Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Great Expectations

Remember reading Charles Dickens' classic, Great Expectations? Well, that's today's theme. Don't worry, there's no pop quiz at the end.

Infant potty training is about expectations. When we as parents expect that our kids will potty train by the time they're three, you know when they potty train? When they're three. When we expect that they can't understand the word "no" until age two, they won't understand the word "no" until age two.

Likewise, if we set our expectations higher, our kids achieve things more quickly. When you expect your kids will potty train early, they do. If you expect them to behave well, they do. Part of this is because when we expect something, we take the actions necessary to make it happen. When you expect your kids to potty train, you start teaching them where and when to go potty.

Whenever I think about how Americans potty train at such a late age, I always think about house training a dog. While some Americans can't conceive of potty training a human baby, they have no problem with the idea of house training a puppy.

Think about it. A puppy is a different species of animal. They can't talk and usually they need someone to take them to the potty. And yet, Americans will happily take on the challenge of potty training them. On the other hand, infant potty training seems so out there to them, that they don't even try.

In other cultures around the world, the expectation is that babies know how to use a potty from day one, and the babies potty train from day one. The key is to change your expectations, and the rest will follow.

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