Educating your child

When to start teaching your baby and how (0-1.5 years)

As much as we like it to be, motherhood never gets easier. A new mother cribs for the sleepless nights and waits for the day her 2 hourly breastfeeding sessions will get over. Soon she starts worrying about the baby who has started turning and rolling and is starting to crawl, and once the baby starts to really move then you can forget all rest and peace for a good time. And if that’s not enough most mothers are constantly worrying about teaching their developing child things like animals names and sounds, body parts, alphabet etc.

A first time mother most times is clueless as to how to begin teaching such simple things to her little one – what words to use and how to teach and more importantly how to know that the child is understanding it! We may be great career women but our confidence does shake a little when dealing with the most important person in our life. With a little patience and practice everyone learns the ropes and becomes a guiding light to a friend, relative or neighbor who goes down the road of motherhood after us.

What I am going to share here is no rocket science and no magic formula that will make your baby learn everything you want him to, overnight. Each baby is different and each mother’s way of handing her baby is unique so some babies respond immediately and some take a while. While it is important to keep teaching, its equally important to do it repeatedly without getting irritated or annoyed when  your baby takes times.

Most babies respond very well to music and actions so the first way of teaching can be through action rhymes. You don’t need to sing very well or know dance, just follow the words and do simple actions. Babies are fascinated by sounds, especially their mother’s and love everything that moves. You can pick simple rhymes from the internet, youtube can help you pick your favorite rhythm and some videos will even teach you actions. My favorite action rhymes when my daughter was younger were:

  1. Twinkle twinkle little star
  2. Snow flakes, snowflakes
  3. Incy wincy spider
  4. Hickory dickory dock
  5. Five little monkeys
  6. Head shoulder knees and toes

I introduced rhymes to my daughter when she was only a  few days old. I used to play rhymes on my phone as I gave her a massage every morning and sang along. This kept me in a rhythm as well as made massage time more fun. As she got older I used more of actions as I sang the rhymes, and those helped me through many a meal times when my daughter started solids. A few months down the line she was doing the actions as I sang. It took lot of singing and acting and but she picked up when she was ready.

The second and most important rule is talk, talk, talk. Talk as much as you can about whatever you are doing. Babies as little as few months can’t speak but they sure can listen and are learning to process. By talking you are giving them exposure to new words and sounds and if you do the talking with gestures and actions you are teaching them more. But please avoid baby talk. Most parents make this mistake out of love but it makes it difficult for the child to pick up the right sound of a word. Whenever you talk and whatever you say to the child should be spoken as if you are talking to another adult. This way when the child starts to talk he will speak clearly and you will save yourself much time and effort trying to correct his speech.

Kids around 9-10 months can’t yet speak but they certainly follow the gestures. You can begin teaching body parts at this stage. The best time to teach is while giving massage or while giving him a bath. All the while say things like… now mumma will wash your hands… now lets put water on your hands… look how lovely hands you have… just make up whatever you can and teach one or maximum 2 parts one day to begin with. As with every other thing, keep patience. They maybe surprised in the beginning as to what you are trying to do but slowly they will get the hang of it and start responding. Its best not to rush kids as they sense our eagerness and are discouraged by the pressure we put on them by being impatient.

As your child gets older, talk to them about things around you, show them picture books and read out stories. Play with him making animal sounds and tell the names of animals as you do that so they can relate. Whenever you start a new activity, try not to overload the child with information and begin with a small number always. Give your child lots of love and encouragement and long enough time to respond.

xoxo

-A

Educating your child, Parenting

Spring Time: Learning with Plants

One of the most exciting things about owning a garden is you can do gardening. As the Spring was approaching closer, I decided to sprout some vegetable and flower seeds. I am not blessed with a green hand, but still decided to read online and give it a shot. Excitedly bought some seed packets from the market. Thankfully, they list the instructions on the packet on when to plant and where. Using the guide, I started a few seeds inside like tulsi, brinjal, pepper (hot and green), lavender etc. While the weather started getting warmer, some other were also planted outside directly like bhindi (okra), peas and cucumber. All this was done in front of my lo  As the seeds had to be watered, I involved my little one in too and would tell him these are beej (seeds). Soon enough, the seeds sprouted and he could see them too. He would say, paudhe (plants) and excitedly water them. The plants are a little big now and seem to be doing well and far better than my expectations. We also put some flowering bulbs to teach the little one about lillies and irises. It seems we are already reaping the benefits of the exercise with my little one recognizing the colors and flowers.

