Thursday, June 18, 2009


so i hate to go on and on about potty training, but i am in love with this method so i just want to say a word about it.

the guiding principles of this method are love and consistency. but i might also add that there is no fighting (not because it's a principle not to fight, but because it is not possible), coercion, or bribing (that doesn't mean no rewards). accidents are important as they are how a child understands what is happening in their body. you are to remain positive at all times and there is to be no reprimanding or punishing.

as of 5:30 today, we've had one accident. it was at about 4:00. she hadn't gone to the bathroom since around 11:30, so i was waiting and waiting for her to yell "mommy, i'm peeing." that's what she says when she has to go--one in four times she probably already is going. but most of the time, it means she needs to go.

from about 2:00 on, i was anxious. i knew she had to go and i just kept reminding her, "let me know when you need to go potty." i knew her little bladder could only hold so much and that sooner or later she was going to need to let it go. in the afternoon she has a tendancy to hang on to it.

it would have been really easy for me to make her sit on the potty and tell her she needed to go. i could have told her it was time, because it was. i know there are a lot of methods out there that encourage that. the truth is i'm and adult and i understand the body and i know that she probably needed to go. but that wasn't what was important.

mae is the one who has to learn when it's time to go. she's the one who needs to understand the signals her body is giving her; what it feels like to be full. and the only way she's going to understand that is if she has accidents.

i think life is sometimes like that. at least parenthood is like that. God trusted me enough to throw me into something TOTALLY new and said, "have at it. you're in this for good; i've thrown away any crutch you might have. so here's what you should do, but you're in charge. and you're going to have accidents, lots of them. but we celebrate the accidents because that's how you'll learn."

i have a whole new outlook on accidents. they're all part of the learning process. of course we can prevent accidents, but doesn't that just dely the learning process? when accidents happen in potty training, i'm not frustrated at all. i think that has helped my whole outlook on this process. i dreaded the thought of potty training, and maybe i'm just really really lucky--but so far this has been one of the most enjoyable weeks of motherhood for me.


Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

You are very lucky, but you're also very bright and insightful. A great lesson.

austinamasandra said...

You are such a wonderful mother!!!!And thank you for updating your blog!

Shelane said...

great job with a potentially stressful process! mae's a lucky girl.

Ruth said...

way to go heidi! What a great mommy.

darcie said...

You have such a great attitude and outlook on life! Congrats again to you and Mae! Way to go!

erin said...

Can I send Luc to your house to potty train. You are sOOOO much more mature about it than I am. I am not sure that I am yet prepared for so many accidents, even though I totally agree with the way you explain it...and I know it is probably a real life lesson....I am still a maybe I will wait until he is 5 and then he will just be mature enough to do it himself...?

Joshua and Jolie said...

Good for you. I also believe that potty training should be done in the child's time and on their terms. It's their body and I just want to help them learn how to master it. It may take longer than we'd like, but in the end, all we want is happy, well-adjusted kids, right?
You are a wonderful mother!

Sheli said...

Yeah....well, I will send Tanner your way and you can use your loving technique on 5 1/2 he doesn't seem to give a rip! I know I waited way too long and I am paying the price now. Hopefully we will get this down before he starts kindergarten in August!!! He will actually pee in the potty just fine...its the poops we have issues with. My other two were a breeze compared to him. :-) Congrats with Mae...she is just an angel all the way around. Enjoy yor parents return next week and having your family all together! We just got home from Peru on having Amy here. Carter wants to spend every waking moment at their house. See you soon.

Alison said...

Heidi, I love your potty training story. I think it is such an amazing comparison - great talk material!