Potty Training Bam Bam- Phase 2-Scheduling Potty Breaks

About a month ago, I’ve started to potty train my now twenty month old son.  So far, Bam Bam been doing good.  For the past month, I’ve been putting him in potty training pants and sensitizing him to feel the pee on his skin really works. If you haven’t read Phase 1 Potty Training: Sensitizing, please read it…it’s very helpful.  
Bam Bam starts to get really uncomfortable with wet potty training pants and started to sense himself peeing on himself to the point where he points to his penis under his pants to signal that he went pee pee. This is the point of sensitizing your child, to feel the uncomfortable feeling of warm, wet pee against their skin.   Successful sensitizing from disposable diapers to potty training pants is important in order to be successful in potty training because if the child don’t sense that they have to go potty, then there’s not reason to use the potty. Poop is a little harder to catch, but I’ll explain how you can help your child to poop in the potty in another post. 
 
Happy to use the potty
What started as 8-10 training pants a day, within a month, Bam Bam is down to 4-6 a day…Not counting any wet diapers from being out and about, nap time, or nighttime.  
Since I know that Bam Bam knows when he goes pee pee on himself and understand what the potty is used for, it’s time for Phase 2-Scheduling Potty Breaks.  By this time, I know how long he can hold his pee (about an hour to an hour and a half depending on how much he has to drink).  I’ve scheduled a routine for Bam Bam to go potty.  It goes something like this:
  • As soon as he wakes up in the morning,
  • After breakfast
  • When we leave the house
  • When we come back to the house
  • After lunch
  • Before Nap
  • After Nap
  • Before Dinner
  • After Dinner
  • Before Bed
So about ten times a day, I take him to the potty whether he goes or not.  This helps him get into a routine of the important times to go to the bathroom.  Of course, if I know he has to go in between those points, I’ll take him to the potty.  Remember this is potty training so once they get older you won’t have to remind them to go at certain time because they’ll be able tell you and to hold their potty needs until they can get to the bathroom.  I’ve even taken him to the bathroom when I go to Target or any place that have a bathroom the minute I get there to help train him to go to the potty at public places.
You should see the diaper pale less often and that’s a great feeling especially money wise. Also, your child should start understanding what the potty is used for and to express that they went potty or about to go potty by pointing to their privates or saying “pee pee’ if they went on themselves. Expect that there are still going to be accidents.  Just like learning to crawl, walk, or remembering the alphabet, it’s going to take practice and repetition in order for them to get it right. Be happy when they go to the potty and when they don’t, just stress the importance of going to the potty next time.
Hopefully in the next month or two, Bam Bam will be ready for Phase 3.

