My two-year old daughter demanded to wear underwear. She’s exactly 25 months old. Not old enough for me and my wife to be ready, but WebMD says that it can happen anywhere between 18 months and three years, depending on when the child is ready.
You can control your kids. And if you remember back to your dad or the grown-ups in your life and when they did try to control you, how did you react? But I sure tried.
I had spent much of my extra time this particular weekday morning trying to convince, force, cajole and plead with my daughter that today isn’t the day for this. My role today was to chaperone kindergartners, and I couldn’t be late.
“Let’s talk about this with your mom and your school teachers and we can put a plan together to start sending you to school in underwear Monday,” I said. Yeah, right. There’s no concept of time at this developmental stage. Monday is an eternity away for a toddler, and she wants what she wants right now.
The time had come, and I couldn’t fight it any longer. We headed out the door in a last minute dash, and I apologized to the daycare moms that I hadn’t prepared for this, nor had I brought any backup underwear.
She used the potty at least a half dozen times during the day. And had one accident. Number two. I guess she was ready.
There’s a big element of trust in letting your kids grow up. I can’t imagine parenting a teenager yet, but letting go then is probably even more difficult. Trusting that they can develop their own boundaries is important for them to remember and learn.
Not to mention how empowering it is for her self esteem if she gets to make the call on potty training. How many decisions does your toddler really get to make?
My advice is to roll with it and praise consistently. Shouts of joy, round of applause and cheers can be heard in our house when my daughter successfully uses the potty. Stickers are a great incentive, separate from candy, but I’m not opposed to M&M’s or cereal as rewards when potty successes occur. Use whatever works.