Everyone always told me that boys do the whole potty training thing later than girls. Having just turned two in June, I didn't push the issue. Although, he did get a cool, singing potty chair from Grandma and PaPaw for his birthday, but it remained in the corner of the bathroom untouched. He did, however, like to pour water in it just to hear it sing! He still has never peed in it. I fully expected we'd be talking "big potty" in about a year.
He wasn't really showing many signs that he was interested in the big potty, although, he was going longer and longer without being wet and often waking up dry.
I've never been huge on reading any particular parenting or "how to" books. Sometimes I think that when you read too much and/or take other people's advice, it just leads to overlooking your child's own cues or following your own instincts as a mother. So, I hadn't been reading up on potty training.
One day this summer, Grandpa showed up with "Elmo's Potty Time." Elmo is a personal favorite around here. He watched it over and over. They talk about pee pee and poo poo and about putting it in the potty. Grover and Elmo sing a fun song about how "accidents happen." I think things were starting to click. But, I still didn't press the issue.
One Friday morning he woke up dry and told me he wanted to go pee pee on the big potty. Then he wanted to put undies on. So, I was interested to see where this was going. That morning, as we headed out for errands, I wondered...undies or a diaper. I took a chance and we left the house with undies on. At Old Navy we bought an Elmo potty sticker chart. When we got home, I put in on the refridgerator and made a big deal about getting stickers if he kept on going. That day he went in the big potty five times and had no accidents. Hmmm....ok, cool!
Two days later we left on a seven hour car ride to visit family. Undies or diapers? Undies it was. I had kind of decided not to revert back since he was doing so great and I didn't want him to be confused. Looking back, I am so glad we never looked back to diapers. On the trip, it was an interesting introduction to public restrooms and one stop on the side of the toll road for an emergency poop! At gas stations, I wrapped the toilet seats in toilet paper, I just tried not to think about the germs. I wasn't really mentally or physically prepared for what a trip to a public potty was going to be like. But, I really hadn't prepared at all for this whole potty thing to begin with. Although, since then, my friends tell me that they make portable potty seat covers and little potty chairs are great to take in the car for just such occasions! Whew! We made it to our destination with no accidents. He continued to go potty and poop in the big toilet. He told me every single time he had to go! However, just a heads up moms, if you are playing hide and seek with your potty training child, don't hide too hard. That was his first accident about five days into it!
I continued with diapers at night for about a week before I realized he was always waking up dry. So, undies at night it was! I can happily report no accidents at night with undies after six whole weeks. He's had a couple of daytime accidents here and there - usually when he's been with someone else. What kid doesn't though, right? So, I've learned to always leave the house with a change of clothes and washcloths to clean up messes. And, definitely make sure you take them potty often because when it hits, it hits!
His latest thing is to "do it like Daddy." Kids, they just want to be so big sometimes. So, he stands on his little step stool and goes. Thankfully he has pretty good aim! I've managed to keep the messes to a minimum.
To all the moms out there that are amongst the potty training years, I have no magic advice really. I think I caught a huge break. I can honestly say that was easy! But, the Elmo movie was a great introduction. The potty chart was fun too! He has always liked to feel proud of doing something right and loved the stickers.
Take one day at a time. It's easy to get frustrated when accidents happen, but they get the hang of it quickly! Kids like to feel encouraged and know they are doing it right. Just keep on high fiving and giving them big hugs for it.
My first exposure to pornography was in 1996. In my innocence, I picked up a magazine wrapped in plastic that was hidden behind a shelf at my local small town bookstore. I quickly put it back when I realized what it was. Back then, pornography was "only" an $8 billion industry according to the US News &World Report. Today, with the expansion of the internet, the pornography industry is banking nearly $100 billion....yes B.I.L.L.I.O.N, per year worldwide says the Internet Filter Review. About 8% of Americans (40 million) are viewing pornography on a regular basis. And, with 12% of internet websites being pornographic, many of them free, it is understandably easy to be sucked into this devastating form of "entertainment". Playboy magazines are becoming old fashioned and a thing of the past as porn is now so easily accessed on computers, smart phones, and television these days. Nearly 30,000 internet users are viewing porn and an average of $3000 is spent every second on pornography.
Chances are, you know someone who is openly viewing pornography or suspect someone you are living with has a porn addiction in secret. Seventy percent of men aged 18-24 visit pornography sites in a typical month. However, this is not a one sided addiction. About 17% of women also struggle with some form of porn addiction according to the Internet Filter Review.
Sex sells and the entertainment industry knows this very well. They cram it in our faces every chance they get. The sooner they can rope us in, the better it is for them. It is all about the money and zero about integrity and preserving intact, righteous, stable home environments. Companies like GM, Time Warner, and Marriot make millions selling erotica. We can't even stay overnight at a hotel or go to a movie that our money isn't somehow contributing to in this ever growing industry. Rated R movies can show full nudity and even some G movies contain sexual innuendo these days.
I recently had our television cut off. You can read about that here. My then 19 month old had his first exposure to softcore porn, seeing a lingerie commercial during daytime viewing to which he pointed to the t.v. exclaiming "bra!" Our children are not completely safe watching t.v., movies, or using the internet. Alarmingly, the average age that a child is exposed to pornography online is age 11. "Sex" and "porn" are among the top five search terms for children under 18 years old. We might want to think again before giving our children televisions and internet access in their bedrooms.
