Sunday, February 24, 2008

I'm Not Sweating, Are You?

A wise man once said, "Don't sweat the small stuff." More sage advice has never been given. However, many don't really stop to think about what the "small stuff" is in their lives.

How many times in your days as a parent have you felt as if you are being pulled in so many directions at once that you might just start to rip apart? Have you ever stopped to think how many of these things we force ourselves to do in a day are really that important? Does everything have to be done perfectly, by the book, to get the desired results?

Yes, the dishes have to be done and the laundry needs to be put away, but will the world fall apart if it doesn't happen tonight? No, but your kids will soon outgrow that Memory game that they have been begging you to play all day.

Is it really going to ruin your day if your son sleeps in his new shoes? No, and the newness will wear off, likely before he's outgrown them. The sheets will wash with less effort than that wasted in the argument.

Not to say that we should let our kids rule our lives, sometimes we should allow the things that are more important to take priority. Choosing our battles and giving in can help us to keep a happier and more harmonious household. Considering our actions every day will make us more aware of what is really important to us.

Though there are things that are extremely necessary, not everything has to be done right now. Giving in to whims on occasion is not going to teach your kids to walk all over you. For the sake of your kids, yourself, and your sanity, stop every now and then and prioritize your time and rethink your actions. Someday, looking back on things, you will be very glad you did!

Friday, February 1, 2008

It's Potty Time! Part One

We are about to take the plunge, so to speak, and get down to business with potty training our toddler. His 2nd birthday is next Saturday, so I think it is high time the "big boy" gets down to business. We have casually introduced him to the potty, but really haven't worked on it to date. I've been searching around for advice and here are the techniques that I am planning to try:

  • Skipping Pull-ups at home - Knowing this child, he might be a lazy potty trainer. I can see him being too engrossed in what he's doing and treating the pull-up as a diaper. I think we'll jump right in with regular underwear. We will use pull-ups or diapers when we go out and at night, in the beginning stages.
  • Character Underwear - We're picking him up a few packs of underwear in some of his favorite characters. Thomas the Tank Engine, Diego, and Toy Story, if we can find them. I'm hoping this will get him interested enough to not want to wear diapers anymore.
  • Sticker Charts- This kid loves stickers and also loves to show off what he's done. I think he'll love the idea of having a chart to show daddy, when he gets home at night. I even found a potty training chart with his favorite thing: trains!
  • Sitting First - Even though it isn't what daddy does, we plan on training him to sit on the potty first, before we have to deal with aiming. I have the rest of my life to clean up the off-target sprays from the bathroom floor and wall.

I'm pretty sure he's ready, as he's showing interest, tells me when he needs changing, can take off his clothes, and follows simple instructions. If I'm wrong, no big deal, we can try again in a few months. Wish us luck when we start next week and I'll keep you posted on our progress and any further tips and tricks I come across.