Friday, August 13, 2010

Ahh, the joys of toddlerhood

So, this week in our house has been dedicated guessed it, potty training. For the past three days, we've spent so much time in the bathroom, we should have just set up a tent because we've pretty much been camped there.

This is how it would go:

Me: "Jude, time to go potty!" (along with happy dance, clapping and such...and even some singing about pee peeing in the potty)
Jude: "NoooooooooOOOOOOOOOoooooooooOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooo!!!!" (along with melt down, crying, going limp and falling to the floor)

Sound familiar, Moms?

Ok, that didn't happen EVERY time, but it happened enough. So, off I would take him to the potty anyway, for him to sit there and not go (even after I pulled out the big guns, like blowing bubbles). Of course then that would cause me to put his pull-up back on, only to have him go in the pull-up right after we got off the potty. Frustrating, yes? I hear this is a common occurrence among new potty trainers. To answer the question that has no doubt been on your mind, yes, he has gone a few times on the potty, but the inconsistency makes this all the more frustrating. (and I have tried talking to him extensively about pottying, bribery, rewards, telling him to hit the cheerio in the toilet, singing, clapping, making a big deal about pee peeing in the potty, reading books about peeing in the name it, I've tried it.) I guess I figured he would go on the potty, realize how easy and fun it was, and want to do it every time after that. Needless to say, I was wrong. So, does this mean he isn't ready? Is my judgment in timing here off?

These questions and so many others are going through my head today. Yes, I know it's good to give our children a little push from time to time, but how do we know when it's ok to push a little or if we've taken it too far by forcing them to do something they're not ready to do? And I am not just thinking about potty training here, although that's what is on the forefront of my mind. What about in the future? Will I be a controlling stubborn mom who will just have my kids do something because I think it's the right time, or will I pray, listen, wait and react to what is best for them at that time?

My hope is for the latter.

Then I struggle with this whole child's will thing. I definitely don't want to adhere to the will of a 2 1/2 year old. That is not a game I am willing to play, for sure. I know there is a balance between all of these things I have mentioned, but I have yet to find it. I guess, until then I will just put off the potty training until I think it is a better time. Being in a bad mood, crying and taking my frustrations out on my child are definitely not worth trying to make him go pee pee in the potty. At least not to me.

My sweet mother-in-law said something very helpful to me that I will share, she said "Potty training is about him, not you. The more it is about him, the more peace you will have and the greater need he will have to change." Well said!


Adrienne said...

You know - none of the usual advice worked for Simon, either. I had been trying to force it for a few months, when I finally let go. A week later his flip switched and he started going on his own with very few accidents. I hate to tell you, but he was about 3 when that happened. Now, I wish I hadn't been so stubborn about it.

samantha said...

Even though I don't have kids and therefore most people would probably be thinking "what in the world would you know about pottytraining???" seems it would be better for him (and you) to just wait and let things happen on their own. That's kind of the way it went with Nikki. You may call her a late starter but she eventually got the hang of it and Jude will too. Also, I do know that kids can sense when their parents are stressed or upset about something. Maybe he's picking up on that and he doesn't like the vibes surrounding the "big, bad potty?" Anyway, like I said I don't have any kids of my own and so I can't speak from personal experience...but you're a good mom and Jude is a good kid so everything will eventually work itself out! :)