On pitfalls of potty training

There's an article I'd like to share - but before I do that, there's a few things I need to say first.

Steve Hodges is a paediatric urologist, meaning, he's an urologist who works almost exclusively with children - kidneys, bladders, bowels, that sort of stuff. On top of years of experience from his clinic, he's written loads of articles and even a book (which you may have heard of), but having said that - he is not an immaculate writer and, in my opinion, the article I am about to share would've benefited (a great deal!) from a bit of help by a firm-handed content editor.

So... here are my personal disclaimers.

What he says is important, but he may not come across very well. Although he writes - repeatedly - about the dangers of potty training in general, he doesn't actually mean that potty training as such is a problem - withholding is, both for urine and for poop.

Secondly - and it sort of stems from the first disclaimer - is that if your child has been potty trained before they were three, or two, or even one, please-please-please don't take this article personally! A lot of the people who disagree with Hodges are proponents of so-called elimination communication (EC) and I can see why they feel angered: every time Hodges says "potty training is nuts" they feel threatened and labelled, but I don't think they need to be. Why? Because in its early stages EC is really more about "parent training" (rather than "baby training") and doesn't promote withholding, so when Hodges talks about the downsides of withholding pee and poop, then EC doesn't actually... you know, qualify.

(I'm not sure if Hodges himself even recognises how much of a difference generalising potty training like that makes, especially when read in non-US cultures.)

And thirdly, just as women and men and pregnancies - and everything else in this world - are different, so are children. Potty training early doesn't guarantee wonders, potty training late doesn't guarantee troubles - or vice versa - and so, really, I think it's about the circumstances of each individual family and the child that the potty training strategy should be discussed in.

Steve Hodges is an urologist. He talks about the potential (potential! That's, like, meaning it is not guaranteed) physiological (meaning, he works with the anatomy, so he is not a psychologist, and if you want to talk about the importance of emotional factors, go bring it up elsewhere) risks (risks! Again, that means it's not guaranteed) that manifest themselves when potty training is done early or in ways that encourage children to hold their stuff in.

And I, personally, am very grateful for having access to such information. It allows me some understanding of a very complicated (and opinionated!) topic, which then helps me evaluate what potty training method is suitable for my family, in our circumstances. Do you know what it feels like to open up a potty training chapter in one of those "baby books" and then shut it again five minutes later, feeling like, if anything, I am even more confused than I was before opening it? I do.

Steve's not the first clinician I've come across who has pointed out the effect bowels have on urinary nerves - and stemming from that, on bedwetting and urinary infections - but he does explain it very well, simply and with humour.

Just as long as you try to ignore how he generalises potty training, and try not to take any personal offense in your own parenting techniques because I doubt that Steve is meaning to be offensive - he's just trying to get the message out there that, guys, if your children are wetting their beds at 8 and get recurring urinary infections when they're 4, it might simply be because they're, well... constipated.

And alright, here we go, the article itself:

The dangers of potty training too early

2 comments:

  1. …ja laste (ja ka vanemate…) psühholoogilised probleemid? Ja probleemid, mida on tekitanud pampersid jm keemilised mähkmed?

    Mu esimene laps sai täiesti oma peaga potile pandud (ilma raamatuid lugemata vaid ainult oma instinkte kuulates… ehk "kui mina oleksin laps, siis kuidas mina teeksin, tunneksin jne") ta ta oli 11 kuusena mähkmevaba ja ilma igapäevaste püksipissimisteta.
    Kahe lapse vahel tutvusin raamatuga http://www.theecstore.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=166&products_id=449 mis räägib sünnist saadik potitamisest ning see tuli mulle väga abiks, sest teisel lapsel oli palju gaasivalusid ning (süles) potitamine aitas tal kakada ja valust vabaneda. Potitasin tedas sedasi 4-6 korda (jah, ta kakas päevas täpselt nii palju esimestel elukuudel!). Teine laps sai mähkmevabaks 13 kuusena.
    Ma arvan, et kõik algab ka suhtumisest ja lapsevanemate tähelepanu ja reageerimisvõimetest…pluss veel ajakulu eks. Olen näinud lapsi, kes täitsa vihkavad potti! ei taha näha ka! …väikeste laste puhul kõik asjad sõltuvad lastevanemate hoiakutest ja käitumisest ja suhtumisest jne.. aga eks sa oled seda ise ka märganud ;)

    Ja ma olen kindel, et on ka kusagil olemas raamatuid, mis ütlevad, et lapsi ei tohiks üldse potitada ennnem kooli minekut :)
    siinkandis olen veel kuulnud, et lapsed saadetakse nimelt lasteaeda, kus neid õpetatakse mähkmeid mitte kandma… et lapsed näevad teisi ja siis tahavad nemad ka potile minna…

    Ma ei mõista hukka kedagi vaid proovin neist aru saada. Tegelikult olen tolerantne nende suhtes kes mõtlevad minust teistmoodi ;) Lihtsalt, maailm pole must-valge!

    Ja rõõmsalt mähkmevabadust teile!

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    Replies
    1. tere hommikust! kusjuures ma mõtlesin juba seda postitades, et huvitav, kas reine tuleb kommenteerima =)

      minu jaoks üldse mitte üllatavalt pole su kommentaaris ühtegi kohta, kus ma suga nõus ei ole. keemilised mähkmed on peavalu paljudes mõtetes, ja psühholoogilised "konksud" on asjade juures niikuinii - miks ma ka lisasin, et hodges pole psühholoog, ta on uroloog - ja et varane potitamine on "lapsevanema treenimine" niikuinii, mitte aga "lapse treenimine", nii et hodges'i probleemid potitamise suhtes ei kehti tegelikult EC suhtes, ja mäletamist mööda (sest ma olen su potitamise lood lugenud täies mahus läbi küll ja sealt ka tiba edasi uurinud, et kuidas täpselt seda tegema peaks ja miks jne) oli EC just see, mida sina tegid - et õppisid aru saama, millal su laps potile tahab, ja teda siis tihti potile panema, ja siis laps sealt õppis, et mida poti peal tehakse.

      minu peres EC lähenemine ei töötanud, valdavalt logistilistel põhjustel, sest meil käis mitu korda "koduse lapsevanema" vahetus (esimest korda vahetasime abikaasaga kohti 6-kuuselt, ja siis jälle tagasi), lisaks natuke sõimerühma vanepeale kah, nii et logistiliselt ja psühholoogiliselt oli lihtsam asjal minna lasta, kui et proovida õudselt jõuga suruda ja välja mõelda, kuidas seda ikka tööle saada.

      aga sellegipoolest, hodges'il on point: ummistunud pärasool surub põie närvidele ja tahtmatu pissimine võib just ummistunud pärasoole tulemus olla, harvadel juhtudel isegi täiskasvanutel. ja et hodgesi probleem - nagu ma ka kirjutasin - ei ole mitte niivõrd varases potitamises, vaid selles, kui lapsed õpivad häda nii kaua kinni hoidma, et nad teda enam mugavalt/valutult välja ei saa, ja sealt siis veel edasi "kinni hoiavad".

      aga kuna ta on nii sügavalt usa kultuuri uroloog, ja usas on "potty training" hoopis levinum tiba teistsuguses vormis kui sina seda teinud oled, siis ta kirjutabki nii sügavalt... usa kontekstis.

      ka mina ei arva, et maailm on must-valge, ja enda arvates pole seda kirjutanud ka mitte.

      tervisi itaaliasse!

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