We go out everyday to check if the plants and seedlings need water. I help my lo water the plants in the desired amount. We also repeat the names of the plants and flowers together, along with the colors of the flowers. Every time we walk in and we see some flowers blooming, we happily exclaim and take a few minutes to watch the beauty of nature. We also go out together to de-weed. While my lo watches over me, I do the work and we keep the communication about the plants going.

I wish the Spring can last forever…

If you do not have a garden to enjoy, still plant a few seeds in pots. The easiest to grow I have found are, marigold, rose, tomatoes, and bhindi (okra). The kid(s) will also enjoy plucking them and eating them if they see their hardwork bearing fruits 😉 Here is a picture from our experiment:

PicMonkey Collage

Cheers!

 

Mundane musings

Life On The Other Side Of 30

When I was younger I didn’t know what the fuss on turning 30 all about. On my 25th birthday, during the birthday celebration at office my boss had asked me how do I feel, and I remember replying ‘I feel old’. She, being 40 year old herself that time, had laughed and told me I was being silly. 6 years and a universe apart from my old self, I now realize I WAS being silly. 25, unmarried and financially independent… what the hell was I talking about on feeling ‘old’ – I had an exciting world of opportunities before me, not to forget the irresponsible behavior and carelessness I had the luxury to afford 😛

Earlier whenever I was upset my hunger would go for a toss or I wouldn’t eat as some sort of protest or to display my anger. This side of 30, my hunger clock works independent of my moods.

While I used to be much more sensitive and sentimental earlier and cried easily on little things (I remember crying buckets while watching Titanic and all the way back home from the cinema hall), I am more in control of my emotions now. Few things move me to tears and most times I’m able to hide those as well. Even things that hurt me deeply are easily hidden.

Tea with chips used to be my favorite snack for any time of the day, and now the only thing I can think of on seeing a pack of chips is the high salt and calorie content. Now my sensibility gets the better off me 😦 Same thing goes for late nights. I used to be a night animal and hardly ever slept early. I still can’t sleep very early but can’t stay up really late as before.

Friends used to be many, and close friends were numerous. There still are some but I only share my deepest darkest fears and emotions with only one or two of them. Same holds true for the Facebook friends. While earlier I used to add anyone I knew remotely, and accepted almost all requests of people I had known, I am much more selective now. Every once in a while I ‘clean’ my Facebook account and take off people from my friend’s list who I do not wish to know things about my life, and whose life I have no interest in. But there still are some people who you can’t delete from your friend list. Earlier I thought I have no choice but to see their updates, but now I hide their activity from my wall and feel much more relaxed.

Things change, and so do we. I am a better person that what I was in some ways, and I know for sure that in more ways than I would like I was a better person when I was younger. With age come many good things, and some bad ones. Marriage and motherhood bring some changes of their own, and they happen so gradually that one fine day we realize and are stumped by the difference they have made in us.

However, the best change age and experience has brought in me is acceptance. It seems like a simple word but makes a world of difference to all big small things. I still am not a saint but I do have more tolerance to other people’s misbehavior, comments, wrongdoings, shortcomings as well as my own. I am not as good a person I had hoped I will grow up to be but I don’t guilt trip myself over it. I have made some pretty big mistakes but I don’t dwell on those. I am not the best daughter, best wife or best mother but I don’t lose sleep over it. I accept myself with my own shortcomings and strive to be a better person on most days 🙂

And as long as we look forward to each day and phase of our life and strive to be a better person, how does it matter we are 30 or 50? 🙂

xoxo

-A

Parenting, Uncategorized

Parenting Workshop (kids 0-5 years): Day 2

Session 2 of Parenting Workshop started with a small interactive exercise. We were given a situation and asked to write down our feelings on a sheet of paper. It would help if you write down yours too. Here it is…. 

