Co-parenting blues: two approaches, one outcome

Filed under: Just For Moms, Toddlers Preschoolers, Just For Dads, Development/Milestones: Babies, Sex

everett on the pottyAs I've chronicled extensively here, I've been struggling to potty train Everett for well over a year. We seem to be nearing the finish line (we're not working on nighttime yet, however), with nearly 100% success over the past few weeks with our biggest problem: poop. After much struggle and negotiation, trial and error, I've learned that it does no good to force him to sit on the potty. When he's ready to go, he'll go, and no amount of asking him to sit there and try - even if he'd just told me he had to go, but changed his mind at the last minute - would do any good. He'd sooner have an "as-ki-dent" than sit, unprepared, on the toilet.

Today, my husband was transitioning to Parent In Charge as I prepared to hang out at my coffee shop/"office" for a few hours. Everett was showing the obvious signs of needing to poop and I suggested that he go. "I don't need to poop!" he said brightly. Dad took over. "GO!" he told him with his typical forceful daddy-ness. "Go sit on the toilet and try!"

I'm really working to be a better co-parent, and waited until Everett had run, sobbing loudly and wailing for his mama, upstairs to the bathroom.

"I think a gentle approach would work better," I explained reasonably. "I've been much more successful with..." [10 minutes of tense arguments over my relative success, Jonathan's disagreement with my methods in general, and our inability to listen to one another cut for the interests of story flow] "... potty." And Everett came running down the stairs happily.

"I went potty!" he said brightly. "Can I have a treat?"

Oh, the co-parenting blues are upon me. I hate it when he's right.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.