Potty training – more than just teaching him where to aim the stream
Like I mentioned, I’m potty training my 19 month old; and although he hasn’t gotten to the point of telling us he has to go, he will hold it until we take him. The key to no accidents is taking him frequently enough. This works for me and is way easier and cheaper than changing diapers.
I did a little Googling for tips on teaching a little guy how to tell you he has to go potty. I didn’t get any information on that, however, my search did come up with a ton of potty training resources, Q&A, and parent comments. While I didn’t find many under 2 potty training parents, I saw a lot of 3 and 4 year old’s parents asking questions, at their wits end, afraid maybe their child will end up wearing diapers to college.
And I made a startling discovery.
Potty training is largely a lesson in obeying mama’s voice.
I would estimate, based on the stories and comments I read this morning, that about 5% of those toddlers are really just having trouble figuring the whole potty training thing out.
15% have sidetracked mamas who just don’t remember to take the trainee consistently (I fall into this category).
But a whopping majority, about 80% of the problems mama’s have with potty training their children stem from underlying disciplinary issues.
“My child just doesn’t want to sit on the potty, and I don’t want to make her”.
“My 3 year old screams when I take her close to the potty”.
“My child takes his diaper off and pees in the corner when he has to go potty”.
“I tried to talk to my 4 year old about the hygienic importance of going in the toilet but he still refuses to go”.
“My child won’t have an accident at preschool but won’t use the potty when we’re at home”.
If a child is refusing to do anything his mother tells him, it is flat out a disciplinary issue.
And let me be clear. Refusing to obey is very different from not understanding what you’re being told. My 19 month old will pee, or at least try to pee, on command – we’ve already passed the ‘learning how to release your pee’ stage. And passed obedience training has already taught him to obey my voice without complaint. However, he won’t tell me he has to go because he doesn’t understand that process yet.
Not too many generations ago the average child was completely potty trained before the age of 2 1/2. Now, it unusual to have a child out of diapers before that age. While diaper companies and psycobabblists do harbour some of the blame for the increase in diaper clad 3 year olds; I still hold to my assessment, wholly based on comments from other mothers, that most children just need proper discipline.
They need to learn to obey mama’s voice.
If I say, “Jesse, it’s time to go potty; come on.”, I fully expect him to head with me cheerfully to the bathroom. If he fusses, whines, or shows me any defiance at all that is disobedience.
What moms are saying just startled me, is all. I wonder how much easier it would be for the child if mama was consistent, said what she meant, and followed through with what she said 100% of the time (even 90% will do for most children, but 100% should be our goal).
Instead we confuse them. We tell them to mind or [insert punishment here] but then do nothing about it when they disobey. Then, the next day we tell them to mind and then punish them when they don’t obey us.
How will they ever trust us when we aren’t trustworthy? How will they ever discern what rules have to be followed and what rules don’t?
And our err in this area is spilling over into every aspect of our children’s lives; into things as fundamental as learning proper toilet practices.
Ladies – Motherhood isn’t this fly by the seat of our pants, do whatever we feel like in the moment operation.
I’m just sayin’.
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