You had a lousy day at work. Your boss gave you some work to be done by the end of the day, you started working on it but there was an emergency that came up in some project and it took your whole day to sort out the mess. You didnt have time to breathe, you had late lunch at your desk and completely forgot about the work your boss gave you. When you are getting ready to leave much later than usual your boss came up and asked for it and you tell him that some other thing came up which took your entire day but he was not in a mood to listen and yelled at you in front of your colleagues saying rude things like he’s not paying to listen to your excuses, and walks away. You need to pick up your child from day care so you can’t stay longer and finish the work. Back home you narrate the incident to different people, who react in different ways. You need to write down how you feel for each reaction. Don’t mention what they are trying to say, or how they are trying to deal with your mood or the situation, write only about your feelings.

1. You tell your husband about what happened and he says “Its just your job, why take it to heart. Just let it go”

2. Your parents say “Life is like that, sometimes shit happens and you need to accept it”

3. Your siblings say “How dare he yell at you in front of everyone without even listening to your side of the story? You need to confront him tomorrow and give him a piece of your mind. If he still doesn’t listen just put in your papers. That will serve him right.”

4. Your colleague says “But how could you forget about that work? What was the other thing that came up? Couldn’t it wait? Couldn’t you stay late in office and complete it ? What are you going to do now?”

5. Your elderly Uncle and Aunt say “Maybe he had a bad day and took out his frustration on you. Its not easy being a boss, he’s answerable to so many people….”

6. Your friend says “Oh… how horrible! must have been so embarrassing to be yelled at in front of everyone. You must be so angry.

Now, lets see what we felt in each case…

1. Not understood because the job is important to you

2. Not empathized

3. Slightly comforted but you know what they are suggesting is not right

4. Irritated

5. They are defending the other party… how unfair

6. Empathized, understood, comforted

In short, cases 1-5 deny our feelings of anger and frustration at the situation and that’s why they don’t help us feel better after sharing. 6 puts us at ease by saying that she understands and accepts our feelings.

The same goes for our children. We need to accept each and every feeling of our child, listen to it and acknowledge it. Its ok for the child to feel angry, jealous, hate, frustration…. though its not always acceptable to act on these feelings. Constant denial of feelings result in the child losing trust in himself.

For example, a child is jealous of his younger sibling. When we say how can you be jealous of your baby brother, he’s so cute and he smiles at you, we are denying him his feeling. We need to say something like “I understand you are jealous of your little brother because he takes up all of Mama’s time, but he is too small to do anything himself so Mama needs to help him more” 

Even when we say things like “How can you not be hungry, you ate 5 hours ago? You are hungry but you are not realizing”, or “How can you not feel cold, its freezing here.” or when we see the child fall while playing and we are sure it didn’t hurt much, yet the child comes to us crying and we tell him that it was nothing and that there is no reason to cry we are not trusting him with his feeling of not being hungry and cold and hurt. 

When our child comes to us to share any feeling, we need to avoid:

  • Denial of feelings (case 1)
  • Philosophical response (case 2)
  • Advice (case 3)
  • Questions (case 4)
  • Defend the other party (case 5)

As a parent, we do need to give them philosophical advice and help them see other person’s perspective but don’t do it when the child has brought the issue to you. Do it at a later, neutral time when the child has calmed down.

When children are fighting among themselves, its best not to interfere and let them resolve it on their own until they start hurting each other. When they want to play with the same toy, don’t give the other kid privilege to play with the toy… either they share it, play with it together or take turns or nobody gets the toy. Most times parents are hard on their child and expect their child to let go, this may seem like a small gesture but it impacts the child.

When you are angry at something the child did, like spilling water on the floor or creating a mess in the house, state your feelings of being angry at the situation, but not accuse the child for it by saying things like “I am angry because there is water on the floor, or because the house is in such a mess.” Again, avoid making it personal. 

