I’ve been meaning to drop you a line for it seems like forever now to pick your brain about a few things. I so miss having access to that brain of yours on a weekly basis!
First, any ideas on getting a boy to sit on the potty to go pee, in prep for actually pooping in it? Obviously, we’re still in the very casual mode of potty training and Thomas does like to stand and pee in it most days, at least once, but he has zero interest in sitting. Any suggestions for gentle encouragement of sitting?
Next, still having a hard time getting him to play by himself much, he just doesn’t seem interested or he doesn’t have enough attention span to stay at one thing for very long. Any ideas most welcome!
I hope all is well. We miss you and RIE class still!
I miss seeing you and Thomas [2½], too!
As I’ve said in class, I suggest going really easy on the potty stuff. He knows what to do, and the best thing you can do is be patient…even tell him (in the most nonchalant way), “I know when you are ready to try pooping on the potty, you’ll sit and push and do it,” and really believe that. Believe in him. It will pay off.
In regard to playing, I would let go of that situation also. Relax and allow him to have the teensiest attention span ever and maybe even some discomfort and “boredom”.
What happens when he’s done playing? That matters a lot. If he has the option of you entertaining him or playing with him he is going to choose that. So do less. Don’t entertain him or try to coax him to play something. Let him be “in-between”. Acknowledge, “You don’t know what to do now and that’s okay. That happens to all of us sometimes. I know you’ll think of something eventually.” Or, “You can sit here with me, if you like. Sometimes it’s nice to just sit together.”
I seriously believe that if you let go of any worrying, sense of urgency, or even wishing about him going potty, playing more, or anything else that is in his control (and needs to be), he’ll feel the emotional “space” to start to shift his behavior. And we can’t just pretend. We have to let go for real. Toddlers can be sensitive, perceptive and tricky that way. They have the healthy (and developmentally appropriate) inclination to resist pressure and crave autonomy. So, when we truly back off and mean it, it usually frees them up to do all the things they are capable of doing.
Please let me know how it goes…
All the best,
(Photo by Manish Bansal on Flickr)