Nothing To Fear… But Fear Itself

Almost invariably, if I tell a parent that my son has been in underpants since he turned one, they look horrified and ask: “But… What if he has an ACCIDENT???”

Uh, I change him and wipe the floor?

I get the same horrified look when I say that he’s been drinking from a real glass and using porcelain plates and glass bowls since he was six months old: “But… What if he BREAKS ONE???”

Uh, I sweep up the pieces and throw them away?

And don’t even get me started on using forks with sharp tines or potato peelers without “safety guards”…

We all want our children to grow up to be responsible, self-aware, and self-disciplined.  Yet, for fear of a little puddle, a tiny nick on the finger, or a couple of smashed $3 plates, we are denying them the very experiences that will help them get there.

What are we afraid of?  A Biblical flood of urine overtaking our homes?  The destruction of our heirloom Limoges glassware and porcelain china?  A severed artery or amputated limb?

Or are we just afraid of the inconvenience of wet underwear, broken plates, and finger scrapes?

In my view, you can either deal with the hassles of letting your child experience real consequences now… Or later.   If you avoid the messes now, they’ll just get bigger and harder to clean up the older your child gets.  And guess who’ll still be doing the clean-up?




8 thoughts on “Nothing To Fear… But Fear Itself

  1. Haha! My days lately have been wiping up the floor! I swear it doesn’t matter how long she sits there the moment she gets up she pees! Oh well:).

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  2. oooh we keep telling him he needs to pee in the potty to stop wearing diapers, he makes an effort but hasn’t done it but once yet so we still keep him in diapers. So does this mean that I should just let him wear undies about the house and see how it goes? He is nearly 2 now and has been expressing interest in wearing undies and the toilet. And should I still do diapers going out and at night? I REALLY need advice on this.

    1. Grace, I would put him in underwear now. Today. The whole day. Even if you go out. It works the opposite of what you’re telling him: He has to wear underwear so he can realize that he has to use the potty! Read “Diaper Free Before Three”, it will be very helpful. Stay consistent!!

      1. I read the amazon comments on diaper free before three and they said it mostly applies when they are younger, but my son is now 2, does it still apply? After seeing your comment I immediately put him in undies, which he seemed very happy about (he helped dress himself). Now he is in bed in undies as he refused diaper for bed. Am fearful about poop (he has yet to). Trepidations.

  3. My daughter (3) is completely able to go potty anytime I put her on the toilet, but totally fine with walking around with poop dripping down her leg. Any suggestions?

    1. Honestly, no. I am not sure what I would do other than just create awareness and clean her up so she becomes more used to being clean and can differentiate. Also, I would involve her in the clean-up process. Hope that helps some… 🙂

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