Natural consequences to something your child does are ok but not punishments. Eg. You go shopping one day with your child and he creates a scene in the super market demanding candy or a toy and you could not finish your shopping. Next time you go, don’t take him along saying that last time when you took him you couldn’t shop. This is a natural consequence. But when you deny him icecream for creating a scene in the mall, it is a punishment.

Teach the child to understand and name his feelings. Identifying makes dealing with feelings easier. Use lot of words identifying his feelings in your day to day communication with the child, and try and equate it to his feelings at the moment.

– When your child is upset, listen with full intent. Give 100% attention to connect

– Acknowledge the feeling with a word eg. Ah.. I see, Ok…

– Give the feeling a name

– Resist the temptation to give advice and make it better for the child

Don’t create a praise junkie. Let them focus on the task, don’t let them do it only to get the praise. Let them have the pleasure of doing something well. Praise reduces the sense of achievement.

Alternatives to praise:

– Appreciation –> Acknowledge by actions

– Say what you see, avoid generic adjectives like “good job”, “very nice”

– Ask them about their experience eg. how they felt when they ran fast

– Use your feelings to state good things that the child did eg. Mamma was happy when you finished your food

– Make sure you don’t say it to manipulate the child

Too much generic praise puts pressure on the child. A lady at the workshop shared her experience with her 6-7 year old daughter. She said her daughter was so good at everything she did that they kept praising her all the time. Now she’s got the feeling that she IS good at everything and can’t do anything wrong. So, now if she’s making a drawing and is not able to get the sun round enough she gets very upset. She feels pressurized to do things perfectly.

Also, when you praise using words like ‘finally’, ‘at last’ it also has a negative edge to it and so should be avoided. Eg. Finally you gave the right spelling for all the words.

These are just little things and most times we know them already but it takes only a bit of effort to remember and follow. 

xoxo,

-A

Uncategorized

Mother’s day wish of every Mom! ;)

I saw this pic on a Facebook group I am a member of, and I knew I just had to share it. Isn’t it a dream come true for any mother to have at least a few of these wishes fulfilled? If only I could have these gifts, would be the bestest Mother’s Day ever! 😀

Image

Well, these gifts or not, the best gift we can give to self is to take better care of ourselves. Eat healthy as we hand out fresh fruit and juices to our kids and keep a check on fat and sugar intake of hubbies, get some exercise ourselves too as we nag our husbands to spend more time on the treadmill and encourage our children to spend more time outdoors, go for regular health check ups for our own just what we push our parents and in laws for, and above all stay positive and happy as we advise our friends and fellow moms time and again.

Happy Mother’s Day to every mom out there. Remember, you are the BEST mom and a beautiful person inside out.

Love,

xoxo

-A

Parenting

Parenting Workshop (0-5 years): Day 1

I had attended a parenting workshop for parents of kids under 5 years. There were quite a few things that I found useful and want to share with all of you. Please note that all the points discussed and written below only pertain to kids from 0-5 years as psychologists believe that kids under 5 years do not lie or know how to manipulate (yes, many parents disagree, but its the truth!).

Needs of a child:

