forward was comforting to me while scanning the shelves at the bookstore.

It is a book about attachment parenting, yes, but also about creating a  nurturing environment and parenting with trust

As a new mother, Jan Hunt’s words were reassuring to me.  My newborn’s crying wasn’t because I was doing something wrong or incorrectly or because she didn’t like me but because babies cry:  my infant daughter was simply acting her age, being a normal newborn.  What a relief that was during that fragile emotional time!

Today, this book confirms for me my belief that I need to allow my kids to be kids and not rush them through childhood.

Some of the choices that my husband and I have made in our parenting have been different from those in Hunt’s book.  However, so much of the content of the short, easy to read chapters speaks right to my heart as a parent. It is a book I re-read and highlight and underline and mark the pages of.

The Natural Child Project

The Natural Child Project website showcases more of Jan’s parenting advice as well as articles by other mental health professionals.  You can also listen to some excepts from the audio book of The Natural Child.

The site is also the home of the Global Children’s Art Gallery, a display of artwork by children ages one to twelve from all over the world.

From the site:

“Our vision is a world in which all children are treated with dignity, respect, understanding, and compassion. In such a world, every child can grow into adulthood with a generous capacity for love and trust. Our society has no more urgent task.”

Other Favorites

Update: A few of you asked about the other books in my photo.  Here are the titles to those books, all of them resources I call upon time and again while navigating this path.  Perhaps some of these are your favorites, too?

A Book for the Journey

I didn’t know it at the time, but The Natural Child was a stepping stone for me on my journey to create a simple, natural childhood for my kids. It continues to be a book that I pull from the shelf nearly nine years later, a familiar companion on this parenting journey.

Do you have a parenting book you turn to again and again? An author who started you thinking about parenting in a different light? Who are your favorite parenting authors?

About Kara

Kara Fleck is the editor of Simple Kids. She is a small town mama, writer, knitter, bookworm, and hooligan. Kara lives in Indiana with her husband Christopher and their four children Jillian, Max, Lucy, and Amelia. You can find more of her writing at

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  1. Could you tell me the author of the “Heaven on Earth” book? Would like to check it out! Thanks

  2. Sure, Sarah! The author of Heaven on Earth is Sharifa Oppenheimer. You can visit her website at

    Wonderful book! Another well loved, often highlighted book at our house, too :-)
    Kara @Simple Kids´s latest post: Parenting Resources- The Natural Child

  3. I often return to two books by Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish – ‘How to Talk So Kids Can Listen and Listen So Kids Can Talk’ and ‘Siblings Without Rivalry.’ A more recent find that I am just getting into is ‘Raising Happiness’ by Christine Carter.

    Your stack of books looks like a wonderful source of comfort and reassurance for the parenting road ahead. :)
    Amy@Let’s Explore´s latest post: Author Websites We Love

  4. My favorite parenting book is “Parenting Beyond Your Capacity” by Reggie Joiner and Carey Nieuwhof. It will be on my stack of “Go-To’s” for what I’m pretty sure is until my kids reach 30! Yes, it’s that good!

    I blogged about it here.

    Great list of books to check out! Parenting…so many things to learn!

  5. Hi Kara–Thanks so much for including Steady Days on your list–warms my heart!
    Simple Homeschool – Jamie´s latest post: Will This House Get Cleaned Before the Kids Graduate

  6. Hi Kara,

    Thank you so much for featuring my book. I’m happy to hear that it has been so inspiring for you!

    I also appreciate the link to the art gallery, which has been created and maintained entirely by my son Jason. One day in 1997, after our site had been up for a few months, he said “It’s funny – the site is all about children, but we have nothing for them or by them,” so he started the gallery to give children a way to have their artwork online. At first, he had only a few pictures from friends’ children, but the word has spread over the years, and there are now over 1100 pictures and paintings by children from 70 countries. We often receive emails from adults who say they visit the gallery when they’re feeling down, and it always brings them joy.

    BTW that’s Jason at age 2 on the cover of the audiobook.

    Best wishes,


    “Children reflect the treatment they receive.”

  7. I’ve been exploring different parenting books as I have 3 kids. I’m learning on different things. The Natural Child is quite interesting.
    Mainstay Ministries´s latest post: Parenting Us- How God Does It


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Simple Kids, Chris Singer. Chris Singer said: RT @simplekids: I'm sharing about one of my favorite parentings books, The Natural Child by @JanBaronHunt […]

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