Monday, August 11, 2008

Start `em young

Good things to start at a young age:

Global awareness - there are people of other nationalities in the world. Tonight, while watching the Olympics, Sam pointed to a member of China's gymnastics team and asked if he sold Chinese food.

Potty training - Some kids really won't just automatically ditch the diaper.

Reading of Scripture - from the real Bible! The other night, we were reading from Mama and Daddy's Bible, a well-known story for the boys of David and Goliath, and Sam said very skeptically, "Did that really happen?" I guess the description of Goliath according to Scripture is more impressive than in their children's Bible story book.

Cleaning up - kid's can help with the never-ending chores, and the good thing is that they like it a whole lot more than you do!

Saying "please" and "thank you" and "sorry" - even Noah, who is 19 months, is starting to use these words unprompted. Drill it into them.

Adults are to be respected - we have taught this in little ways, like having them call most adults "Mr." or "Mrs." and by not allowing for certain obnoxious behavior and ways of talking to adults

Talking respectfully to their siblings - this is something I've been lax about for awhile and have recently tried to crack down on. Sometimes the "work it out" approach is great, but some things just should not be allowed to be said to a sibling. Or said in that tone.

Enjoying God - and enjoying worshipping Him. Not just a required prayer before meals and bedtime, but a teaching of worship that is very personal. Like teaching them to close their eyes and think about how wonderful God is while singing a well-known worship song. Or dancing in worship. The other night, we did "Jesus, you are____" for our prayer time, rather than the typical "Please help..."

Any other good things we should teach early?


Lance said...

Just some honest questions...
Since the rumors of family history supposedly record one or more children "ditching the diapers" automatically, how young is "young" on the automatic diaper-ditching phenomenon, in your opinion?
When (if ever) should a parent be the one to forcibly take away the diapers cold-turkey (at risk of damaging the floors, etc) if the kid doesn't naturally acquire a dissatisfaction with the diaper process?

And I agree with you on the concept of starting them young...

Sarah said...

I do think that the parent should definitely initiate potty training - children are often ready before they're READY, if you know what I mean. We've started as young as 19 months - a bit too young in my opinion (keep in mind, I have boys) - but we did do it. And as old as 3 - which was a bit too long. I guess it's up to the parent and what they're willing to put up with in terms of their floors.
However, to put it bluntly, if your child is still wearing a diaper when he/she is 4, and is otherwise a normal healthy kid and just refuses to sit on the potty, God-given parental authority should definitely step in.

Lance said...

Thanks. I guess more specifically I was wondering if you know any sure-fire indicators of readiness. I believe that toddlers, like adolescents, have idiosyncratic schedules for growth and development.
Conversely, are there sure indicators of unreadiness in a child?
Can some of these indicators be clouded by potential parental "hurriedness" for the sake of convenience or, worse still, meeting performance demands?

If my otherwise normal healthy kid refused to sit on the potty at 4, I would let him/her have an accident in a safe place with the prior understanding that they would be responsible for cleaning it up.

Maybe I'm way out in right field on this :) ?

Sarah said...

Check them RIGHT after they wake up from their nap or RIGHT after they wake up in the morning. You also may want to check and make sure they're dry after they finally fall asleep:) Generally, when a child's bladder capabilities mature, he or she will not be wet right after waking, but you've got to be sure to catch them right away. This would be the first test. If they're dry, it's a good indication that they are ready.
However, I do have to say that for a select few, dryness during bedtime is a later achievement that the body will mature into. Such is the case with Caleb. But that doesn't mean they're not ready for daytime training. Caleb was trained by 23 months, but he still wears a pull-up at night.
Don't expect the nighttime delay though, just know it's a possibility. If you're headed toward that great day of potty training (hardest thing I've ever done!), then my advice is to go cold turkey on the diapers/pull-ups, even at nap and bedtime. And just catch them right when they wake up (we set up our monitor again for this reason) and MAKE them sit on the potty as a part of their routine.
Okay, that may have been more than you wanted, but here it is.
Also, one more thing. Potty training, like every other area of a 2 or 3-year-old's life, is an area where they will test you and actually defy for the sake of defiance and resistance to your will. Punishments are appropriate here and will not turn your child off to the potty until he or she reaches adulthood.