  1.  Order: Children like having the knowledge of what’s next. Over a period of time a child learns to understand that he gets breakfast as soon as he wakes up, followed by bath, then gets ready for school and eats lunch as soon as he gets back. The routine gives him comfort as he knows what to expect. If sometimes there is a change in this order, like for example, you stop by the supermarket after you pick your child from school or instead of you someone else goes to pick up your child from the school or bus stop, the child gets upset. If your child throws a tantrum when the order is disturbed this gives you an idea of how important order is in his life by the discomfort it causes him.
  2.  Exploration:  We all know that every child has the intrinsic need to explore, and we should let them explore their surrounding in a safe way.
  3.  Independence: Like we don’t want to be dependent on anyone for our big small needs, our kids also don’t like us doing everything for them. The day they figure out how to do something they prefer doing it themselves. We need to understand why they suddenly wish to eat, bathe and do other things themselves and let them try as much as we can. In order to make them feel useful assign small tasks to them like tidying up their room, putting all toys in the proper place, setting the table.
  4.  Freedom: Freedom to choose what they want to eat, what they want to play, what they want to wear etc. As long as it doesn’t cause inconvenience, let them make small decisions for themselves.
  5.  Work & repetition: Children, even those that are few months old, are very focused when they are doing an activity of their choice… like watching ants crawl on the wall, scratching something off the floor, drawing or playing with utensils in the kitchen. It may seem meaningless to us but for the child these activities hold a lot of meaning. From each and everything that they do they are learning something about their surroundings. When we see a child playing with only one toy, or reading only one book over and over again or drawing with only one crayon again and again we feel he needs to try something new, something different but the child is repeating that activity because he is still learning from it. Maybe he is experimenting with that object like drawing while holding the crayon in his left hand, then from right, from one side, then from the other, drawing holding it vertically then horizontally, drawing after breaking it in two. With each small experiment he learns something new. 
  6.  Love & security: As we all know and follow, our child needs us the most for providing love and security. Give lots of physical touch, do things with the child that he enjoys, comfort him when he’s scared or hurt and spend quality time. Now, quality time means spending time with the child WHEN he wants to and doing WHAT he wants to, any other kind of time spent is not considered quality time.

Some other important things that was shared during the workshop:

  • Avoid rewards and punishments. When a child is young you can bribe with rewards and get things done by threatening with punishment but as the child grows older it gets hard to meet their demands with rewards of their choice and the punishment loses its edge. Too many rewards spoil the child and he doesn’t appreciate anything he has and too much punishment makes a child rebellious. When you tell your child that you will let him watch a movie after he’s completed his homework, it works and the child happily finishes the work but he doesn’t get the sense of accomplishment of finishing his homework. Rewards many times fail to inculcate self discipline in the child. Instead of trying to solve the issue at that moment, try to find solutions that you can follow all your life. Hitting the child, yelling, giving silent treatment, denying TV or favorite toy or dessert, bribing etc. will only work for a while.
  • Be careful while communicating with your child. When you say ‘Mamma doesn’t like what you did’ the child hears ‘Mamma doesn’t love you’. When you say ‘Look at that girl, she’s finished her food. Why can’t you eat yours?’, the child hears ‘Mamma loves that girl more’. Its better to not compare you child with anyone for anything.
  • Praise can spoil the child as much as abuse. Whenever you are communicating with the child about good or bad of anything, try and not get personal. Don’t say things like “You are very smart”, “You have made a great drawing”, “What a mess you have made, now tidy it up.”, instead say things like “That’s a smart thing you did.”, “This drawing looks great”, “This place looks a mess, lets tidy it up.” in easy words – avoid using ‘you’ as that puts the focus on the child and takes away the focus from the situation. Don’t false praise your child. If you don’t like the drawing try and find something, anything pretty about it and praise that, like how you like the perfectly round sun, or a particular color combination used. 
  • Every child gets aggressive at some point or the other. Instead of getting angry try and understand why the child is doing it. Maybe there’s lot of energy that he needs to channelize in play. Let him spend some time in the park or jump on a mattress on the floor. If he’s biting, give him an option to bite into a fruit or a cookie. Whenever the child is doing an activity you don’t want him to do, give him an option of doing something else.
  • There’s nothing right or wrong about parenting. We define right and wrong because of our beliefs. Whenever any behavior of your child upsets you, try and find the answer as to why does it bother you. If your child is playing in the water puddles after the rain, why not let him play? Many times when you ask this yourself you realise there is no real reason why you were stopping him. We also need to choose our battles wisely. If you keep saying NO to everything, it loses its value. Choose the things you just can’t let your child do and stick to saying NO to only those. 
  • Whenever you are saying No to the child, the message needs to be firm and short. Children many times don’t listen to our words but they never miss the tone. If you say NO very politely and lovingly most times the child doesn’t even notice you are telling him not to do something. If you start lecturing as to why he shouldn’t do something, the child again doesn’t listen as he doesn’t have the patience to hear out a long speech.
  • When a child doesn’t share his toys, give your child freedom of which toys he doesn’t want to share. When you have a play date or are expecting guests home, prepare your child for it and tell him that he will need to share his toys but he can choose which ones to share and which ones to keep safe. This way the child feels he has some control over what is happening and cooperates. 

