“Daddy! Daddy!! Theodore, he poo-poo!” Ryan came running with his brother following closely behind him.
“Did you poo-poo?” I asked Theodore.
“No!” he wagged his head vigorously. And yet the obvious smell emanating from his backside spoke otherwise.
Theodore’s potty-training is becoming more tasking than we anticipated. So much so that in retrospect, Ryan’s potty-training went rather smoothly not so much because we were insistent but because he was willing to drop pampers use and behave like an ‘adult’. A Big Boy! (P.s. His transition from potty to toilet was effortless, immediate and all with little of our assistance.)
However, Theodore’s case was different. It went so bad that he started telling lies. Yes, and he was barely a year old. When he poops in his pampers he lied about it so as not to receive some tongue lashing from his mom. Because she used to scold him anytime he poops in his pampers, instead of the potty.
The fact is: As a parent, when you realize that you child tells a lie, it’s definitely heart-breaking. I am no exception.
Immediately, I had a talk with my wife. We decided to let him be. He will stop pampers use when he is ready. We won’t do anything to push our kids to hide things from us and worse still, lie to us.
Fortunately for us as soon as we ceased from potty-training him, the lying stopped. We nipped it in the bud before it became a habit. We were so relieved beyond words.
Theodore lied because we would scold him for telling the truth. The truth that he pooped in his pampers. We were a bit fierce with the rules and our application. We wanted him to stop using pampers early just like his brother Ryan did. We did the same with Ryan and it worked.
We were part of the cause of the problem. And we accepted our faults and quickly made amends. No two kids are the same! Treat them equally but relate to them as unique individuals.
We were lucky to have nipped it in the bud before it had escalated. But not all parents are as lucky.
The worst thing that can happen to a parent is to lose the trust of your child; and for him/her not to confide in you causing the child to shy away from telling the parent what is happening around him/her. This is the most heart-breaking thing that can happen to a parent.
As a parent your responsibility is to create a safe environment for your children to share their lives with you – both good things as well as bad things! Don’t do or say anything that will cause them to fear and lose confidence in you. And when they make mistakes don’t be over-critical. Build trust and love them unconditionally no matter what!
Build and earn your child’s trust and confidence. No father (or mother) can parent effectively without their child’s trust.
Truth is, if they cannot trust you enough to confide in you, they will seek counsel elsewhere. And this most times does not end up well.
Have a blissful parenthood!