of parenting books & slides

We were at the ‘mini playground’ earlier/yesterday afternoon. We rarely go there because I find it a tad creepy, which I could also sense from Migi (horrorific story). Since we no longer go there, Mati kind of does not know how to slide.

So I guided him the proper way of doing the ‘slide.’ But after a few tries, he still was a scaredy cat. So I just left him on his own to figure it out for his self. Looking at the ‘height/length’ of slide, if anything bad will happen, it’s not something that cannot be fixed with some hug and kisses.

After some trial and error, he finally figured out how to slide on his own. But he had to do it by lying flat on the tummy, so he kind of used his whole body to slide, instead of the ‘proper’ way which is by using his ‘butt.’
He was awkward to look at doing that sliding by lying flat on his tummy. My reaction was to correct him. But he looked happy, unharmed, and fine with it. So I guess, whatever works for him. There are 1001 ways to kill a mockingbird, and so is how to slide.

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I just finished reading a ‘parenting’ book, NurtureShock. It’s been a long time the last time I read a parenting book. I was hesitant to read it because I would find myself most of the time get frustrated instead of enlightened after reading typical parenting books. I’ve been trying to find a way to explain how I feel about parenting books. (By the way, NurtureShock is a good read.)

Finally, I saw it from how Mati learn to slide. Parenting books are like me trying to show Mati the ‘proper’ way to slide. Some/most parenting books always show you the proper way of parenting. But unfortunately, my parenting style is like how Mati does his sliding, in a very crude awkward rough manner — no finesse.

It might be crude, but from my point of view, from my own, it is the most comfortable way for me of doing things. It gets the work done, I am happy, and so are my kids (hopefully) though it looks like so ‘caveman-ish.’

I just kind of think of it, because, from time to time, I’d get the question of ‘how it is to be a good parent’ or would tell me to teach them how to parent kids. And, I would always find myself tongue-tied of what to answer. Just to make it easy, I’d usually just joke that I don’t parent, I only ‘friend’ my kids. You know how friends are more understanding and forgiving than parents. Parents can be this freak, who sweat on little stuff which friends can just treat as no big deal, which in reality, looking from outside-in, it’s non-issue.

But please don’t take my word for it. It’s an oversimplistic way of defining parenting. I’m actually more of a freaky friend. There is that overprotectiveness in a parent that cannot be easily tamed.

My point here is that when you are a friend, there is really no guideline on how to friend properly. It’s just more of from the guts. I mean do you see books about the ultimate guide to ‘friend-ing.’

So for me parenting is like that. I guess it’s because of our ‘overprotectiveness’ instinct that we double-check our ‘guts’ by consulting Dr. Spocks or other parents. And, we cannot blame ourselves for doing it because we’re dealing with a very innocent life. If one book’s preaching is no help, we’ll look for another book. Until we get frustrated and question our being a parent because the ‘tried and tested’ steps in the book is not working for our case. It kills the fun of parenting.

Or, maybe it’s just me. =)

(There are lots of tidbits from NurtureShock which I would like to post. Hopefully, di ko mawad-an sa gana.)