Observe the behaviour ——> Pause ——-> Identify need ——–> Try and meet the need 

                                                                      l

                                                                      l

                                                                     V

                                                          If you can’t meet the need find alternative ———–> If you can’t find alternative, connect with                                                                                                                                              the child

 

Disclaimer: Each child is different. Its not necessary that everything written above holds true for every child. As a parent, you know your child best, so if you feel differently there are high chances that are you are right! 🙂

xoxo

-A

Parenting

Checklist for a crying baby

We have a nuclear family and when my mother went back after tending to me and my new born for 6 weeks, my real learning as a mother began. VMJ was a very cooperative baby and cried only when something really bothered her, but since I was not much in sync with her bodily rhythms and moods by then, I would often wonder helplessly why she was crying. I used to call my husband at work, who somehow understood his daughter better than I did that time. Unbelievably she would stop crying within moments when I did what my hubby advised me to do. Those days we used to call my hubby ‘Pammy’ as in Papa + Mummy 🙂

With the increasing  number of nuclear set ups I am sure many other new moms struggle with the same situation on a daily basis. Here’s a checklist for everyone sailing in this boat to understand  why your little one might be crying.

  1. Hungry
  2. Sleepy: Sounds funny but babies don’t realise they are sleepy but get cranky. You need to put them to sleep. They may protest by crying harder but once you have established a routine you will know when its time to sleep and not be put off by protests
  3. Nose blocked: Babies also have nasal discharge like we do, however, in their case it gets stuck in the nose and doesn’t let them breathe easily. The doctors suggest saline drops. They are safe and can be given from day 1, many times a day. If the discharge has thickened and stuck in the nose, put the saline drops to soften it and then I used to make a thin roll of soft tissues, insert it in the nostril and pull out the sticky discharge out. Don’t use ear buds as they may push it further inside
  4. The baby may be too warm or too cold
  5. Gas may be troubling the baby… burping between and after feeds is a must. Newborns can be burped in sitting position.   image_1                                                                                                                            We found this to be more effective. Hold the baby in a sitting position and support the upper body from the front using your left hand and gently rub her back with your right hand. A herbal syrup Bonnisan by Himalaya also helps with mild gastric troubles
  6. Check if something on the clothes or mattress is poking the baby
  7. Check if there’s too much or too less light in the room
  8. Sometimes the babies get scared and they cry. You need to hold them close, rock them softly and shush them. Swaddling helps. Sing some song to the babies… choose one song that you like and stick to it. Sing that every time you soothe the baby and while putting her to bed. After a while the baby starts associating the song with comfort and your life becomes easier.

xoxo
-A

Bedtime, Newborn

How to sleep train your newborn

Almost everyone warned me of the sleepless nights when they got to know I am pregnant. And honestly I was scared a bit. In my last trimester hubby and I attended a 1 day parenting workshop organised by my Gynae and her team. One session was dedicated to new born care by a lady Paediatrician. Why I emphasize on the lady bit is because being a mother herself she gave very practical advice unlike what most male Paeds give, like it is okay to keep your LO in diapers as long as you do leave her in nappy for a few hours every day… maybe right after she has pooped so the skin gets air dried and chances of getting rashes are less. Anyway, coming back to sleep training. The Paed shared a trick to help get new moms a better night’s sleep. See, your baby will get up every 2-3 hours for feed and that cannot be prevented but you can train your LO to sleep at decent time and go back to sleep right after a night feed so you can sleep peacefully until the next hunger pang. I am only sharing what she shared with us at the workshop. It is a tried and tested method and ensured peaceful nights for me and hubby.

