Friday, February 20, 2009

Potty Training Philosophy

Well, we have been in the middle of potty training around here.

So far so good.
Tiny Boy is my third child to potty train. And I have found a method that works for me, I can dare say, after almost seven years of experience in motherhood.
Over the years, I have heard say, "Boys are harder to train than girls"
Well, that maybe true on average. But Tiny Boy has been a pleasant experience so far. ♥
My method is quite simple:
1. Wait until the kid is ready. Don't PUSH. If they don't understand simple directions, then they aren't ready. Maybe you can "potty train" them at an age where they don't follow simple directions...but it will be a headache in the long run.
2. Make sure that they can communicate clearly with you, the mommy. If you don't understand what they are trying to say to you when they are explaining something important to them, then it will only lead to frustration on the mommy's part.
3. Make sure they they are able to handle dexterity tasks. Can the unscrew bottle caps? Can they put their toys away, etc.
Those are my signs for when a child is ready for graduation out of diapers.
Each child is different. Sweetie and Bean were both ready waaay before I did train them. But I was pregnant and nearing delivery when both of them were ready to train, so I didn't bother. Having a new baby is a huge adjustment for a little tyke, as well as the mommy. Adding the stress of potty training just didn't seem wise to me.
So Tiny Boy. He began showing in "interest" in September. And I "played" with it with him. I wasn't being pushy about it. But I acted extremely pleased if he wanted to "sit" on the potty like his big sisters.
But the time came. It was past his third birthday.
So. I brought out the "big boy pants" with Carz, Woody, Buzz, and Nemo on them. I Stocked up on his favorite Juice.
The morning came, and I told him, "We are going to wear Big Boy pants". I put them on him. He fussed.

I asked him if he wanted Juice. Of course he did. And promptly he forgot about wearing those stupid things.
I set the timer for 10 minutes after he drank his juice.
When the timer went off, I sat him on the potty. That was a bit of a struggle, but I told him that if he went pee pee, he would get a candy. So he sat.

Eventually he peed.
Yaaaaa! BIG BOY!!!! YIPPEE!!!! LET's GO GET SOME CANDY!!!!
You get the idea.
More juice. Set Timer.
Oops. accident. Tiny Boy does *not* like that feeling. We change Buzz Lightyear pants to Mr. Incredible pants
Set Timer again. This time I set it sooner than before.
We made the deadline!
Yaaaa! BIG BOY!!!! YIPPEE!!! LET'S GO GET SOME CANDY!!!!!
Set the timer again.

Success this time.
Yaaaa! BIG BOY!!! YIPPEE!!! LET'S GO GET SOME CANDY!!!!!
Oh no. Another accident. Tiny Boy not Happy. Change Pants.
So you see the routine right?
The next day we start all over. This time Tiny Boy isn't upset about putting on the Big Boy Pants. I set the timer, give him juice, and repeat the process from the previous day.
This time a slight change occurs. Tiny Boy is starting to come and *tell* me he needs to go...and a few times before the timer goes off.
Only one "accident" on the second day.
Day Three. We repeat the same scenarios as in previous days.
This time, I can't remember the timer going off before Tiny Boy comes and says he needs to go. There are no accidents on day three.
Tomorrow will be day four. The real test is when we leave the house LOL!
Now, let me just stop here and go off on a little bunny trail here. I don't know why but Potty Training can be *such* a controversial subject amongst moms, aunts, grandmas, and friends. I am still scratching my head as to ummmm.....why!?
I have been in groups where different ladies were discussing this, and many of them passing judgment on mothers in how they and their husbands choose to go about this not so fun duty.
Well, if the child is eight, then maybe....maybe there might be something wrong. But I know of many friends, and other people, who's little children's bladders are *not* developed in the way they need to be in order to potty train.
And other mothers just need a little encouragement. Not disdain and judgement over what can be a difficult time.
I know I have been made to feel like I wasn't doing my job because my kids weren't trained by the time they were two.
People need to give people grace. Sometimes Mommy's have issues and circumstances that won't allow them the time that is needed to potty train.
Sometimes Mommies are:
1. Pregnant and about to give birth
2. Nursing. (Which is demanding in of itself. Try nursing, hearing your toddler scream, "I gotta go now!" and you have your babe stuck to your boob. Putting the baby down and running the toddler to the potty.)
3. Moving Homes. (packing, unpacking, rearranging furniture, etc)
4 Having more than one child.
5. Have all the above scenarios and your husband works late, and you have no immediate family near by to help you.
Yeah. Those are some pretty trying circumstances in which to take a toddler to the potty every 15 minutes and then sit there and wait patiently until they go. Not to mention all the "normal" things like, laundry, cooking, cleaning, etc.
So the next time you see a toddler in diapers. Make sure you think twice before thinking "Ugg! That Mother hasn't trained him yet?" ♥ ♥ ♥



6 comments:

Pink Slippers said...

We do the potty dance at our house.
There is shouting, singing, and dancing when the 'potty trainee' goes peepee in the potty.
There is much family joy to celebrate.
The little one loves it!
Wendy

Amy said...

Alan is 27 months and has shown a little interest, but we haven't set to full-out training yet. By your recommendations he isn't ready. Which suits me just fine, since I just can't summon up the energy for the run-to-the-potty-every-15-minutes dance.

But I like your method! I've been thinking about using the candy rewards when we DO get there, and with all his medications the extra juice (fluids) will be good for him! :)

I can't remember exactly what worked for us with Dale, but I think it involved a giant race-car Pez dispenser on the back of the toilet. :)

Tammy said...

Oh, it doesn't seem that long ago at all since I was going through all that with my girls.
Ahhh....the memories! ;)
Your little guys is just too cute! :)

Under the Florida Sun said...

What a cute post. Wow, it has been YEARS since we've had to do the potty training thing. Hope it all works out :-)

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I always love to meet new people , especially people that live close :-)

Are you going to the curriculum meeting?

Persuaded said...

i *love* your list of signs for determining when a child is ready for potty-training! my oldest didn't train until she was 3yo and i felt that judgment bigtime. amelia, oddly enough trained herself at about 18mo... seriously, we put panties on her one day as a lark and that was it. millen and noah were about 3yo... and my son jake is still wearing dipies at age 19, but he's a special kinda guy;)

you are such a good mama, heather:)

Esther Ruth said...

Wonderful blog! As you know, I waited a bit with mine. They may have been ready sooner (although I tried at times) and all that, but honestly, WHAT'S THE BIG DEAL??? It will NOT ruin them if they don't train until they are 3.5 even! When I had my twins, Peter was almost three. I could not train him while pregnant and on bedrest with twins. So then I had them, and he turned three. But still caring for twins is so hard! So, sure, we waited until he was almost four to "push" him. Then until he was 4.5 to keep him in underwear when we go out. Big deal. He is doing WONDERFULLY now!

So, anyway, I agree with ya!

Oh and that was so funny about having a baby attached to your boob!!! So true tough. That is why we waited with Sarah- I had a new baby after she turned two and was working on nursing him! Among other things:)

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