Monday, June 4, 2012

in {her} shoes...The Monko

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i met The Monko through the Kid Blogger Network.  I so enjoy reading her blog, Taming the Goblin.  So much of her parenting beliefs and style are similar to mine.  An example of this is our beliefs about letting our sons choose to have long hair.  A couple of weeks ago, we both contributed to the Boys Have Long Hair, Too blog carnival

Hi I'm the Monko, anI'm very excited to be able to contribute to the 'In {her} shoes' series.

About the blog: I started Taming the Goblin back in November last year. I'd been at a bit of a loss as to what to do with my son when he was starting to toddle, and I turned to the interwebs for inspiration. As I started to read blogs I realised that I too had ideas I could share, which might help other parents on some of their less inspired days. So I started to record my activities and outings with my family.Taming the Goblin doesn't have any regular posts (except recently the Kids Co-op link up) because our family doesn't really 'do' routine. But the blog covers outings, baking, lots of painting, sensory and messy play, some Montessori inspired learning and occasional musings on parenting techniques. 
work boots - as high as my heels ever get
About my parenting style: The term parenting style suggests I know what I'm doing. But Hublet and I are muddling through, learning and adapting as we go, and seeking each others thoughts on the best way forward. We tend to lean towards the principles of unconditional, natural, positive or gentle parenting. Although those terms make me want to run for the hills screaming "HELP THE HIPPIES ARE AFTER ME". I also dislike the terms because they imply that  anyone not following these philosophies must be practicing conditional, unnatural, negative and aggressive parenting (which I don't think is the case). So instead I'd describe what Hublet and I try and practice as 'Yes' parenting. Unless there is an imminent threat of death, we try to say Yes when ever we can - Yes you can climb the fence, Yes you can run through that muddy puddle in the only pair of shoes that currently fit you, yes you can eat 5 yogurts in a row, Yes you can stay in nappies until you are ready to take the first steps to potty training by yourself. Our idea behind saying 'yes' is to allow Goblin to take the lead, find independence and explore.
Hublet and I love our barefoot running shoes
About the challenges: Obviously the ideal is that we are 'yes' parents. In reality, like most parents we get frustrated and tired and often say 'no' and 'don't' or 'for goodness sake just lie down and sleep'. But one of the biggest challenges I find is trying to parent in our way when those around me don't. Saying 'yes' often means you have to be a lot more relaxed about what your child is doing and weigh up the importance of telling them not to do something. To parents using more traditional philosophies this may be viewed as 'simply not parenting'. I am forever conscious that many of my friends use more traditional parenting methods such as embracing Super Nanny techniques. I don't think this is wrong, its just not for me. But it does make me constantly question my way of doing things because it feels SO different from my friends. 

my muddy wellies
About the rewards: What brings me back to my methods is how much better it feels for me. When I am able to offer alternative ways to behave rather than just saying 'no', it makes everything less combative, and I feel more respectful of Goblin as a little person. Making a conscious decision to say 'yes' as often as possible also leads us to do things I may not have thought of doing. Goblin gets joy and confidence from playing in the mud and dancing in the rain. (yikes I do sound like a hippy!)

About values: I want Goblin to believe in himself. I think self esteem is the makings of a good person. Most bullies don't like themselves, most cruel thoughts come from jealously and insecurity. If you are confident in yourself and your own abilities you are less likely to feel the need to make others feel small to make yourself feel better. And confidence breeds confidence. Others will see it in you and trust you to try new things, that in turn will give you new opportunities.

About three words: Goblin is too young to ask "what three words describe me?" but I think if he understood the question, his response would vary depending on the time of day. Before 8am and before my three cups of super strength coffee both Goblin and Hublet would probably describe me as moody, evil and unpredictable. But after the coffee and when my brain has had time to thaw I hope that Goblin would describe me as comforting, fun and flexible. I try and let Goblin lead as much as I can, and I try to get down and play with him as often as I remember. I fear he might also say I am distracted due to my incessant desire to check my smart phone - but that is something I'm working on, baby steps. 

I hope now you know a bit about us you'll pop in and visit Taming the Goblin

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