Friday, January 14, 2011

On potty training and parenting advice....

A happy unscheduled event is that M-girl has decided to give the potty a try.  She may change her mind. She's 22 months, which is less than 1/2 the age A-man was when he did this.  I haven't pushed, just watched to made sure she doesn't pee on the wood floors or the carpet.  She's ready and interested, and she likes to be without her diapers, for sure! 

I couldn't give advice on how to potty train for my life, nor can I take credit for potty training.  I always want to stick my tongue out at those who purport to be experts because they had the kid who trained himself at 15 months.  No one cares.  It just makes insecure moms feel like bad parents.  What I can say is that, like all parenting advice, it's not one-size-fits-all.  Anyone who tries to offer this kind of advice is trying to make others feel inadequate or trying to sell something.  They will do it when they're ready.  It's not worth destroying your relationship with your kid (or your carpet, or your sanity) to have them wearing undies. 

After we started a family, we moved to place where parenting advice was rumored to keep the electricity on, much like kids' screams did in Monster's Inc.  There, competitive parenting was an Olympic sport.  I grew a thick skin early on and decided that some of these parents were lunatics. (No, don't worry. Not you.  Someone who would never read this blog!).  Okay, that sounds judgmental, but that was also an Olympic sport there.  There was this divergence of big picture vs. micromanagement parenting, attachment vs. Babywise (I'll confess that I can't stand when they get all smug, so give me a point for judgment!  I've also seen them when they can't do anything for fear of throwing off the schedule), etc.

I eventually worked in leadership there and would get parenting questions.  My thought was always "Have you MET my kids?!?".  I had some extremely difficult years with A-man's behavior and I-M's encopresis issues (look it up if you want to, but it's gross. I'm just saying.).  People who asked me parenting questions HAD met my kids, and maybe they wondered how I could be a happy mom. I don't know, either.  Anything I got right was thanks to prayer from those who saw me struggling and to an extra measure of patience that God gave me when I most needed it.  My sole unsolicited advice on parenting is this: It's not about your ego, parent.  It's about growing good people and still having a relationship when them when they're grown.  In my case, I hope that I raise faithful hearts for God and that I can worship Him alongside them when they're grown.  Won't happen unless my relationship with God and my relationships with them remain intact.

Long post.  Enough about bad parenting advice.  Now I'm soliciting your GOOD parenting advice.  What's the best parenting advice you have ever been given?


  1. Okay, so I had to think on this one. I have two. Both came from my MIL, and I'm not sure I want her to know (he he). But the first is about potty training, and basically she told me to let them potty train on their time, not mine. I didn't listen with my first and it BACKFIRED! I held that philosophy with my boys and had much better success with less stress.

    The second is from when I was dealing with my feeling of inadequacy as a mother, and I worried if I was raising my daughter right. She told me that as long as my daughter knows how much I love her, I am doing just fine.

    She gave me good parenting advice. Maybe I should swallow my pride and tell her so... :D

  2. I love your wisdom, Sharon! You're one of the best mommas I know! I have a hard time letting mine be right, too!