FAQ Friday: Why the “Oh Crap” Method?

When it comes to potty training, there are a lot of methods out there. When my son was a small toddler, if I gave any thought at all to potty training it was that I would do it “later.” You know, when he seemed “ready.”

One morning I was visiting with a Mommy friend who had multiple children close in age. I was telling her a cute story involving my son and the potty. “Oh, she said, is he interested?” He was eighteen months old. “Well,” I said, “I don’t know…”

She leaned over to me and said, with some urgency, “Do it now, before he decides it’s not fun.” She looked over at her almost 4-year-old. “I waited with him and it is a battle. I wish I’d done it when he was curious. Me not being ready isn’t the same as him not being ready,” she said.

And that is the key, the thing that caught me — Me not being ready is the not the same as him not being ready.

So I searched and searched and searched and began to, well, freak out a little. As much as I’d like to say otherwise, the truth is I am an uptight parent. I want to do things right. But what is right when there are so many methods out there?

And then I found the book Oh Crap! Potty Training. There are almost 1,000 reviews of this book on Amazon.com and it has 4.5 stars. It is a trusted method, recommended by preschool teachers and parent to parent. It really is the best.

And here’s why I love it and why so many others do to–there is no “trick” to it. There is no insistence on a certain time frame or pressure to do things exactly right. Sure, there are a few “must do’s” and “never do’s,” but for the most part, you follow a plan and focus on your own child. It is child-centered and child-based. Individualized. The trick, as Jamie says, is you, the parent, and the knowledge you have about your child.

That speaks to my special education heart. I so enjoyed “Block 1,” watching and focusing on my son and learning about him as I let him lead. The rest followed on our own pace.

I also know that sometimes parents can get so focused that we get stuck, or so worried about getting things perfect that we get frozen, or just so generally confused that we feel lost. Everything we do as parents, especially parents of young children, feels very high stakes. So, sometimes, we need someone to talk to about it. To cheer us on.

I believe in this method and I believe in you. I come to this work hoping to help and cheer on what you are doing right, with some tips and advice from Jamie’s very solid methods behind us. That’s why I choose to do this, and that’s why I chose the Oh Crap! Method. I hope you also find a step into parenting these little individuals that works best for you.

Potty Training FAQ, Uncategorized

FAQ Friday: Why?

When I first told my family and friends that I felt a pull to be a potty training consultant, many of their responses could be summed up in to-be-nameless-friend who looked at me with some confusion and said, “Wow, I didn’t even know that was a thing.”

Others felt like reminding me of the same message as this comic from Foul Language:

Why would anyone want to think about (step in, Clorox wipe, etc) pee and poop all the time?

Here’s why: independence. Way back, when I was a baby special ed teacher writing my “why” for that stage of my life, I wrote about the importance of self-advocacy and how my goal, as a teacher working with young students, was to help students move toward independence one small self-initiated task at a time.

We all want our children to be strong and self-reliant. To make good choices and be independent adults. Does it seem like a stretch to say those first steps start with potty training?

I believe in small children. They are deep, they are resilient, they are present, and they understand. I love talking to them, setting up activities and experiences for them, and listening intently to their communications. Learning to use the potty is the first step toward that great big dance of independence and I love to share in that success.

My first child began his potty training journey at 19 months and no one was more surprised than I was to be starting at that age. But I could see that he could do it, that he wanted to do it. So I read Jamie Glowacki’s book Oh Crap Potty Training and was inspired by her method and her understanding of small children. (I was also inspired by the thought of cutting out my cloth diaper laundry every third day.) Jamie says this: “We both know how smart your child is. Doesn’t he deserve the dignity of not crapping in a diaper and still worse, sitting in it? … I hear parents talk about giving their child self-esteem. Self-esteem comes from mastering a task, from gaining dignity and self-respect. Potty training is a way you can give this to your child.” (Oh Crap Potty Training, page 7)

She’s right. If our kids can, we must respect and honor them. There isn’t an “if.” They can. And you can.

Why potty training consultant? To get to celebrate the beginning of this wonderful journey towards independence, with you. Welcome to my blog!