Do not humiliate your children when potty training. It doesn’t help them, it shames them.#EveryFlush
— Unknown Mami (@UnknownMami) March 11, 2013
I’d like to thank Huggies for sponsoring this post and for including me in a very informative teleconference with Dr. Andres Cotton and Jeanette Kaplun focusing on the topic of potty training.
Dr. Cotton is a well-respected pediatrician with 17 years of experience. Jeanette Kaplun is an award-winning journalist and internationally recognized parenting expert with a heart of gold (I can personally attest to that heart of gold).
I learned a lot about potty training during the teleconference, but what I want to focus on is a point that both Jeanette and Dr. Cotton touched on, not shaming your children during the potty training process. The reason this particular subject struck a chord with me is that a couple of days before the teleconference, I inadvertently shamed my daughter and I soon regretted it.
We are in the process of potty training my youngest, Luna Pie. I say “we” because it is a family affair. Even our 4-year-old is involved in the process. We encourage her and celebrate her potty triumphs. Truth be told, Luna Pie is not that into it. Sometimes when she wants to make us super happy, she’ll ask to go on the potty, but most of the time she prefers her diaper. It’s fine, I’m not trying to rush her or make potty training stressful.
You should know I am not perfect and have been known to make mistakes. For example, I was giving Luna Pie a bath, she was having a great time, I looked away for a moment, and the next thing I know she is calling out to me. I look and she has taken quite possibly the biggest dump I have ever seen in the tub. I love my kids and do my best to take care of them, but I’m not gonna lie, their poop in the bathtub is a total bummer. I pulled her out and hastily went about cleaning the tub so that I could put her back in and wash her off again.
By the time I turned to grab her, as I reached for her, her entire little body just slumped forward, and she started bawling. It was the kind of crying that sounds like hurt feelings, shame, and an achy heart. Even though I hadn’t meant to shame her, the way I reacted, the way I went about cleaning the mess, and the way I left her wet, dripping, and probably cold by the side of the tub made her feel awful and ashamed. I felt terrible and consoled her. When she was feeling better, I explained that I was sorry for making her feel bad. Later she told her father about the experience and said, “Papa, I so sad.” Ouch! Lesson learned.
So remember and remind those involved in the process that when potty training, celebrating every flush is the way to go.