I really enjoyed the continuum concept. I started including more cc ideas in my parenting since dd turned 1yo. I still do a lot of ap but I was kind of becoming too child-centered before I read the cc book. I felt something was wrong but I didn't know how to go from the infant stage to the toddler stage with ap alone.
I have learned to trust dd more in the sense that I realize that she has instincts/reflexes that need to be put into practice in order for her to learn how to take care of herself.
I let her explore things that sometimes seem dangerous but I feel that if she doesn't learn to deal with different situations on her own then if she happens to find herself in a new or dangerous situation and I'm not there to protect her she will not be ready and the risk will be grater. Am I making sense?
From the way the Yequanas live they don't go around teaching the children how to do things. The children first observe the elders and when they are ready to explore they learn things by imitation. I let dd do this and I expect her to.
For example, she sees me eating almonds. She sees how I carefully chew them before I swallow then one day she decides to do it herself. This was when she was just a little over 13mo + she had her front teeth. I only commented to her that she had to chew it well and slowly ( I was afraid) but I projected confidence. I was truly suprised to see that she slowly scraped the almond little by little until she ate it all. Since then she has learned to be careful with the things that she eats and if they are hard she come up to me and say "chew slow?, chew slow?", then I say "yes it is hard so chew slow".
Many people might think that I am crazy but I think that if she ever happens to put something in her mouth or another child feeds her something and I didn't notice it she will be more prepared and will know what to do with it.
I let her play with coins also. She sometimes wants to put them in her mouth and I quickly offer her the piggy bank and show her where they are supposed to go. I try not to over react because I have noticed that she will try do it again as if she were questioning "what's the big deal, mom?"
I also let her walk up and down slopes (where we live there are many hills) so the sidewalks have slopes. Sometimes she starts to speed up when going down a slope and even though I feel like grabbing her I simply get a little closer and say slower like mommy. She has learned very well and when she feels like she is about to loose her balance she either stops or say "slow,slow" to herself and makes it down the hill without loosing a step. I think this is much safer then trying to chase her down and not making it on time... ending up with a few stitches and a 'slope phoebea' (sp?)
The same thing goes for when I mop the floor. From experience she knows what it's like slip
but now she is aware of her body and balance and I trust her to walk on a slightly damp floor. She has mastered this very well ( I only let her do this when she is barefoot though, so she can sence the floor well). And she will go along saying "slow,slow".
I feel that these are very valuable lessons that will avoid many accidents because she is aware of her environment and she knows that there are potential dangers at home and out. She also knows that there are ways of dealing with them and she doesn't need me to be her eyes and ears all the time.
I am still vigilant but just to a certain point. I don't interfere I just might guide her a little by setting an example. I think being a mother is about teaching the child how to deal with the world with its many shapes, forms and situations... not about childproofing the world.
I learned this through the continuum concept and it's a good thing I did 'cause I was just about to go out there and childproof the world.'
I say this through my own experience. We started raising her in 'lah, lah land' were everything was perfect, harmless and childfriendly but then we sort of moved over to the 'real world'. Ironically to our amazement it 'IS' a safer place to be.