The Real Boogie Man: The Family Child Predator

I remember when I was about eleven years old when I saw my mother’s estranged stepfather for the first time.  He was very nice and friendly and gave my sister and myself very affectionate hugs.  Then my mother’s stepfather went to hug my mother.  When he hugged my mother, my mother stood still with her arms folded with a fake smile and a deer in the headlights look on her face. She stood frozen like a manikin, unable to move. I didn’t understand then why she behaved that way and I thought it was odd that my mother didn’t hug her stepfather. 
The next couple of weeks after my mother saw her stepfather again, she started having night terrors.  As told by my father, in my mother’s sleep she would kick, swing her arms as if she was fighting someone, and jumping out of bed trying to run away.  Night terrors or “Sleep terrors” happens usually when some traumatic event happen in the waken life and they relive it in their sleep.  When my mother would awaken, she couldn’t remember her violent episode.
One day, my father called my sister and me downstairs because they wanted to talk to us.  I remember my father said that my mother has something to tell us.   “Go ahead. Tell them what you’ve told me,” I remember my father said to my mother.  It was apparent that my mother was crying and she blurred out, “I was molested.” 
“By whom,” my father asked. 
“By my stepfather,” my mother said as she started crying and whimpering. 
I started to tear up and I put my head down and felt hurt because my mother was hurting.  Although I was hurting, I didn’t quite understand what molestation was. “Was my mother raped as a child,” I thought to myself.  My father asked my mother what her stepfather done to her.  My mother explained that she was touched, fondled, and rubbed against and touched his penis but it never went inside her.  That day when she told us, my mother at the age of thirty three years old at the time, told her mother what happen to her years ago.  When my mother told her mother, her mother kicked her estranged husband out of her house.  Whether my grandmother let him back her house or not I don’t know but I know that my mother or my sister and I did not visit our grandmother’s house after that revelation for a very long time. 
My mother was molested at the age of three or four years old and it didn’t stop until at the age of twelve when she stood up for herself and told her abuser NO when he tried to touch her breast.  In my mother’s situation, her step father was physically abusive to her mother.  My mother’s stepfather and her mother were alcoholics.  My mother felt that she couldn’t go to her mother and tell her what was going on. Maybe my mother felt that her mother wouldn’t believe her.  Maybe she felt her stepfather would hurt her mother if she told. What ever the reason was, it must have been hurtful to feel that you can’t tell anyone that someone is hurting you.
Society tends to see child predators as some stranger that targets children where the fact is the majority of child predators are people that are very close in the child’s lives.
According to the child advocacy group Darkness to Light:
·Experts estimate that 1 in 10 children are sexually abused before their 18th birthday. This means that in any classroom or neighborhood full of children, there are children who are silently bearing the burden of sexual abuse.
·Youth are 2.5 times more likely to be raped than adults.
·About 35% of victims are 11 years old or younger.
·30% of children are abused by family members.
http://www.colorlines.com
We tend to give family members the benefit of the doubt and say to ourselves that,
“What they did was a mistake. Or He or she was young and didn’t mean it. Or the child must have led them on.”
And the child now an adult should just “Get over it.”  I bet if it was a stranger that molested their child and not family, they would want to kill them.  Why see this particular predator as the victim?  Why not out the person for being the filthy, disgusting, human being that they are?  What are the parents afraid of? Is it that the parents don’t want to feel guilty by being blind to the fact that they allowed their child to be molested by a family member and they did not see it? The affects of child sexual abuse stays with a person for the rest of their lives and the fact that their family members tell the person who was abused to “Get over it” is to help take the responsibility to protect their child away from them and to keep the burden on the true victim which is the abused child.
Oogie Boogie Man aka Child Predator
This reaction to the allegation of being sexually abused as a child is The Boogie Man in a lot of families because most of the time, the child doesn’t have the family support to back them up if one of the family members are doing something inappropriate to them.  The Boogie Man isn’t real and the parents tend to think that the child is making it up. The parent’s reactions are,
“You’re imagining that Uncle Bobby kissed your lips.  You’re sure it wasn’t your cheek?”
“You’re sure Grandpa didn’t try to zip you up to help you in the bathroom and accidentally touched your penis?”
“Jimmy wasn’t touching you vagina, he was just trying to wipe the ice cream off your pants while you were sitting on his lap right?” 
This so call “second guessing” the child doesn’t make him/her think you have their back when it comes to their comfort so they will keep quiet to avoid an argument and handle it the best way they know how even if it means enduring the abuse of their boogie man for years.
Parents need to let their children know that they can come to them no matter what without judgment.  If your child accuses someone of sexual abuse, don’t dismiss it, check it out.  There are three reasons why a child wouldn’t come forward if they are abuse: 1.) they think you wouldn’t believe them or 2.) they feel guilty and ashamed about what happen and 3.) telling you will hurt you and they don’t want to see you hurt.  Parents have to be clear and let their children know that no one comes above their child’s welfare and safety and you wouldn’t allow anyone to hurt them no matter who they are.
We as parents also need to take notice of our children body language around family members. Are they comfortable?  Do they try to move away?  If the child doesn’t want to be alone with the person, or sit on their laps, or even want to hug them; ask yourself why.  Don’t think that just because they are your father, mother, sister, brother, cousin that your children should show affection to them the way you would.  Just because your family member didn’t sexual abuse you, it doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t sexually abuse your child.
Although my mother’s boogie man died about a year ago, the pain of the abuse still lingers on inside her and she still have nightmares of him to this very day. Mostly likely, my mother’s abuser didn’t just abuse her; he probably abused other, too.  Just think about that.  If your family member sexual abused your child, they are sexually abusing others and if you don’t out them as the boogie men they are, you’re contributing to the abuse of other children as well. 
We need to stop hiding family child sexual abuse and bury it hoping the secret will die.  Child sexual abuse should never be buried; it should be dug up and exposing the people who hurt our children as the sick monsters they are.  If you out the predator in your family and your family hate you for it, so be it.  I rather be on an island alone with my child where it is safe than be around family who condones child predator behavior and my child feels uncomfortable and have nightmares of their boogie man for the rest of their lives.

