Baby Stress

13 11 2007

Kids have stress. From peer pressure to parent pressure to just not getting the toys they want, they can experience stress. The tough part of being a parent is to help relieve the stress before it gets out of hand.

Lately, Annabelle has been teetering on the edge of toilet training. Indeed, this is a stressful time for her. We try to encourage her by setting her on the toilet without her diaper when she gives us cues that she needs to go. Her cutest way to communicate her need to go is to say to one of us “I poop toilet”. (Boy, it sure is nice that she is starting to vocalize her communcaitions.)  So, we take off her diaper, and wisk her to the bathroom. After a few minutes, and nothing happens, we do tend to get a little over excited, and try to “remind” Annabelle to poop in the toilet next time. We may be overdoing the motivation just a tad. It seems that Annabelle wants to be toilet trained, hence her telling us that she wants to go to the bathroom, but she is just not able to turn it on when she wants. Hence the kid stress. Our encouragement isn’t helping either; in fact it is only making the whole experience more stressful for her.

Last night, as her mom was covering Annabelle with her blanket, after Annabelle had been asleep for a few hours, she started to talk in her sleep. She was repeating the same thing over and over: “I poop toilet, I poop toilet”. She wasn’t screaming, and it wasn’t very loud, but just a cute little repetition of those words. Since one of the ways a child’s mind learns things is through sleep, and replaying the day’s events, this was probably one that was having a huge effect on her.

And so, we come to today’s lesson: don’t stress out your kids. We are learning the limits of our encouragement, even if we never explicitly said “you are going to be toilet trained, or else”, our positive words had the same effect. Perhaps bringing our after-poop-attempt-banter down a notch or two will help Annabelle learn to poop on the toilet with much less stress.

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