How I Royally Screwed Up Potty Training (And What to Do Instead)

How I Royally Screwed Up Potty Training (And What to Do Instead) | CorporetteMomsLadies, let’s talk potty training! What’s your best potty training advice — particularly if you’ve already been through it with a child?

For my own $.02, I will admit it: I royally screwed up potty training with my eldest son, J. Things we did wrong, in no particular order:

  • We “waited until he was ready.” But we kept checking. So we put the little potty out. We sat him on the big potty (with the little seat.)
  • We didn’t give it enough time. One morning when he was around 3, we put him in undies instead of diapers and said “LET’S DO THIS!” He peed through a pair of undies; we gave him second. Then a third. Then a fourth. By 11 AM the entire 6-pack of undies we’d bought was soiled, so we put him back in diapers and decided to try again some other weekend. Then we went out to brunch.
  • We put him in undies right away. He never really had a naked weekend — and we put him in undies and pants immediately once he started getting it right. He treated his undies like diapers far, far, far too often (yuck).
  • We tried pull-ups when undies didn’t work. We even got some that turned cold when he peed in them, which bothered him exactly one time and after that he was cool with it.
  • We said it was OK when he peed his pants or pooped in his undies. “Oh, that’s OK!” we’d say, ruffling his hair affectionately. “It happens sometimes!” Even now that he is 5.5 and in kindergarten, if he doesn’t make it to the bathroom in time he’ll tell me, “It’s ok! It happens sometimes!”

SO: With my second son, H., we decided we were going to have a PLAN OF ATTACK. With a book. And everything. And it’s early days still (we’re coming up on one week as I write this), but it’s going muuuuuuuuch better than it did with J. I got the book Oh Crap! Potty Training: Everything Modern Parents Need to Know to Do It Once and Do It Right, by Jamie Glowacki and, as recommended by Lucie’s List, read through the first five chapters before starting anything. Some major steps that we took this time based on the thus-far excellent advice:

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Postpartum Tuesday: Oogiebear Ear and Nose Cleaner

oogiebearWOW: there are a TON of new products to help when your baby has a cold.  I remember being amazed at how TINY my boys’ little noses were, and how bad I felt if they got so stuffy they couldn’t sleep. At the same time, MAN did they hate the sprays, the Snotsucker, the Boogie wipes — and half the time whichever instrument of torture I selected wouldn’t even get the job done if I got my squirmy baby to sit still long enough.  SO: To add to your arsenal, there are new things the kiddo will inevitably hate, but hopefully will get the job done for you — including the pictured Ear & Nose Cleaner from Oogiebear, which is kind of a teeny plastic spoon that you use to clean their nose and ears, apparently. (There are also a number of nose cleaning tweezers!) The Oogiebear ear and nose cleaner is $9.95-12.95 at BuyBuyBaby and Amazonoogiebear Ear & Nose Cleaner

(L-all)

Open Thread: When Your Kid Is Having Trouble in School

When Your Child Is Having Trouble in SchoolNow that fall has begun, it’s not just Halloween and Thanksgiving that are quickly approaching: Parent/teacher conferences are also on the horizon. Are you looking forward to your parent/teacher conference — or are you feeling a bit trepidatious about it? If you know or suspect that you child is having trouble in school, are you doing anything special to prepare for the conference? 

When you go into school for conferences, you’ll typically hear from your kids’ teachers about their progress and achievements and how well they’re adjusting to the new school year. Sometimes, though, you’ll find out something unexpected: that your child is having trouble in school. Perhaps, for example, your son or daughter is dealing with anxiety, exhibiting inappropriate behavior, struggling with reading, or demonstrating poor focus and attention.

The teacher may suggest an educational evaluation or recommend a pediatrician visit, depending on the circumstances. Perhaps you’ll find out that your child has a learning disorder, developmental disability, behavioral problem, or mental health issue, such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), depression, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), dyslexia, or dyspraxia. Combined with the stress this news can cause, you may find yourself feeling all sorts of emotions, from relief to anger to guilt to disbelief — or a complicated combination.

Fortunately, there are plenty of resources for you and your child if he or she is having trouble in school (although these vary by state), from school staff to doctors and therapists to local agencies — plus a wealth of information online. (See below.)

