Saturday, May 14, 2016

Potty Training Readiness for the Next Generation

Oh, to boldly go where we have so often gone before.

It's automatic. It's natural... to an extent.

It's a topic of debate around the world. Case in point, innovative companies such as Squatty Potty remind us we've been doing it wrong for all these years, and they can help.


There's a great deal of potty training going on in the house these days. The girls of course are masters by this time, as they've had 7 and 9 years to perfect their craft- but we have the new animals. Our year old puppy, River, has been house broken, but now we're working on teaching what zones in the backyard he can safely use. I'm getting tired of navigating his landmines when mowing the lawn.

Lucile Ball Whiskers, our gray rescue from the Manchester Animal Shelter, does well in her litter box, but her diet needs adjusting. She's pooping as if the gold medal goes for quantity rather than quality.

Then there's Gus, our Russian tortoise. He eats, then he poops. Then he eats some more. Then poops some more.

chicken coopAnd the chickens - I've given up trying to house train them. So, we purchased a SummerHawk Ranch chicken coop from Tractor Supply and the young pullets are now learning to navigate the outside world, free to poop their magical fertilizer where ever they wish. The grass is greener, the air is fresher, and the kids are having a blast taking care of their first, real farm animals. It builds character, don't you know.

All of this potty training going around our extended family was possible, in my opinion, because we paid attention to when the right time was for each kid and animal. As Mommy Edition reminds us, we need to look for the signs when a young soul is ready to learn. The adverse side, of course, is not listening and forcing such a critical lesson upon a youngling when we simply gauge that We are ready to teach them. No bueno on that one - all we'd be doing is setting up years of struggle and resentment, and who wants that.

puppy schoolThat really goes for any lesson- kids these days are more aware of their learning patterns and abilities thanks to the institution of 504 plans and IEPs. These are put in place for kids so their 'opportunity' areas are considered to keep pace with their peers. I've seen a quite few of these plans in my day, and you'd be surprised how many have notations for bathroom use. When training pooper troopers, the key is having time to dedicate to their education and provide a quick perception to their advancements. Knowing when a kid, or animal for that matter, is ready for change is critical. Adult ego has nothing to do with it. Desire and ability most certainly do.