Potty Training With Baby Sign Language ~ Chris

Wow, what an adventure.  I have to say that all kids are different and no technique is going to work with all children, but I’d like to think that there are some key similarities between all children, but that’s it’s up to us parents to figure out how to overcome our child’s hang-up.  My son accidentally did a number two while peeing on the toilet and we thought we had things all figure out.  However, it wasn’t until later that we discovered he wasn’t ready yet.  In the meantime we had set him up with all the language he needed to use the potty.  He learned the signs for TOILET, DIAPER and POOP.  We also taught him how to put the seat up himself and how to flush the toilet.  We figured we were all set to go, but then he threw us a curve and decided he’d start sneaking off to relieve himself and his daily routine started changing so his bowel movements became less predicable.  Then he started to do it while standing up instead of squatting!  Now we had to watch him even more carefully.

Next we tried a bribe.  We offered him BERRIES, which he loves as an incentive to poo on the toilet.  By this time, he was readily able to pee, but we didn’t put him up there, but once a day and he never really told us when he had to pee.  We figured it was more of a big deal to figure out the poo issue first because we could still catch him in the act.

Well, things finally clicked when he accidentally pushed a poo out while doing his nightly pee.  Him and mom heard it plop and after looking it over, our boy was pretty excited.  We gave him some frozen berries after letting him flush it down.  The next day, he snuck off again when we weren’t paying attention, but when I found him, he made no resistance to come and give the potty a try.  In fact, he was almost finished his movement, but he still managed to force some more out!  We were so proud of him.

I will say that potty training is not really something that happens right away, at least for us.  However, we also didn’t wait until he was 2 years old, like a lot of programs recommend.  Instead we let it unfold naturally and let him decide when it was right for him.  I’ve heard too many horror stories about children who are forced to potty too early and later wet themselves at school and have other issues related because they weren’t ready yet.  Besides, what’s the hurry anyway?  I think there should be limits to what is expected of a child and we should never expect more than what they are prepared to give.  In other words, I firmly believe in age appropriate expectations, not to mention person specific expectations.  If you force a child to do something too early, they’ll only resist and make the entire affair more difficult than it needs to be.  By that same token, I also think that not reaching their potential and challenging them can be just as damaging.  Obviously, this takes quite a bit of observation and trial and error to strike that perfect balance between what a child is capable of accomplishing.  It’s that fine line between being challenged and having fun, but not becoming frustrated.

Think about it on your own terms.  Accomplishing something at the brink of being frustrating is fun (a challenge and invigorates us), but being pushed beyond our capabilities is stressful.

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