I am so glad I found this thread. I almost never check out FYT, and I have been wanting to talk to someone about TCC for a few weeks now. I just finished re-reading the book for the first time in two years. I read it shortly after my daughter was born, and really liked it. I had two close friends who had read it and were implementing the ideas into their lives (they have slightly older children), and so we have had many discussions about how to live this way in our culture. At the same time, over the past two years, I became a little blase about JL and the book, and so when I re-read it, I was taken aback by how much it really resonated with me. I got just as much out of my second reading as I did my first.
I moved cross country last December, and although we're settling in just fine, and have connected with some awesome people, I do not feel like I have a "tribe" anymore (as I did in the last place we lived) and I have watched my daughter (and myself) change some of her behaviors as a result. In addition, some of the people I've met who have kids are very un-CC, despite being ap, nfl, gd, etc. It's very frustrating for me to be around them while they hover and constantly "rescue" their kids, and interfere in the interactions between our kids. Plus, it interrupts the adult time, which is very important to me. I have begun suggesting the book to people, but not many seem interested. Also, I am hesitant to suggest it to certain people because I'm afraid they may be offended by parts of it (for instance, people who have had negative hospital births reading her interpretation of what babies in hospitals go through).
As far as our own parenting goes, we try to let our daughter explore her world on her terms, and be available to her when she needs us. So, for instance, I let her climb all over the play structure at the park as soon as she was interested (13 months?) and would stand nearby (but not on the equipment) for a few weeks, and then after that, continue to hang out on the blanket with the adults. She knew where I was if she needed me.
We did not do much childproofing (no plastic outlet plugs, baby gates, toilet locks, only locked cabinets with chemicals until we got them out of the house) but we didn't allow her to play with these things either. Outlets are probably the most dangerous, and we would just say, "This is not a toy." And then we'd show her what they were for by plugging something in, and tell her that it was a job for mamas and dadas. She never showed much interest in them, and I have never been concerned about her being around them. Really, it all comes down to expectations. I trust my child to keep herself safe and know her own boundaries.
Where this gets difficult is out of our bubble. The biggest thing I got from my recent reading of TCC was that our culture/society (in the US) is NOT a tribe. The reason life works so well for the Yequanas is that ALL adults have the same expectations of ALL the children. But when I go out in public with my child, even if I expect her to stay with me and stay safe, other people's energy and expectations are working against mine, and can affect her.
Here's an example. Last winter, we were at my BIL's house for the holidays, and the whole family was there. My daughter was navigating the stairs by herself. We were keeping a fairly close eye on her, because she'd never been around stairs before, but trusting her to be okay. Well, everyone else kept telling her "be careful" and "don't fall" and asking us if we knew she was on the stairs or if we were watching her (I guess we just looked like the world's laziest parents
) and of course, inevitably, she fell down the stairs. She was fine, and so we weren't really freaking out (more just annoyed with everyone else) but my BIL's wife was really upset and worried and got snippy with BIL (because just before the fall she had asked him if he was watching our daughter, and we said we were, but somehow she felt he was still responsible).
When it comes to aggressive behavior between kids, I have different ways of approaching it, depending on the situation. Obviously, random kids at the park are not a part of our community, and so yes, I have an obligation to protect my daughter. However, this has not been necessary, as most of the time other parents are hovering and immediately deal with their own children before I feel I need to. My daughter has one friend who was pushing her for a while. My inclination is to let them work it out unless she's asking for help (which occurs in different ways, sometimes she comes and tells me what's going on, and sometimes she screams and cries and looks at me). I feel like my job as a parent is to *be available* to my child, which doesn't mean interfering in her personal interactions unless she signals that she needs me to.
I think this post is long enough, so I will sign off. I have been thinking about this subject a LOT lately, and I am really happy to find this thread. Thanks to those of you who have been keeping it going!