Help end child sexual abuse by outing out this predator in your family and treat them as if they were a stranger who did this to your child. You are your child’s best advocate; protect them at every cost even if it means you never see your family ever again.

Stop Feminizing Your Sons! Masculine Boys Can Grow Up To Be Good Men Too.

I am a mother of two boys under the age of five.  I knew my life with boys would consist of non stop excitement with:  lifted toilet seats, play wresting, rowdy noises, playing with sticks and dirt, climbing trees, collections of trucks and cars, and the restless that the typical boy displays. My boys are a crazy bunch and although I don’t agree with their rowdiness, their obsession with cars, and their occasional “Woof Woof” chants, I learn to accept that these types of habits is what makes them masculine boys
                                            
On the other hand, there are mothers who try to feminize their sons.  They feminize their sons to the point where there are only feminine toys for the boy to play with, dress them in dresses, and imposing “girly” habits on them.  They make their son sit on the toilet seat to pee.  They have their sons grow their hairs long enough to the point that they love it when people mistake them for girls. They don’t allow aggressive play and steer their sons away from sports and force them into dance classes. There are even blogs tailor to “Feminizing boys.”  I thought to myself, “Seriously.  What is wrong with a boy being a boy?” 
Most of the consensus of this concept is to make the boy much more relatable and more sensitive to women and girls.  They also see the behavior of boys as barbaric and uncivilized.  These women feel that boys don’t need to be masculine or play with “masculine” things anymore and they should be calm, nurturing, and less aggressive like women because masculinity is no longer need in this society. 
                                                 
In my opinion, mother’s who try to feminize their sons are telling their sons that their masculine qualities to protect, to provide, to be aggressive is wrong, and what they need to do is to change because society says their masculinity is no longer needed.  So what these mother’s do is deaden the natural masculine qualities of their boys by imposing “girly” things and habits on them and hopefully turning them into a sensitive, nurturing, and emotional being just like women. In turn, their sons can understand women’s needs so they can better get along with women in the future.  Why are we pushing our sons to be more feminine and shaming our sons for showing masculine qualities? What gives us the right to cross the line into manhood and dictate what a man should be?  
When we feminize our sons, we’re taking away what’s different about them (masculinity) and making them the same as we are (femininity) and that’s not right.  What we need to do is to teach our son’s compassion and empathy: to respect women in a matter that doesn’t transform them into becoming a woman.  We need to teach our sons to appreciate women by how we conduct ourselves by the men we choose to be around with.  We need to show in our own homes that a man helps out in the family e.g. chores, children.  We need to teach our sons to see a woman as equal to a man financially and academically.   We need to teach our sons that communication is the best way to handle a situation and violence should only be used if your life is at danger.  A masculine man can be loving, considerate, understanding, supportive, and cooperative to a woman without feminizing him can’t he?
The point is: we should not change our boys into something they are not meant to be.  The qualities of their masculinity; to protect, to provide, to be aggressive are not bad qualities if directed appropriately. Just because the mothers of these sons don’t like those qualities in a man doesn’t mean their sons wouldn’t like to be a masculine man.  If we want our sons to show respect to women because one day they will become men, we need to show respect to our sons and understand how they think and feel instead of telling them that their masculine ways are wrong.  It’s not a bad thing if our sons grow up to be masculine man who makes rowdy noises; likes to drink beers now and then, and watch, or play sports as along as they are kind-hearted and treat men and woman equally, fairly, and respectfully.  Isn’t that the most important part of being a civilized human anyway?