15 August 2011

Of Experimental Parenting

As with most first children, parenting Micaiah tends to be an experiment.

I have felt sorry for Philip in the past because, as we would make a discipline decision together one day, the next day, feeling it just wasn't working, I would change tactics and have to remember to tell him when he got home.  Most likely, I would forget, he would try to reinforce a rule that was now antiquated and I would find myself saying, once again, "Oh, we're not doing that anymore - I think this will work better."  Poor guy.  It's not his fault his wife apparently stinks at consistency.

But, in reality, parenting, I feel, is a constantly shifting wave, a continual re-evaluating of what's working and what's just not.

Thus, considering the three lessons we've learned regarding Micaiah and her potty training, something very obvious stuck out to me.  When we are home, I ask our little girl quite frequently, in the hopes of warding off future messes, if she has to go.  Every time, with increasing frustration, she insists she does not.  If I urge her to try anyway, I am often met with hostility, which is a bad sign for me because I want to keep this a positive experience (as in, we want her to actually like the potty so she'll actually use it - that's kind of key).  So, today, I made (yet another) new decision: we would simply stop asking.  If it's her stubborn streak keeping her from training, we need to give her the opportunity to actually tell us if she needs to visit the toilet - which is what happens when we're out of the house.  See?  It seems so obvious, doesn't it.

Of course, this only occurred to me halfway through the day, after her first couple of accidents on the floor (thank goodness for laminate flooring - she's currently not allowed to play in the carpeted rooms of our home), so we haven't seen a drastic change yet, but she did notify her daddy of an evening mishap right away, rather than waiting until he discovered it (as she'd been doing in the past).  Maybe she really does like this new sense of responsibility.

Fingers crossed, anyway.

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