Sunday, July 31, 2011
On potty training
In the midst of potty training there is always a moment when you feel like it is never going to happen, this child will never learn this new skill. What you need is a little perspective. I remember when I was potty training Kylynn and I had been cleaning poop out of underwear for two weeks asking my bible study group to pray for me and for her to get through this stage. The leader of the group turned to me and gently told me that everything was going to be okay, Kylynn would learn this skill, she would not still be wearing diapers when she went off to kindergarten. Which was of course my fear: that this stage of my life would never move forward that I would be stuck potty training forever.
So it was when Jack was walking around the house in his 12th pair of underwear in week three of potty training that I decided I needed some perspective, I needed someone to tell me everything was going to be okay. I needed someone who could look in from the outside and give me some advice.
I called my friend who as a special needs pre-school teacher has potty trained many children, she is as far as I'm concerned a potty training expert. I told her what I was doing and how it was (obviously) not working. She gave me a new plan: set a timer for 10 minutes, every 10 minutes reward Jack for dry underwear (since that was our problem) with candy (don't forget you can cut up one piece of candy into four pieces), repeat until he's got it down. Then move onto setting the timer for 30 minutes, and so on.
After only a couple of days he had an accident free day, earning a trip to the "movie eater" to see Cars 2. After a couple more weeks we're down to having about one to two accidents a week. Suddenly life is normal again, my baby boy is potty trained, he's not going to get kicked out of pre-school, I'm not going to lose my mind, and I've never been more grateful for a friend like her.