So, the day I have dreaded since I found out I was having twins has arrived. We’ve started potty training.
I hate potty training.
Truly, I do.
I almost had a nervous breakdown when my oldest was potty training, and I am not exaggerating.
My son was easier to train though everyone told me it was more difficult to potty train boys. (I don’t know who thought that up, but in my experience, it is simply not true.)
I think one of the reasons I felt so much stress the first time around, however, is because first-time moms tend to put a great deal of pressure on themselves to do everything “right” and, therefore, put a bit too much on their children to do everything “right.”
So, as we begin our twin-training journey with new pink ladybug potties, I thought I’d take a few minutes to review what I’ve learned over the years and, hopefully, encourage a few of you in the process.
First, relax. Your child will learn to use the potty. It is highly unlikely your five year old will still be wearing diapers. Take a deep breath and (unless you have a preschool deadline to meet) don’t rush it.
Second, you are not defined by your child’s abilities. (You might want to remember this in the future, too. It probably applies to more than potty training.) A child that will not potty does not make you a bad mother. You have not failed some unwritten test of motherhood. You’re doing just fine, and so is he.
Third, your child is unique. One-size-fits-all approaches to potty training (and parenting) are all about false advertising. As soon as someone says, “This is THE way to do it,” you can almost be sure your child will find another. And, it just might be better.
Fourth, remember that though you use the potty every day, it’s a new thing for your child. It’s new, unfamiliar and a little scary. Not to mention the fact that often diaper-changing time is also a bit of quick bonding. When I’m changing the girls’ diapers, I focus solely on them. They get hugs and kisses before and after. They might not be ready to give that up.
Finally, if you have strong-willed children, pressuring them to use the potty might be the fast way to be sure they won’t. I learned that the hard way with my first. The more I pressed, the more she protested. With my second, I took a much more laid back approach. It made a huge difference.
So, with these things in mind, we’re off. I’m starting slowly by letting the girls get acquainted with their new potties. We’re going to begin a routine of “trying.” At certain times of day, they’ll sit on the potty, and hopefully, at some point, an accident of the best kind will happen…they’ll potty! I’ll let you know how it goes.
And, if you are facing a preschool deadline, I only have one thing to say: Bless you. The only potty-training help I can offer for that is prayer. Lots and lots of prayer.