29 August 2010

legos legos legos- what to do about the "I wants"

Kids are dreamers, right?  So, it makes sense for them to think about the things they want- a lot.  Where is the line, though?

Three of my boys love legos.  It's pretty much all they think about right now.  They build the sets they have, they dissect the sets and build new inventions.  They build huge lego "bases" and have battles and adventures.  They involve their friends, it goes on and on and it's great.

BUT, they also want more legos.  No matter how many we have, and we have PLENTY, (we have thousands) they want more.  They browse the catalogs, surf amazon.com and have recently discovered ebay.  These practices are fine with me.  I know it is natural for them to want things.  They are kids, after-all. 

But, where do we draw the line?  How much do I listen to "I want this set," and "I want this mini figure," and "maybe I'll get this set," before I put a stop to it?

They earn allowance for being "good family citizens" and can earn extra money by doing extra chores, so they can spend their own money as they choose.  I think it is OK for them to think of what they want, spend their money, and see what it is like to have no money left to buy more or other things.  But after listening to the "I wants" for a few days in a row now, I am growing tired of it. 

Sure, I tell them to keep a list so they can ask for the sets they want at holiday and birthday time, but the talk continues.

We have 9  more days before school starts and I'd prefer to not have to listen to the retail talk for that long.  So, I came up with a solution I hope will work.

Today I will tell them they can tell one another about the things they want.  If they want me to know about specific items, they can write them down and show me the list at the end of the day.

I hope this strategy works.

22 August 2010


Harold has not had wet pants or made a puddle since Wednesday morning- the first morning.  Hurray!  He asks to go and stayed dry in the car for 2 4 hour road trips and is dry at nap time and at night. 

However, while we've had some success with pooping on the potty, he's also had two accidents in his undies.  I am a firm believer that having no undies or pants on at home while training is the key.  When he has something confining his bottom half, he poops in them.  If he's bottomless, there's a much better chance he'll make it to to the potty.

To everyone else in the midst of the training- good luck!

18 August 2010


The book says a child has successfully potty trained when he or she asks to use the potty on his or her own.  Just as I finished my last posting, Harold said, "Ok, I'm ready to go potty now."

We went to the bathroom and, miracle of miracles, he peed, more than a little.  There's no way I'd say he is potty trained, but I am optimistic and will start tomorrow with hope.

Now he is eating an ice cream cone.

Potty Training boot camp is in session

I know I say "I Read Every Baby Book- So You Don't Have To," but I haven't read them all.  It's an ongoing process.  Today I read one that was new to me.  It was about potty training your child in less than a day.  I took some tips away from it but basically it is common sense, just like most parenting books, the problem is, most of the time we don't do what we know we should do.

It's a common thread, I've noticed, among my mom friends.  Most of us know how we should parent, it's just too tiring to follow through sometimes.

That's how I've been approaching the potty training up to this point.  I want to get Harold potty trained, but I've been giving it only about half the effort necessary.  I know this.

So, with my three older boys at Grandma and Grandpa camp for three and a half days, I am putting on my drill sergeant's hat, I mean my determined mom hat, and getting serious about the potty.   I want the diapers out of my house.

So, the process goes like this...

Harold wakes up- 4:19 a.m.  I make him go back to bed and fight the good fight until 5:00, when I get him out of bed.  Then, I rub my eyes, take off his pjs and tell him it's time to go potty.

He fights a little, but does the deed.  He spend the rest of the day in "undies" and we make lots of tracks on the carpet and, luckily mostly wooden floors, back and forth to the bathroom.  Every 15 minutes or so.  Unfortunately, he only pees a little each time and usually pees more on the floor a few minutes after a trip to the potty. 

We had no fewer than 5 puddles of various sizes before nap time, but lots of small successes as well.

After nap and a VERY grouchy waking, Harold makes a good trip to the potty and seems quite proud of himself.  With every success, there is a LOT of praising.  I'm so proud, he should be proud, Grandma will be so proud, Aunt Annie will be so proud, his brothers will be so proud, etc...

I had to fold the two loads of laundry I'd done, so I put disposable training pants on him, over his undies.  Luckily, he did not pee in them.

I'm waiting for the number two to drop.  We'll see what happens.  Every time I ask him if he needs to go potty he says, "NO."  When I say, "It's time to go potty," sometimes he goes willingly and sometimes he does not.  It's hard to know whether to force it or not.  I'm not giving up, yet.  It's less than an hour to bedtime.  We'll start again in the morning.

07 August 2010

words of wisdom for the day

If you don't want your kids to do something, tell them, "no." and then don't change your mind.  Kids will pester you and beg you to change your mind and will outlast you if you let them. 

Try something different next time.

When you get tired of saying, "no" and hearing them whine at you, rather than giving in, say, "I am not going to change my mind.  Stop asking or you will (fill in the blank)." 

THEN- follow through.

If they stop, reward them with a bit of praise a little while later.

If they continue to pester you, in any way, follow through with the consequence. 

It WILL make a difference, and quickly.

06 August 2010

read this

Mothering is a great magazine with some great information.  Here's a link to their blog...