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Our Blog: August 22, 2012

The BEST OF Our Back To School Live Chat!

How to prepare your child to go back to schoolTalking with you –in real time –is the highlight of my work here. In our latest chat, we brainstormed about getting fun summer schedules under control, and the importance of establishing a strong relationship with your child’s teacher even BEFORE school starts. We also shared how saying goodbye on that first day of school is often harder on US than it is on the kids!

Parents who couldn’t join us posted potty training questions, bedtime, and “crazy” toddler behavior questions on our Facebook and blog pages. Here are my responses:

Manavi Agrawal says, “I need some potty training help for my 3-year-old son. He knows what to do, but still does it in his undies and tells me after. This is causing a problem in him moving to the next class.”

Manavi – Does it help to know that his experience is quite common? Boys, especially, often need extra time and patience in potty training. He’s telling you he’s not quite ready to take that next step. Following his lead is best. You can support his learning by having him wear a Pull-Up until he’s had his poop for the day, then try undies after. Set his own little timer that reminds him to go every hour. You can also try to catch him right before he needs to go, and offer his potty. Stay positive, and protect him from pressure and negativity. Also, make sure his doctor says he’s healthy, and his diet supports regularity. Constipation sabotages potty training for a surprising number of kiddos.

Kelly Apodaca asked a question about her 21-month-old daughter. “Every night after we brush her teeth and watch a kids’ video or read, as soon as she realizes we are taking her to her room, she starts crying terribly. We say goodnight and she fusses off and on for a few minutes, then usually sleeps through the night. Why the tears? Also, she acts fine at school, but with us, she throws fits, screams, and acts crazy. LOL, is that normal?”

Kelly – Sounds like your daughter is saving her worst behavior for you, which is typical. She knows and trusts you best, and can “let it all hang out” with you. As for her crying at night, she’s now at the age where she understands that her bedtime routine means sleep – which is actually a separation from you, too. This is a time of major leaps in her learning about the world; sometimes a few tears help her decompress after her day. The fact that she sleeps well afterward says she’s probably doing just fine.

I hope that helps, and I look forward to our next chance to chat together!

About the Author

Dr. Heather Wittenberg

Dr. Wittenberg is a psychologist specializing in the development of babies, toddlers, preschoolers — and parents. She offers no-hype, practical parenting advice on her blog BabyShrink — rooted in science, and road tested in her own home as the mother of four young children. She has helped thousands of parents over the years and knows that the most common problems with young children — sleep, feeding, potty training and behavior — can be the most difficult ones to solve.