Have you gotten the news at a parent/teacher conference (or in another context) that your child was having trouble in school? How did you handle it, and what was the outcome? What sorts of resources did you find most helpful? Have you felt supported by teachers and staff at your child’s school? If not, have you had to take any drastic measures such as hiring a lawyer to help you deal with the school, or homeschooling?  

Resources/Further Reading:parent teacher conferences worry working moms

  • Understood: “to help the millions of parents whose children, ages 3–20, are struggling with learning and attention issues”
  • Wrightslaw: “accurate, reliable information about special education law, education law, and advocacy for children with disabilities.”
  • ADDitude: “strategies and support for ADHD & LD.”
  • Child Mind Institute: “an independent nonprofit dedicated to transforming the lives of children and families struggling with mental health and learning disorders.”
  • Friends of Quinn: “an online community that offers resources and support for young adults with learning differences, as well as for the people who love them.”

P.S. October 2–8 is Mental Illness Awareness Week, and you can take the the Stigmafree Pledge at nami.org/stigmafree. October is also Learning Disabilities Awareness Month and National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

Pictured: Pixabay

3 Ways to Teach Kids a New Language

Teach Kids a New LanguageI still remember the big day in 6th grade that we got to choose the foreign language that we’d start learning: Spanish, French, or German. (I picked Spanish.) Many schools in the U.S. still don’t begin to teach kids a new language until middle school, while most European countries, for example, start instruction of a second language when kids are six to nine years old. Here are a few reasons why it’s beneficial to start language learning sooner rather than later:

  • “The ability to hear different phonetic pronunciations is sharpest before age 3, and we lose the capacity to hear and produce certain sounds if we aren’t exposed to them early on.” [Parents]
  • “After the teen years, the brain changes and makes it extremely challenging (if possible at all) for an adult to learn a foreign language.” [Parent.co]
  • “While new language learning is easiest by age 7, the ability markedly declines after puberty.” [NBC News]

Over at Corporette, we recently talked about ways to learn a foreign language as an adult, so we thought it was a good idea to talk about language-learning for kids, too. If you or your partner don’t speak a second language and neither do your parents/in-laws, here are a few ways to teach kids a new language:
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A Mom’s Guide to Remembering the Little Things

moms-guide-to-rememberingThese years go quickly, don’t they? They’re filled with so much fun and wonder — some of it captured by photos, some of it captured by videos. But there’s more than just the pictures, and I’m such a sentimentalist I want to memorialize and remember all of it: the quotes, the daily schedule, the obsessions of the moment, the little milestones (first popsicle! first “good” day at daycare! first time watching Star Wars!).

I’ve described before how I try to organize family photos and “process” them, and my current end goal for the photos is to put them, along with other written memories, into a yearly photo album made in Shutterfly; my thinking is that I’ll appreciate these more than a traditional keepsake journal. Minor problem, though: I’m several years behind on my photo albums at this point. (I have 2013 and the second half of 2014 about 80% done, I swear!) So my challenge has been getting all of the written memories in one place so they can be processed at the same time as the photos and ultimately memorialized in the family album. (Pictured at left: 2014 Part I, memorializing that time right after H was born that I told my mother the time was “5:60” and what at the time we thought was an absolutely hilarious lost iPhone story. Also: first sushi after childbirth, always an important milestone.)

Over the years I’ve come up with different strategies for remembering all the little things I want to remember about the kids and our family, but my strategies are far from perfect, so I’d love to hear what you guys are doing too.

Some of the things I’ve done:

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Feeding Tuesday: Dishwasher Safe Divided Plate

dishwasher safe divided platesMy eldest is in that phase where none of his food can touch (and he also eats about a third of the foods he used to eat when he was an adventurous toddler), and I’ve just kind of decided to lean in rather than wringing my hands over it too much.  I bought some beautiful BPA-free plastic divided plates a while ago that say they’re dishwasher safe, but my new thing is that I want to wash anything plastic by hand. This just meant that the fancy plates were never free, or it felt like my husband and I were doing the dishes all of the time.  So I went on a hunting expedition, and found these shatterproof glass plates from Corelle — with divided portions. They come in 8.5″ plates as well as 10.25″ plates, and they come out beautifully in the dishwasher.  They’re $7 per plate over at Amazon (with bulk discounts available — 6 plates for $30, for example); Corelle.com also has them for $6, but if you buy 4 you save 30%. Another bonus: they’re really thin plates, so they take up much less room in the cabinet. Score.  Corelle Livingware 8-1/2-Inch Divided Dish