CRAP! Am I Teaching My Toddler To Succumb To Peer Pressure?

Anyone with a toddler knows, potty training is from hell. Straight out of the depths of fiery frustrating I-hate-my-life-right-now, Hell. A potty training parent will say and do just about anything to get their toddler to crap in the can.

On a daily basis I do the following:

1. Beg and bargain with a two year old.
2. Dance like a maniac when my kid uses the potty.
3. Keep a large stock of treats and toys to use both as bribes and rewards.
4. Tell my son his, "Big boy pants" will catch on fire if he craps in them. (I was desperate!)
5. Saying,"Mommy, daddy, Jackson, and Cooper use the potty... Everyone uses the potty, Buddy, and you should too!"

It wasn't until Soccer practice yesterday did it occur to me that I might be teaching my toddler to succumb to peer pressure with my, "Everyone is doing it," statements...

Yet again, Ollie ran around like a maniac doing the complete opposite of the group, on the complete opposite of the field. Thankfully, this time it was much less embarrassing. However, at one point I walked over to the edge of the field when Ollie came close and said, "Dude, please listen to your coaches and join the group. Look, everyone else is listening."

I'm constantly trying to get my kid to behave or do something by pointing out "Everyone else is doing it, so you should too!"

GASP! This may be a huge fail!

For the first five years of my kid's life I'll be teaching him, "Everyone else is doing it, so you should too!," and then spend the rest of his life saying, "DUDE! If everyone was jumping off a bridge, would you?" 

I may be over-thinking this.  But I really think there is something to this!  I don't want to teach my kid to follow the kids now, only to reprogram him later to be an individual and make wise choices on his own.

OK,  Maybe this is a bad example...

Bottom line: I'm going to avoid, "Everyone else is doing it," statements.  I'm just not sure how yet... they really seem to work!

What do you think?  Am I over-thinking this? Have you already thought about this?

April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit AprilMcCormick.com


LADY M4CK said...

We've talked about this, too, so I don't think you're over-thinking it. We want to teach them to be individual thinkers, to forget their own path, but there are times when they should conform to some norms... we want them to bathe, drive on the correct side, leave quickly if the fire alarm goes off... I think as long as we balance out they'll learn when it's ok to follow the herd, when it's ok to break off, and when it's ok to lead.

At least I sure hope so! :)


April McCormick said...

Thank you! And you're absolutely correct. Finding that balance is the key

Mrs. Loquacious said...

I love that he is independent. IMHO, you could simply reframe the coaxing and then it wouldn't feel so much like you want him to "conform."

"Hey, Ollie, I bet you can sit and listen better than those boys and girls over there. How about you go over and show them how it's done?"

"You know, Ollie, it is good manners to the teacher when you sit down and listen to what he is saying. It makes him feel happy that you are listening to him. Do you think that you could sit down and help him feel better?"

Something like that. I'm not really an expert though; DD isn't in sh!t at this point and I can't be bothered to enroll her in anything that requires me to fight other parents for a spot.

Anyhoo, you're doing a fabulous job April! Love you guys!

PS - Why the heck can't I leave comments when I'm on my iPhone? I seriously read everything you write, but then I can never comment bc I'm doing it on the phone. GRRRRR.