Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Recovering control freak

A couple of days ago on Twitter, my friend amandab33 asked how potty training was going. I responded,

Up and down! It's a process, and as long as I don't take it too seriously I feel good about it. :)

In many ways, I'm a pretty laid-back mama. But sometimes, my inner control freak is triggered. Potty training is one of those triggers.

Chickie has been mostly potty trained since before she turned three, but she has had difficulties with getting fully potty trained (though she's getting close these days!) I do wonder if I caused some of her issues, by pressuring her too much. Who knows?

What I do know is that regardless of whether or not my attitude changes her actions, it definitely changes my perception of her actions. When I'm being pushy and control freaky, I get majorly stressed out. When I let go, and remember that it'll happen when it happens, I can enjoy life without being so distracted by the unfinished potty training process.

Sunday I realized I was turning into a potty training control freak again, with Zoodle. I don't want to make that mistake with him! So the last few days, I've been focusing on taking it less seriously.

He's not ready to use the potty away from home yet. He is scared to poop in the potty and prefers to wait until he has a diaper on at naptime or bedtime. When I don't frequently remind him to go potty, he is more likely to have an accident.

And yet he pees in the potty more often than he has accidents. He really dislikes peeing in his underwear when it does happen. He's gotten good at going to the potty and immediately peeing instead of just sitting there, waiting. He is excited about the rewards he'll get for pooping in the potty. He likes his new underwear.

In other words, he's a 25 1/2-month-old kid who's doing great with potty training, for his age! He'll figure it out and be perfectly trained eventually, whether it's a month from now or three years from now.

If I can relax and continue to let go of a timeline, I might even enjoy the victories along the way! (Hmm.... I'm pretty sure that applies to other aspects of parenting too....)


The Clines said...

Beth- I'm also a recovering control freak! It feels good to let go, so why is it so hard?

I saw that a "C Beth" was listed as a winner of the Lisa Leonard giveaway. That has to be you, right? If so, congrats!!!

beckiwithani said...

It's one of those truisms of parenting that you always hear: there are three main aspects of their lives that young kids can control. They are eating, sleeping, and the bathroom. Pretty much all young kids will try to exercise control in at least one of these areas (although I personally think most do at least two...) So you get picky eaters, resistant potty-trainers, and "I won't sleep"ers.

It helps me to remember this when I am preparing yet another PB&J for Molly! She likes to control things just as much as I do! As they get older and there are gradually more and more areas of their lives where they have some freedom, these Big Three areas of control tend to be put by the wayside.

Call Me Cate said...

Not just parenting - I've found that while I struggle to let go of control in a lot of situations, I'm finally coming to terms with that and finding myself a lot less stressed about situations where I can't manage every detail. Unfortunately, that means for things I (think I) *can* control, I'm fighting to not become completely neurotic.

It sounds like you and Zoodle are both doing great. Being aware of how your actions might be interpreted by him is probably a really big factor in how he proceeds.

Unknown said...

I agree with Cate 100%. It's not just parenting aspects. It's everything...and the more we try to control...the less control we usually wind up with.

Anonymous said...

Yay for Zoodle. I've learned that I'm a control freak in many situations, and sometimes I just need to let go. Thanks for mentioning me, glad to see things are still going well :)