WHO IS TRAINING WHO?
My mini-me son has entered the world of potty training. Yay. He turned four in August, and since the summer chaos is over, we’re getting back to a more stable “routine”. We figured it was time to try it again. We’ve made the attempt a couple of times before, and I’m not sure if either he wasn’t ready, or we weren’t ready, but it felt like we were beating our heads into a wall. Happy to say, that wall crumbled.
While as much as I would love to just send him out back, and let nature take its course, the responsible thing to do is teach him how to use a modern toilet. In just over a day, we went from him being scared of the porcelain throne, to now not being able to keep him off of it! As amazing as it sounds, I’m pretty sure it’s the “special candy” he gets when he goes potty. He doesn’t get a lot of candy, so this is a big deal. Whenever he sits on the toilet, he gets one M&M. Whenever he actually goes potty, he gets a bite size candy bar. Even though it is giving him incentive to go, at times I’m not sure of he’s going because he needs to, or just because he thinks he’ll get sugar.
I have to ask myself, who is training who? I’m not one for typically using food rewards, but in this case we had to do what seemed to work. At the same time, I found myself running to the kitchen for a treat every time he sat on the toilet, praising with candy by giving in every time he would head to the bathroom chanting “special candy”. After 24 hours it felt like he had trained me, more than I had trained him!
TRAINING LEADS TO TEMPTATION
A side effect of having treats for your kid means serious temptations in the house. We try to avoid keeping sweets in the house for exactly that reason. I struggle with willpower, and admit, I may or may have had a few of those M&M’s. It’s too easy to mindlessly snag one when you walk by the pantry. Grabbing something for dinner? Pop a couple more. By the end of the day, you’re seeing the bottom of the bag. You know it’s not because you rewarded your son.
While the initial incentive did the trick, we knew it was time to start weaning our little guy off the sweets. Now for every five stickers he gets a treat, and as soon as they are gone, no more “special candy”. I have a sweet tooth; if it’s available, I’ll most likely eat it. I “try” (being the operative word) to keep treats limited to requiring making the effort to go somewhere to eat it, but also being a mindful, and social experience.
Thankfully the temptation should be gone by the end of this weekend. Until then, I will be having my husband get stuff from the pantry, while I walk by with horse blinders on, eating a carrot. Yep, take in that visual! At least I can say that we have made some significant headway in potty training, and have a little time before it’s our daughter’s turn. We’ll have to revisit the incentives at that time. For now, time to start building up my resolve and willpower for the Halloween candy shortly be coming our way!