Potty Training Taught Me a Lot

When my oldest was potty training, I started early, since I wanted my daughter to be one of the "smart" babies who who mastered toileting earlier than all of the other babies. I spent over 6 months showing her the potty and explaining how to use it. We talked about it constantly and read books on it together. I had her sit down every day. Coaxing and waiting. Running the water to encourage a tinkle. After lots + lots of coaching and countless accidents, she finally figured it out around age 2. 

When my 2nd oldest was potty training, I was so busy taking care of 2 kids that I didn't have time for all that. Being a single parent, my hands were overly full, so I just pulled out the potty chair, showed it to him and explained how to use it. I got busy with life and completely forgot about it. A few weeks later, out of the blue, he ran to potty chair, carried it into the living room, sat down and did his thing. With no coaching and zero accidents, he figured it out around age 2. 

This was the beginning of my journey with unschooling. I realized in this moment that I could either stress all of us out by trying to "teach" something over and over again until they learn it -OR- I could introduce something and let them learn when they were ready. 

I chose the latter. And my entire world changed.

deborah lighthart
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