In a recent potty training class, I was asked a question that I’ve never been asked before. It was so unexpected, so filled with love that I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Even more endearing: it was asked by a Dad. Bonus! It showed what a thoughtful and compassionate father he is in thinking ahead to the potty training journey his son was embarking on.
He asked “What about other kids who might make fun of him? What if he has accidents and other kids laugh at him?”
Wow. Forget all the logistics of potty training. All the questions that parents must sift through. Which potty chair to use? Go with a toilet insert or not? What age to start? How long do I have to stay cooped up at home? Is this going to suck? What color M&Ms do I need to buy (hint: the answer is none, trick question).
And this Dad asked about his son being laughed at. Just, wow.
What I love about this parent is how he is really thinking of this through the eyes of his son. He’s putting himself in his son’s tiny Velcro shoes and empathizing with the boy’s experience.
Turns out, this father is already totally equipped for potty training, and perhaps knows more than he realized. Potty training is about truly being on your child’s side. It’s about being there for your child while they feel unsafe and unsure about what you’re expecting of them. It’s about recognizing your child’s hesitation and fears, and being their ROCK through it all.
For the record, I answered him that – although potty training is a developmental milestone that comes during a rather (ahem) challenging time for many parents – encountering the Terrible Twos and the Three-nagers for the first time ever. But an actual fortunate side of this age is that kids are still totally doing parallel play. Not co-playing yet, mercifully.
I love getting in front of parents for this very reason. Each and every parent brings buckets of love and fresh perspective to the room, it’s truly an honor to be with them. If you want to bring your love and questions to one of my classes, contact me to get something scheduled. xo, Sarah