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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

When Its Time to Potty Train

Bubs 1 has been showing signs of aggression at his pre school recently. We receive emails periodically from his teacher informing us on his progress, but recent emails have been hard for bub's mom and me to read. What we're reading is that he is displaying aggressive behavior during the mornings, while at preschool. I'm sure that most three-year-olds have issues since that's a part of their social development.

Bubs 1's mom and I have only taught him to be polite. He says, "thank you," "please," and "I'm sorry" when a situation calls for it. He spends "time outs" when he is not behaving well. At the same time, we are aware that he simply doesn't like being told that something he considers to be fun is coming to an end. Again, not many three-year-olds do. Not many adults do, for that matter. Whenever I give him a five-minute notice that a transition is coming, he tells me, "No. Stop it daddy. Stop it." Or, he'll respond with, "No. I can't do (whatever is coming next). I can't do that." If he's really into what he's doing, it can simply be an all-out meltdown (especially when he's at his friend's house, next door!).

The way I see it is that he's a healthy three-year-old trying to use his words properly to communicate his likes and dislikes. Change is hard at many ages. The meltdowns are just part of the fun.

However, some of the aggressive behavior that Bubs 1 is displaying at school involves hitting classmates. This is not acceptable to his mom or me. We've been told, by friends, that this is also three-year-old behavior, but it doesn't sit well with us. His mom and I, and his preschool teacher, have been racking our brains trying to figure out what's going on with him to cause him to hit others. His mom may have just discovered a reason the other day.

While hiking, Bubs 1 and mom were on a trail in the woods nearby the home. Bubs had to "go poops," but didn't know where to hide and do his business. His environment was unfamiliar. So, he scampered off the path and squatted behind a tree. But before he did this, he charged mom and ran right into her legs. I believe he even was pushing her. She was shocked. She said she was wondering what had came over the Bubs. That's when he ran off behind the tree. She recognized that he had to go poops. He is still in a diaper, but the privacy thing is still important. Perhaps he is aggressive when either he doesn't know the words or doesn't how or when to use them? This is a typical social thing?  He knows the words, "potty," and "poops," but may be embarrassed to use them? Whenever I ask him if he needs to poop, he quickly replies, "no." That's it. Nothing else is said. He even changes the subject most times.

His teacher now knows and also thinks there may be a connection. We'll just have to wait and see how it all plays out. His teacher did say that he had a BM shortly after a few of his aggressive acts. Hopefully this is the reason for most of his aggression, directly and indirectly. All the books say to not push a toddler to poop in the potty. "They" say that it has to happen on their time.

It's a challenge to not "buy in" to the mainstream rhetoric about the "proper time" to potty train your child. The social pressure increases when the child is in preschool and "other people" are assumed to be making judgments on your parenting skills.

Maybe all he needs is some solid (no pun intended) reading material to make him comfortable with the whole potty/pooping thing? I'll re-subscribe to Sports Illustrated and get this potty thing taken care of once and for all.

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