Newborns do not have the concept of day and night. It’s something you need to teach them. During the day keep the house well lighted and maintain normal noise levels. Talk in normal tone and don’t stop yourself from watching TV because the sound might wake up your sleeping baby. Close to bed time, dim the lights and reduce the noise level. Don’t play with the baby, don’t make much eye contact and don’t talk in loud voice. Soon the baby will begin to understand that when its light and noise around, it’s time to wake up and play and when it’s dark and quiet it’s time to rest and sleep. With VMJ, we used different lights for day and night time. Close to her bed time we used yellow light of night lamp in the bedroom. Tubelight was switched on only when we needed to look for something. We also didn’t let her spend much time in the bedroom during the day, except for bathing and napping. The idea was for her to associate bedroom with sleeping only. It worked very well for us and she would sleep within half an hour of going in the bedroom, no matter what time we took her there. You can make a bedtime routine of light massage, lullaby, feeding or reading a bedtime story as the baby gets older. 

With VMJ, we used to sing only one lullaby every night so that she could associate that with her bed time too. You can pick a particular spot, a particular blanket or a sleeping buddy for your LO to make bed times easier.

Wishing all new moms a good night’s sleep.

xoxo,

-A

Potty training

Potty Training – The easy going way (2)

Every mother has her own style of parenting and mine is quite relaxed. I don’t worry too much or have very strict rules about most things at home. Sometimes it works and some times it doesn’t but we are all learning and fixing each issue as and when we face it. My ideology is that we should let a child be a child (well, most of the times at least) and should not burden them too much about reaching milestones and developing certain skills. Having said that, I do have little tolerance for misbehavior and my LO is not allowed to hit or throw things especially food, EVER!

Anyway, coming back to potty training. With toilet training, we followed the same approach. We just practiced our intuition to time our LO’s nature calls instead of threatening or putting much pressure on her. She did get a scolding when once she peed on the sofa… thankfully I had placed a mat where she was sitting, but that’s about it. In the last 10-12 days since we started the training, there have been very few accidents, and barring one or two all have happened while she was watching TV. We have completely stopped making her wear diapers during the day time, she is wearing her big girl panties even to her school and to the park in the evening. She still doesn’t tell half of the times but if we see her uneasy and ask if she needs to pee, she does hold her pajamas and runs to the loo… hehe… funny sight it is! 😉  I consider it a major feat as 10 days ago she used to cry when I put on her big girl panties and not a diaper.

Most kids pee soon after they get up from their nap or in the morning, and during the first couple of days of our training VMJ peed on the bed itself as soon as her sleep was broken and cried because she did not expect to get all wet. On the third day she got up and came to me in the kitchen… dry! I took her to the loo and she relieved herself. Since that day, though she still sleeps in diapers at night, when she wakes up in the morning she tells us she has to pee and pees in the bathroom.

I have also realized that kids are more in love with the idea of getting a treat than the treat itself. At least with VMJ, we have given her a promised candy only 2-3 times, the rest times she’s just happy sitting at the pot and chanting “chocolate milega (I’ll get a chocolate)” and forgets to ask for it when she’s done. So, parents, if you are delaying toilet training your child because you don’t want to bribe them with sweets or toys etc and nothing else seems to work, please give it a shot. It is not as bad as it looks. My daughter doesn’t even want to flush as an incentive, she gets happy enough when we clap and applaud her. Another thing that I feel one should refrain from is using props to keep them seated in the bathroom. See, when you use books, toys and gadgets like iPad and phones while they wait for nature’s call, you are giving a message that the bathroom is a place for all those activities too. In the long run, children feel it is ok to ONLY play or read in the bathroom and this adds to another task for you. So, its better not to cultivate a habit you don’t want your child to keep.

Having said that, all kids are different and each behaves in his own unique way. As a parent you need to have the knowledge of the various tricks you can use and then try those one by one with utmost patience and love. Sometimes threatening is required but make sure you scold then within a few moments of an accident. Their memory is quite short for such matters and if you scold after a gap they may not be able to relate your words with their action. 

Try not to start training when your child is undergoing any major change in his surroundings – guests coming over or leaving, new school, new session with new teacher, shifting houses, sickness, a new sibling. Little things have a big impact on a child and it won’t help stressing a child who is already upset with a change in his immediate environment.

Lastly, be prepared for accidents long after your child has been fully toilet trained. 

Would love to know what are the tricks that worked for you.

xoxo

-A