"Age-appropriate"? I need input
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March 22nd, 2013, 07:41 AM
Join Date: Jul 2012
Both of these things are really hard to advise on because it really depends on YOUR family unit and how YOU want to handle things.
For the paci, I would ask myself if I think it's creating any problems in his development. Would I worried about teeth growing in bad, or is that not a factor for my kid at that time. Is it delaying his speech? Do I care if those things do become problems? If I had concerns, outside what other people might think, then I would work toward eliminating the paci use by giving him new ways to comfort himself. How I approached it would depend on my child. IF I wanted him off the paci, I wouldn't want to make them want to paci more by insisting he didn't use it. Either way, I might ask myself why he regressed to doing it more lately. (Regressions are actually pretty normal in kids. A lot of kids learn something, regress, then learn it for good. Or start to give something up, then cling to it again, then give it up for good. It seems to be the development stages of change...)
As for potty training, I wouldn't push it. I wouldn't even try to overly-encourage it. (Kids can sometimes pick up on that as pressure, so bribes don't work for everyone!). I might not be the best person to ask, though, because a lot of people like to potty train their kids young, and I prefer waiting until they are ready enough (physically and emotionally) for most of it to happen in a week or two max. Why do YOU feel like you "should" be working harder on it? That's important, too. If you think he needs to potty train soon because of what other people will think, then you might want to consider you are creating stress for yourself, too, which kids can pick up on, and stress hinders potty training.
Also try to keep in mind that if he has a younger sibling, he might be worried about not being the baby anymore. If this is a possibility, play "baby games" with him. Tell him that even when he is a big boy doing fun, big boy things, he'll always be your baby. Just basically make an effort to help him realize you are just as much his mom and always, even if he becomes a "big boy" by potty training. (No need to talk about potty training during this time, though--you don't want to put that connection in his head if it's not there. But it's always good to let your kids know these things anyway, IMO, so IF he made that connection already on his own, it will undo itself in time as he starts to feel more peace in his role of still your baby).
That said, if you want to still work on that right now, then don't make potty training about rewards OR refusals. Just make it a thing. Try starting slow, like only using the potty first thing in the morning and after naps. When he wakes up, say "Good morning, sunshine! Time to sit on the potty before breakfast!" If he says he doesn't want to go potty say, "That's okay, you don't have to pee or poop on the potty. You just have to sit on the potty for 1 minute before breakfast, like Mommy and Daddy do." And take his hand and go. work your way up to longer times sitting on the potty, but really, I wouldn't make it too long. You can also give him things to do while sitting on the potty. Like reading him a book (just a regular book, not a book about potty training. If a kid is't excited about potty training, then IMO videos and books ABOUT potty training add more pressure.)
Once he starts going more on the potty, then add in more potty times. Let him know, every time that you sit on the potty, "You can also let me know when you have to go. When you start letting me know and going on your own, we don't have to use it at the same time every day!" When you are ready to try undies and clothes (be prepared to do a lot of laundry) just jump right in with it. If he has an accident, say "That's okay. Put your clothes in the hamper (we had a separate basket in our house for this purpose) and clean yourself up." Meanwhile go get his change of clothes. When you bring him his change of clothes, you can help him clean his body up the rest of the way. Let him put on his new clothes. When he is done, say, ""Here's a towel wipe the pee on the floor." When he's done, direct him to put the towel in the hamper. Do everything calmly. He's not in trouble, you aren't mad, it's no big deal--BUT it's his responsibility now. It teaches him to be responsible for his bathroom needs and encourages him to use the potty (easier than cleaning up!). But personally, I'd wait for this step until you see more progress with scheduled potty trips.
Also, before you start any of this, I'd take a small break from trying, even if it's only for 2 weeks or a month, so you get a completely fresh start and any pressure he might feel is lifted before you try again. Handle things very "matter of fact" with no emotion and it won't be stressful for either of you.
All that said, I can only speak for what worked for us. Two of our kids have special needs to we basically did our training based on the advice of trained therapists. But it worked! And apparently this method has been uses on "typical" (not special needs) kids too and works just as well for them. It made potty training quick and painless for me, especially when I knew to just not let it be a big deal to me and that it WILL happen if 1) I don't force it but 2) expect it and 3) give my child more responsibility. That's the 1, 2, 3, of potty training in my book LOL But none of this may resonate with you or feel right for your family, in which case please disregard my decisions. Whatever you do needs to feel right to you. I do hope that something I said here will be helpful though.
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