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One year of one child using disposable diapers uses two full grown trees.
What’s worse is very few people dispose of the poop in the toilet before throwing away the diaper—did you even know you’re supposed to do that?
Most moms, probably including you, are reading this book because you know deep in your heart that your child is ready.
There will be a power struggle and for the first time ever, your child will literally be holding all the power, in the form of pee and poop. You will not win.
Some men are superlinear thinkers and don’t really connect with the chaos of the toddler mind. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a situation like this: Mom’s been working her butt off to potty train the kid during the day. She leaves the child in her husband’s care for twenty minutes. The child has an accident. Mom asks Dad what happened, and he says, “I told him to go and he said no.” I think dads really expect that you only have to tell your child that he needs to pee in the potty one time and the child should fully comprehend and comply.
He’s vital to this process, just as you are, so let’s involve him right from the beginning. And let’s understand and validate how he truly feels about this process, yeah?
Kids can smell fear a mile away, and it will either make them fearful or they will eat you for breakfast.
Online news, the ability to Like and Share, blogs . . . all these things combine to make for a fast-paced world. We as moms, in particular, are subject to an onslaught of not only frightening news (kidnappings, etc.) but also parenting media drama, like the infamous Time magazine and the breast-feeding cover. All this media just serves to confuse us and wound our intuition. It also makes us feel anxious, which our children pick up on.
Bottom line: we are moving too fast. We are exposing our children to too much, too soon.
I’ve seen kids learn to meter out pee and poop to get more rewards, and I’ve seen candy create bigger power struggles during potty training.
Logistically speaking, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a preschool or kindergarten that will accept an untrained child.
Day cares are essentially screwing you, especially if you are a full-time working mom or dad. (Though I’m sure you’re used to getting screwed by everything at this point, eh?)
Wearing underwear is simply too confusing for your child in the beginning. The snugness creates a muscle memory of a diaper, and the covering suggests privacy. I can almost bet you that your child will have more accidents if you put undies on her too soon.
Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne a couple of times. Mr. Payne was a Waldorf teacher and is so brilliant and eloquent on this topic, I can’t recommend this book highly enough. He says that raising children is like building a pyramid. The widest part at the bottom is the foundation. That is made up of “governing,” and takes place roughly from birth to age six. Next is the middle of the pyramid, made up of a “gardening” phase that takes place from roughly six to twelve years. And last, at the top, is the “guiding” phase, which is the way he recommends parenting children ages twelve to eighteen.
maybe nobody told you this, but one kid plus one kid = like five kids.
Your partner is going to go cuckoo. I promise she’ll return to normal very soon. Get her drunk. It’s okay.
Your role in this is just as vital as Mom’s is. Maybe more. Everyone knows that Dad is a little magic.
When setting limits, the emotional state of the parent almost always dictates the child’s reaction. If we lack clarity and confidence, lose our temper or are unsure, tense, frazzled, or frustrated — this will unsettle our kids and very likely lead to more undesirable behavior.
Why would our sweet darling throw her toy at us when we’ve just asked her not to, and then add insult to injury by smirking? Is she evil? Does she have a pressing need to practice throwing skills? Maybe she just hates us…
When parents say more than a sentence or two about the limit-pushing behavior, even while remaining calm, they risk creating a tale about a child with a problem (perhaps he hugs his baby sister too forcefully), which then causes the child to identify with this as his story and problem, when it was just an impulsive, momentary behavior he tried out a couple of times.
If the comfort and validation of our attention has been in short supply, or if there have been compelling mini-stories and dramas created around our child’s limit-pushing behavior, she might end up repeating them to seek this negative attention.
For example, if we snatch toys away from our child, she may persistently snatch from friends
Deciding between two options is usually all a toddler needs, as long as the question is an easy one.
The sooner a caregiver can establish those limits, the easier it will be for the child to relinquish ‘testing’ and return to playing. Parents sometimes fear they will crush a child’s spirit if they are firm and consistent about rules. Truthfully, it is the other way around. A child does not feel free unless boundaries are clearly established.
Children raised without firm, consistent boundaries are insecure and world-weary. Burdened with too many decisions and too much power, they miss out on the joyful freedom every child deserves.
A toddler also acts out when there is a blatant failure to draw clear boundaries at home. Sometimes, the child is exposed to adults or older children who do not respect the toddler’s boundaries; they grab and tickle him, for example, depriving him of a sense of secure space. When a young child is overpowered and assaulted in this way, he becomes confused about physical boundaries with other people.
I asked Wendy if anything was different at home, and she mentioned that she was frustrated while getting Henry to sit in his car seat when it was time to go somewhere. She was allowing Henry to do it in his own time, waiting while he played around inside the car. Wendy said she finally became impatient, and after telling him what she would do, she placed him in his seat. She could not believe that Henry cried anyway, even after she had tried to be respectful, giving him so much time to sit in the seat himself!
I advised Wendy to give Henry the option of climbing into his seat by himself, but if he did not climb in right away, she should place him in his seat, even if he cried.
Respect your child’s play and other chosen activities. Don’t interrupt unless absolutely necessary.
Children need our undivided attention during these cooperative activities. Pay attention, connect, and encourage children to do the same.
Unfortunately, this perspective makes it next to impossible to stay unruffled with toddlers, who (as I explained above) need to disagree with us and feel safe expressing their strong emotions.
Occasionally, though it’s pretty rare, my superhero perspective even allows me to recognize the romance in these moments. I’m able to time travel at hyper-speed into the future, look back, and realize that this was prime time together. It didn’t look pretty, but we were close. I’ll remember how hard it was to love my child when she was at her very worst and feel super proud that I did it anyway.
Help fulfill her healthy needs for autonomy, competence, and participation by asking for her assistance with the baby (and anything else) whenever possible.