Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Scientific(ish) Parenting: Potty Training Success

There are no perfect parents. For those of us trying to be mindful, strategic,
successful parents (hopefully all of us), this is a hard pill to swallow. Maybe
it's just me, but I like to think that there are people out there who've figured it out. Somehow, that idea
gives me hope that I, too, will figure it out.... or that "it" is "figure-out-able."

However, I also know there are no right answers, no golden gooses, no silver bullets, and no more good analogies for me to use in this sentence. We all do the best with what we've got. There seems to be a lot of stretching of the truth on parenting websites. Pish posh, I say, to reports of perfect children sleeping through the night from day one and always sleeping in their own bed. Pish posh, I say, to reports of potty training 13-month old with narry a soiled diaper to be had again. Pish posh, I say, to reports of children demanding to eat vegetables at every meal. Such reports, and others like them, just serve to make the rest of us turn green with envy and wonder what we're doing wrong.

In the midst of all this pish-poshing, and in the spirit of "doing the best with what we've got," I've decided to periodically post a "scientific(ish) parenting" post in which I create a graph reflecting a
parenting reality as we have come to know it.

Click on the graph to see the enlarged version - It is graph #1: Potty Training Success. I believe it reflects a reality of our parenting. We set our goal and learn something about how to get there. We try something - usually involving praise, candy and fruitless convincing! If it doesn't succeed like you had hoped, try again. Something new this time.

It took Big Sis probably 1 year to learn to use the potty, from age ~2-1/2 to a little past age 3. We still have occasional accidents, but they are few and far between now. In the end, all us 'adults' did was lay the foundation. She had to decide for herself when the time was right!

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