Pornography is not a harmless form or entertainment. It can turn to a very devastating addiction and affect the mind for years. Husbands and wives are dealing with this every day. And, because often times there is so much shame and guilt involved, it is not widely spoken about in our circle of friends. Pornography invites other people into the marriage, essentially creating disengagement in the unity you have with your spouse. Your husband (or wife) is not just thinking about and having images of you, but his (or her) thoughts of sex and intimacy involve multiple people. Pornography is committing adultery and people are often suffering in silence as they pick of the pieces of what it has done to their marriage and family.
What are some of the signs that pornography may have invaded your home?
Sudden disinterest in activities once enjoyed
Failing grades or difficulty keeping a job
Mood swings or sudden onsets of anger
Lack of sex drive
Conflict and arguments
Late nights or secretive about using the computer
How do we protect our family?
Become informed. Pray for your spouse and children every day. Don't be ignorant about what is happening in today's culture. Pornography is everywhere. Softcore porn is becoming prevalent on daytime t.v., PG movies, department store catalogs, and billboards. Sex is being used sell anything from food to clothes and alcohol these days. Create an open dialogue with your children about the benefits and dangers of the internet and smartphones. Don't be afraid to ask your children and your husband (or wife) what they are doing online and who they are chatting with. There are many sites out there to help us safely surf the web and mobile phones and block access to inappropriate and pornographic sites. Consider installing a product like Safe Eyes on your devices that helps you limit what is seen in your home. Products like these also provide daily reports so that you can know exactly what is viewed on every computer and phone in your home.
This isn't a hopeless epidemic in my mind. But, we have to begin by becoming aware of the problem and by not allowing it to further in our own homes or in our families.
Here are some helpful resources:
Shattered Vows: Hope and Healing for Women Who Have Been Sexually Betrayed by Debra Laaser
Wired for Intamcy: How Pornography Hijacks the Male Brain by William M. Struthers
I received a question from a reader about the stats I posted on here about circumcision. Her question was about my following comment: "According to a study done in 2010, only 32% of boys were circumcised. Your son will now be the minority if you...read more →
My parents always instilled in us kids the importance of taking responsibility for ourselves. My first job was working for my dad when I was 12. He owned an office supply store and my family went down once a week after hours to clean. I worked in the office during the summers until I was 14 and could drive, then I got a weekend job at a clothing store that was owned by a family friend in the next town over. I still can't believe my parent let me start driving 11 miles to work on a two lane highway at 14 years old! Granted, it was a rural Kansas, but still kind of freaky thinking back on it. I worked all through high school and college. I didn't really have much of a choice if I wanted to go to college out of state. I was envious of my fellow college friends who didn't have school work and a job to contend with every day. It seemed like such an easy life for them.
My husband, on the other hand, grew up a little differently. He was one of "them". He never had a job in high school. He played sports. It wasn't until he was nearly 20 that he had his first job. But, then he went on to college on a full basketball scholarship when he was 23. Between playing ball and school work he had to time or energy for a job.
We got married a semester before he graduated college. It never once crossed my mind that he would have trouble finding a job when he graduated. I had watched him play basketball for the past five years. He was so driven and dedicated to the sport. When his team got a long-shot bid to the NAIA National Basketball tournament in 2006, I asked him if he thought they had a chance of winning or even making it to the 2nd round. His solemn and absolute response was "we are going to win the entire thing." I loved that guy. To me, he was hard-working, motivated, and focused. And, wouldn't you know it, they did win the entire National tournament that year.
I had no reason to believe that he wouldn't be that intense in his career. But, things didn't quite go that way. His kinesiology degree proved to be less than sufficient when applying for jobs to support a family. I began to realize that playing the game of basketball and building a career are two different animals. He had the drive to pursue his passions, but not his responsibilities. Had he been done a huge disservice growing up by not being required to take responsibility and have a job? I have pondered this question a lot over the past six years.
Not long ago, we went through a life coaching program called Living in Your Zone. My husband found exactly what he wants to do with his life and can't wait to start. I am eager to share all of it with you, but taht is for another post.
As we are having our own children, I desire for them to grow up with a sense of responsibility in life and take pride in their work. I know you can't save your children from every heartache, but my hope and prayer is to guide them by the mistakes we have made and teach them from what we have learned.
So we're starting with chores!
At 21 months old, I love that my son has a great passion for basketball like his daddy. I will always encourage my children to follow their dreams and passions in life. But, I will also expect responsibility and discipline as well. My son is learning responsibility by helping unload the dishwasher, loading the dryer and pushing start, and taking out the recycling. Balance seems to be the key. It's a small start to what I hope to be a big learning experience for his future.
I just found out a couple of months ago that I can't do it all. Yes, I am admitting it....I am human. I can do a lot of things. In fact, I am doing a pretty darn good job and being a part-time working mother and wife if you ask me. But, my mom...read more →
Many of you have been asking about LB's surgery. I appreciate your thoughts and concerns. I am one anxious mommy over here. So here is an update. Our original plan to travel to New York has been replaced by plan B. I found out that the dentist I...read more →