The two most feared words in parenting (in my opinion) are Potty Training. I avoided it as long as I could but by the time my youngest child needed to be potty trained I did what I've done before: tried to get someone else to do it.
Here's my potty training history: I was changing 3 diapers when my youngest was born. My mom, who was visiting us from Brasil, potty trained my oldest. I was down to changing two diapers and decided to potty train my second born. It was a bad experience for both of us. I'll never forget her sitting on the potty and screaming "what's happening to me?!" That lasted a whole day and she was back in diapers. My amazing mother was visiting us again a couple of months after that episode and potty trained her in a day or two. I know, my mom is amazing.
This time around the clock was ticking - the "your child needs to be potty trained in order to be part of certain summer activities" clock - so I decided to take advantage of a local Potty Training 101 class for parents. I was least experience person in the class and I learned a lot! I decided to start with the easy stuff: "use potty training language" and "be on constant training mode." When I started doing this, something clicked in her mind. My daughter started asking to be potty trained. I'll be honest, I would easily give up when an accident happen. I also would resort to diapers because of the many activities we're involved in. Putting her diaper back on gave me the assurance that I wouldn't need to potty train on the go. This process happened a couple of other times but last week, my daughter decided to pee and poop on the toilet all by herself!
When she did it for the first time I was in the kitchen, busy with household chores. She kept making progress and we celebrated her big accomplishment! I will not lie, that encouragement really boosted her morale. The fact that she was now equal to her siblings when it came to using the potty was also a great incentive.
So, here's how it happened for us:
• I had no courage to do it but the clock was ticking;
• I went to a class to educate myself;
• I used "potty training awareness language" (mothers of preschoolers are never alone, so there was daily theory classes going on if you know what I mean).
• She decided not to wait for me and do it herself;
• I made sure she was really making process and cleaned the occasional accidents;
• I also let her school and church teachers know she was potty training for additional support;
• We are down to night time diapers only. Yay!
I hope my story can encourage you if you happen to dread Potty Training or if you are far away from that stage but want to know what's up. I know I'm the exception to the rule. I also know that God can give you grace, wisdom and the ability to laugh through this amazing milestone in the life of children. Happy Potty Training friends!