Yoh! It’s already Thursday! Where did the week go? I can honestly say that I was completely not motivated to write anything, mainly because I was throwing my full focus into potty training my son. Now, we tried a few months ago and that literally went down the toilet. (excuse the pun) I tried the various methods that I used with my two girls, and nothing seemed to stick.
Looking back, I know it was because he wasn’t fully ready to take ownership of it all. Plus he wasn’t as verbal as he is now. (I’m still slightly worried about him, but that’s another blog post for another day) It’s amazing how just waiting for the right moment seems to pay off, as well as changing our language towards the situation.
I have learned so much from teaching my son how to use the toilet at the right time. It’s insane that something as mundane as connecting the dots between body and toilet – can bring such revelation to me as a parent.
With my girls, (which I did do with Jude as well) I kept them away from sweets until the tender age of 2 so that I could use them as bribery when it came to the potty. It worked like a bomb with them – because the more they got it right, the more they got the beloved sweets. (note they were small little sweeties that I had cut up eventually, because it was getting a bit much. They started to hold it in and then only give short little trickles to gain more rewards. I kinda cottoned on after about 2 days and an extremely hyper kid)
Anyway, like I said, I did the same with Jude. But what was hilarious is that when I tried to get him going when he was a few weeks older than 2 – I gave him his jelly bean – he them proceeds to suck the thing slowly. (who sucks a jelly bean, right?) so needless to say, by the time he was done sucking that one jelly bean – he had pee’d at least 4 times in his new undies and so I knew this wasn’t going to work. #parentfail.
So, back to nappies we went. I waited and waited until it seemed right. We tried again a few months later. He went, now he chewed his sweet…….. but the wires were misfiring on when his body was ready to pee. He always alerted us afterwards. I was catching him several times and we did celebrate – but nothing was quite sticking. We could actually see he wasn’t getting it.
So, back to the nappies to make our tired lives easier. Now, I did the research on the whole three day thing and tried to stay indoors to get it right. That lasted all of 4 hours. Why? because we have older sisters that have lives that don’t stop and so we can’t take anything longer than a morning to just focus in.
But then about 2 weeks ago, our nappy pack was running low and my hubby turned to me and said, “we really need to get rid of these. They’re so expensive and he just has to get it now.”(in the gentlest tone) now cue a massive sigh on my part, because I knew that meant that I had to make a plan and get it done and try and help the wires connect for him.
So, I reassessed the strategy.
1. He needed come ownership – so no big toilets. Potty it is.
2. Boys don’t naturally aim straight, so how do we make our lives easier with the mess and make it into something we can carry around with us to prevent yellow irrigation.
3. Make sure we have a good supply of candy for every wee trip, be it co-ersed or self motivated.
4. It’s winter people, so we had to have 10 tracksuit bottoms ready with rotating undies. Add to that socks and crocks (which are easy to rinse and dry and put back on)
5. Cheer squad for every victory.
So with this all in my utility belt – I went at it. Every 15 to 20 mins. Taking him, checking him out to see if he did a little signal dance before he needed to go. Making sure he had liquids. Kept him away from the carpeted areas as much as possible. Day 1 was positive and we trudged through. My cheering squad were awesome for every victory.
By Day 4 we had a rhythm but I could see I was still motivating the loo visits. It just wasn’t connecting for him. So, I decided to call a friend. Or should I say message a friend. This said friend had done it with her kids in three days and so I needed to know how she did it. She told me about a lady (Lora Jenson) that wrote a book on how to potty train in three days. She was great in giving me a basic summary of what worked for her and the tools she took from the book – without giving the nitty gritty away. One thing that stuck with me after reading her message, was that the emphasis isn’t on the actual wee but on rather them telling you they need to wee.
So off I went to the website to see if I could order the E-book, and unfortunately it was out of my “let’s just buy this” budget and so I decided to take that approach and change my language towards Jude about going to the toilet.
Let me just say, that just changing my language and approach was mind blowing. This is where the revelation hit! Instead of saying to him, “Jude do you want to make a wee?” – I shifted to say, “Jude, are you going to tell me when you need to make a wee?”. By just adding those extra little words into the instruction revolutionised our potty training experience.
I could literally see him shift from, ‘Mommy is going to tell me’ to ‘I need to know what my body is feeling and then tell mommy’. It has been mind blowing. I can officially say, that after today – which was completely accident free (for the third day in a row) – he was playing outside and ran inside to the potty and proceeded to start taking care of his own business.
I have found it absolutely amazing that just by changing my language and the way I was talking to him about his task – helped him learn faster and also make it his own. I realised that I could use this lesson with all of my different spheres of life. The way that I talk to my husband – as much as I think he’s getting me, I need to check what words are being said to make sure that he’s completely understanding my thoughts and feelings. With my girls, be it homeschool or just emotional and social education – I need to make sure that the language that I use is hitting at a place where it completely resonates with their way of thinking and that they can make it their own.
I mean WOW! right? all from potty training. Yes, I know that there will be days where he will have his toilet duty slip ups – but the connection between his brain and his bit have been made. I am completely over the moon! (can you tell)
What has your experience been with this kind of thing? Have there been really mundane tasks that have given you mind blowing understanding and have changed your perspective on how to do things? please share it with me – I’d love to learn from you.