"Age-appropriate"? I need input
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March 21st, 2013, 12:51 PM
Join Date: Jul 2010
I am struggling at the moment with Liam. He is actually in a really good stage overall. He has become so funny, engaging, and entertaining. He has also seemed to "turn the corner" in regards to his brother. They are playing nicely together most of the time and some of the jealousy issues seem to have waned off. He is generally a happy and fun kid.
BUT...we have two areas that are really "getting to me." I feel lost as to what to do over all, so many conflicting things in my head.
The first is that he still has a pacifier. He has always been a huge paci kid and we never discouraged it. When he was two, we started cutting down the frequency of his using it. And around 3 we even tried to get rid of it all together. But he wasn't ready, emotionally, and I felt that since we encouraged the idea of an attachment object, it wasn't really fair for ME to decide when he got rid of it. So we allowed it back, in his bed and the car on long trips. But lately, he is regressing. He tries to take it all over the house, he tries to sneak it into the car on regular trips, he will take the one Kieran has out of his mouth (they use the same one and we don't restrict Kierans use of it yet.) I struggle with it because I still do believe that he must have an emotional connection to it. He uses it to calm himself down, he is comforted by it much like a blanket or lovey. He just never attached to those items. But I do dislike the idea of my 3.5 year old having it more than naps and bedtime. I feel like society tells me he is "too big" for it and, of course, his teeth are suffering for it (you can tell he uses one by his teeth pattern). But in the grand scheme of things...why am I concerned what society thinks and why should I be the one to tell my child when he is done using something that doesn't *really* hurt anything. I am so torn as to whether I should continue to enforce bed only, if I should ease up and allow him this time of regression and hope he moves back to using I less, or if I should start to try and detach him from it all together. I just don't know.
Which brings me to the other issue. He also absolutely refuses to potty train. We did the no-diaper, nakey time thing for two weeks back in January. He peed and pooped all over the house, started refusing to even sit on the potty, and then just flat out would have a tantrum over the use of the potty. We tried bribes next (M&Ms for pottying). But that also failed and he just started asking for diapers. So we stopped. But, again, it's hard because I feel like I *should* be working harder on it. But I don't know what to do about it. He just doesn't seem ready. He doesn't tell me when he pees or poops in his diapers, he doesn't willingly get diaper changes (he would sit in poo for hours if I let him). And honestly, I am not spending money on diapers...so why should I really care how long he is in them? I am just so confused.
I sort of feel like he is a bit behind his peers in such ways. I doubt the two things together mean anything. He is perfectly on track in the main ways (talking, physical skills, emotional understanding, social ability). But I have moment of feeling like I must be doing something wrong for him to need to hold onto these "baby" habits. I know getting my self-esteem involved doesn't help matters. I clearly can't MAKE him do something he isn't ready for. Nor would I want to. But admittedly, I don't know what to do.
Thoughts? Do I just let him call the shots and follow his lead? Or do I start pressing the issue (possibly at the detriment to my sanity. Lol)?
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