Potty Training

My suggestion is first thing is get your patience and nerves ready! Decide how you're going to go about it- and stick to it. I went back and forth with different suggested techniques with my first child and it was a disaster until I just stuck to my guns on HOW we were going to go about doing it and I made sure babysitters and everyone else was on the same page as me- this is HOW we are doing it at home and this is HOW we need to be doing it everywhere else. Because doing it one way one place and another way somewhere else was too confusing and I think in the end is what caused him a lot of frustration.

That and once you start- don't stop! All the pediatritions say "if they're not ready, stop for a while..." No, I would say don't. I don't know why they say that because when I would see that he started to get frustrated and freak out (of course they do when it's new and scary and they haven't done it before). I would stop after a couple months of trying- that is what Dr's say right?? Well after a while it got to the point where HE was manipulating ME. He knew that if he only cried hard enough, got upset enough, or freaked out enough- that I would go back to diapers and all would be "safe" again for him, right?

Potty training was no fun the 2nd time around either, but once I started I did NOT stop and (perhaps becuase I had learned a lot the first time) it was over a lot sooner... I am not going to say it was easier becuase I don't think it was!

Now here is how I would start:
Start by preparing the child for what you're about to do. Books and videos are a GREAT tool. I utilized any I could get my hands on- I love variety. I talked about our bodies and what they do- and what big people do when we have to go. I let them flush the potty if they wanted or throw something in to watch it go away. My daughter was scared so I told her she didn't have to until she was ready.

Basically I did "baby steps" when it came to the potty training. I talked about it, read bout it, and let them know soon "this is what we're going to do" and eased them into it. I tried to let her feel like she was in control as much as possible.

For example, I let her decide if she wanted a little seat for the house, a seat "just for her" which she loved, and where she was going to put it. And for going places, what kind of seat to go over big potties.

After we got the seat, we decided on "rewards" for making it into the potty and how all this good stuff would happen. You can do charts, stickers, anything the child will like. Gavin wanted a monster truck REALLY bad so once we got down to it and he knew he had to go in it he had to go 30 days no accidents, we made a special calendar, and he got his monster truck! In the mean time he got stickers for going.

I always helped them with the wiping at first, but once they were going on a regular basis I started to teach them the proper way to do it. The flushable wipes were a real life saver here. They are kind of pricey, but I think it helps with the transition, for when they started to wipe on their own and were throwing them in the potty.

I would reward the good behavior and ignore the bad behavior. Don't punish accidents- at least not until they get the hang of it. Later on when I knew they knew, I would have them rinse out their own wet pants and "help" me with the laundry (that really decreased the accidents because it was no fun).

ps, I used to hold thier hands when they first started actually going in the potty. It had to be a lot different and scarier than "just going" in their diaper! It helped.

Dealing With The EX

I have come to learn something about the ex. No matter what you say, do, think, feel, or act out there is aboslutely nothing you can really do about them. They are going to always have had that part of your significant other's life. So don't try to change that because it's a moot point.

I realize everyone's situation is different. Some people were once friends with their SO's ex and some people's ex's are complete strangers. Either way it is probably best not to bother with contact if at all possible. Unless for some freakish reason you get along. In which case- kudos to you!

Realize that at one point or another this person you are with probably at one point loved or thought they were in love with this other person, but right now they are not with them. They are with YOU.

Sometimes you just have to let it go and leave it at that. Easier said than done- but do it anyway. Kind of like jumping into a pool. Just hold your breath and jump. Let the other person go -your significant other has.