Monday, January 5, 2009

Adventures in potty training

So, we’ve begun the daunting task of potty training! (Okay, well, I’ve been potty trained for a while now. I’ve begun to potty train Gideon.) : )

Over the summer I think Gideon was ready, but seeing as how I was very pregnant and heat tends to give me plenty of morning sickness, I just wasn’t ready to start training him. I considered it an accomplishment to drag myself off the couch in order to keep up on disciplining him when he disobeyed. So, I wasn’t about to make things even more difficult! (Can you imagine how many times I’d be up and down with disciplining a toddler AND potty training him) Ha, as if no one has ever done it… I’m acting as if it were this HUGE sacrifice… well, at any rate, I didn’t do it this summer, and now we’re beginning.

I can’t explain why, but there are a few aspects of childrearing that are VERY scary for me. Starting with potty training, next being puberty, (don’t ask me why, I just feel totally intimidated by having to parent an adolescent boy!!!) and last being the entrance into a pre marriage relationship. (dating, courting, betrothal, engagement… whatever) These three milestones are highly intimidating to me!

But, we’ve reached the brink of milestone one, and I’m feeling like I’m facing potty training as if it were a big growling dog. On the outside, I’m smiling, and showing this animal NO FEAR, I’m relaxed and ready to take it on. But inside, I’m crying, “AHHH!!!! ITS GONNA EAT ME!!!! WE WON’T MAKE IT OUT ALIVE!!!!”

Help me out moms, have you felt this way?

I need some tips.

We’ve bought the “big boy potty,” “big boy boxers” and a cute little book to go along with them. Gideon really likes his book, wears the boxers on his head, and is warming up to the potty. So far, I feel good about these things.

But the questions I’m facing are, “do I use ‘treats’ as a reward?” “What actions do I reward?” “Is there ever a point where you begin disciplining for the on purpose “accidents?” (not that we’ve had any, I’m just saying.)

You know, these are the kinds of things I’m feeling so very insure about.

Yet, over and over again, I hear my moms voice saying “just listen to the Holy Spirit, as he leads and guides you through your mothering” and then I hear that verse again,

Isaiah 40:11
He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young.

I know God cares for the small things, and the small ones. I know God will help us, but, maybe if everyone tells me what’s worked for them, the Holy Spirit will guide me as I sift through your advice. : )


Carole said...

Your mother's advice is very good.
How old is Gideon? Just two, right? Patience is a virtue.
Be positive about the whole experience.
Don't ask him if he wants to try going - gently tell him that it's time to try.
Make it enjoyable - spend time reading a board book.
I personally do not like giving a reward, other than a big "mama is so so happy that you went in the potty" smile (and sometimes dance).
Know that it WILL happen one day. Really and truly. :)

danica said...

Brietta recommends a gook that I can never remember the title of. (A title I need to get soon, because we're heading towards the same milestone, too. And if it makes you feel better, I'm cringing on the inside!)

Sarah O said...

Kate was pretty easy as far as potty going went, so I am not really sure how much advice I can actually give! We let her come in with us when we used the bathroom, so she could get an idea of what was going on. I would tell her it was time to try, but if she couldn't go, no pressure. Actually, I think we started doing that at every diaper change. I loved our little Baby Bjorn potty chair, and would recommend having one easily accessible. ($12 from most stores, although I would check to see if they carried it before you went.) Seats that go on the big potty are fun too, (although, boys probably have different needs than girls.) And just don't worry! I am sure he will be using the bathroom just fine before he moves out!

Sarah O said...

You could borrow our little potty if you wanted... It's in the basement near the washer and dryer in a box, I think. Amber could dig around for it if you are interested. Liz used it with Josiah and it worked well.

brietta said...

Sorry to be late in posting to this-- I meant to do it the day you wrote, and then I forgot. Oops. :)

This book was where I got most of the potty training ideas I've used from. I must say they really work. I've never gone through the whole process the author recommends (ie we never bought a doll or anything), but the overall ideas were REALLY helpful. It's not an expensive book, so I recommend getting it and having it on the shelf. Or borrowing it from the library. It was first written in the 70s, I think, so there should be a million copies around. :)

I loved how it explained "readiness" and found it very helpful in knowing when my child was ready to start. I also liked that it recommends rewards for STAYING DRY, not for going in the potty. I also liked that, in the old version anyway (my copy is ancient!), they make no bones about the fact that you need to have basic obedience learned before you will have any success.

Good luck!