For the past few months I’ve been trying to potty train my 3 year old. A friend of mine who has 6 children and a good knowledge of the 3 Principles told me that potty training is just like thinking in the sense that when we are ready to drop thought we just drop it. It’s not something we can make ourselves do – ie If you’re in a bad mood or have negative thinking about something the more you tell yourself to stop thinking about it the more you think about it! – Just so with potty training. If a child is ready to go to the toilet they are ready and no amount of cajoling bribing and anything else can make them.
I’ve discovered this is very true! The nursery my son went to was encouraging me to potty train him a few months ago when the baby was born and even though we had misgivings about it, we tried but he just didn’t seem to care if weed or poohed wherever he was. Despite trying to encourage him onto the potty with sweets and other incentives he just wasn’t interested. So we put him in pull ups and just took him to the toilet regularly.
For the last few months our 3 year old son has been constantly saying to us ‘ What are you doing mum?’ ‘What are you doing dad?’ several times over even when we’ve explained what we are doing from the mundane ie putting washing in the machine to the overly obvious ‘getting you dressed’. Since at times it occurs to us that this question is asked incessantly we find it fun to ask him jokingly back ‘What are you doing ‘S’?’ or to when we want to test if he understands ‘What do you think I am doing ‘S’?’.
We like his curiosity – I was a curious child myself – driving everyone I knew to distraction with my constant asking ‘Why?’ as a young child. When people despaired of me I would say ‘But mummy says it’s good to ask questions – why?’ so they had no escape.
Yet we wondered where he got this phrase from…Then yesterday as I was looking after him and I feeding the baby in the other room I noticed I kept asking him ‘What are you dong ‘S’?’ and it was so subconscious to me that I hadn’t realised that it is me who asks him this question all day long as a way of trying to him out of mischief/or to put more generously – as a way of keeping his curiosity from getting him into dangerous/ undesirable situations!
How funny that I hadn’t noticed that these words came from me all day long and yet they have literally been staring me in the face for months, and it made me think how many other things do we think, say or do regularly out of habit that we don’t even notice and what effects does this have on ourselves and those around us?