Mayim Bialik Talks Holistic Parenting

Almost 15 years after the end of Blossom, most people still remember actress Mayim Bialik as the cute and quirky kid on television. Now 33 years old and mom to boys Miles, 4, and Frederick, 1, Mayim is also a UCLA graduate and a spokesperson for the Holistic Moms Network. The very hands-on mom recently chatted to the Sierra Club about her eco-conscious approach to parenting, which includes no TV, no meat and even no diapers.

On being an eco-friendly mom: “I feel a strong personal responsibility as a member of the planet to live this way. For me, it’s worth the effort, time, and research to make it work. We have a collective responsibility for the planet that I’m going to leave to my kids and their kids.”

On going diaper-free: “Cloth when we’re out. At home, we use elimination communication, which is used in many places of the world. When I first learned about it I thought it was the craziest thing I’ve ever heard. But it’s being talked about a lot more. It’s a diaper-free movement that’s based on the fact that children give signals. It’s a really profound level of communicating with your child. My second son was dry by 11 months. It’s more potty-training the adult than the kid. And it’s not for everyone, that’s for sure. You need to be with your child all the time to learn the signals. My husband was so skeptical but he became a believer very quickly.”

On her definition of green mothering: “Gentle discipline. Not hitting, not yelling, being a compassionate parent to your child’s needs. Raising sensitive, happy, secure children is the best gift we can give.”

On her kids’ healthy & holistic lifestyle: “I think when you’re with your child, a lot of these issues aren’t as scary. I know what they’re eating and I know what they’re doing. Their friends’ parents understand his vegetarian and no-TV needs. I give him age-appropriate messages. It’s just like most parents don’t allow alcohol or cigarettes. I tell him that everyone does things differently and that’s OK. It’s very important to us to raise nonjudgmental children who don’t go finger-wagging. When he’s driving himself around, he’s going to make his own decisions, but fast food isn’t something I’m gonna facilitate. Still, at some point he’s going to make his own decisions. You give your children wings so they can fly.”

On making the decision to be a holistic parent: “Most holistic parents are stay-at-home moms but are not by any means living a life of luxury. These kinds of decisions about parenting really come down to what you feel is important. I don’t know of any other actors who are doing this. I’m hoping that maybe just by me being honest, I’m going to make people feel like this is not something to be ashamed of. I don’t feel at all that most of the things we do, whether bedsharing or home-schooling, make my life easier. It’s labor-intensive. I know people all over this country who’d rather live in a less expensive house and work at home to be able to be their children’s primary caregiver. I happen to not live an extravagant lifestyle at all. I don’t have a nanny or babysitter. It’s us.”

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  1. Yay!! I was worried that there were going to be a lot of comments mocking her “diaper-free” ideas, and I’m happy to see that there are not. Often, there is a lot of negativity in public forums towards the idea, but mainly because people make assumptions and just don’t understand it.

    We use “elimination communication” part-time with our son, which just means that he is almost always wearing a diaper, but he lets us know when he needs to poop, and so we take off the diaper and hold him over the toilet. This has saved us countless episodes of cleaning a poopy bottom, though I wish we were as good about is as Mayim and her son. Dry by 11 months is awesome!

  2. I am not against what she is saying, I think it’s great and I am glad that she says it is not for everyone! Obviously, you would have to be with your kids a lot and for us full time working mommies, it would be sort of hard to do!

  3. My son is 18 mos and has been using the potty for about 4 mos now. My friends thought I was insane for looking into elimination communcication when he was younger and for us, he seemed to be ready at the 14 mos mark, everyone is different, younger and older. It is absolutely about training the parents, more than the child. They do give signals, you can pay attention and it’s absolutley about saving diapers from the landfill and NOT cleaning poopy bottoms. My son is so proud of himself and we’re very proud that we’re doing what we can. I just found out about this Holistic Moms Network through a friend and while it is not for everyone, I’m so glad that there is support for those it works for.

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