Tuesday, 30 March 2010

When They Can, They Will: Potty Woes

If there is a subject that gets more airtime than potty training, I'd like to know what it is...

There are three simple and easy ways to potty train a child:
  1. wait until they're physically and psychologically ready, can understand and want to
  2. let them watch the parents and older siblings do bathroom activities for a couple of years and, 
  3. do nothing
Inappropriate potty training (too early, involving any kind of bribery, coercion or humiliation, too intrusive) causes some seriously weird behaviour, not only in kids but in adults, too. Those odd diaper fetishes, shy bladder and  impacted bowel (don't google that, it's gross) come to mind, but they are hardly the only ones. 

Allowing kids to sort it out for themselves when they are capable and care might add to the laundry pile for a few extra months... and the only thing I can think of to say about that is 'so?'

Are there really parents, or parenting experts, who think that the whole goal is to minimize laundry? Personally, being of an extremely lazy bent, I would do an extra load of laundry every week if it means avoiding having to clean poop off a carpet even once. The number of parents who pick 'all the bedclothes' over diapers almost every night amaze me.

When it was time to think about 'training' my kids, all I could think of was 'why?' They'd learned to walk and talk without any lessons or training led by me or anyone else, how could this be any harder? When they could, I had no doubt they would figure it out. Strangely, they did. And you know what: you can't tell anymore which one of them started or finished learning younger. In fact, you can't even tell today if they learned this when they were 14 months old, or 14 years old. 


If parents hate handing thousands of dollars to diaper manufacturers, maybe considering switching to cloth for the rest of the time for the same reason we don't buy single-use disposable shirts? 


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