Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Right Timing

Sometimes timing is everything. My mother once told me that I could work hard to potty train my child at two, or I could wait until he was three and he would potty train himself. My sister will attest to the fact that even at three potty training isn't easy, but I like her point. Timing is everything.

Sometimes it's important for things to happen right at a particular time, but most of the time we save ourselves a lot of extra effort we could expend doing something else if we just wait for the right time. I waited to potty train my kids. I found that I much preferred changing diapers to changing pull-ups and remembering to take my child to the bathroom. Of course, it didn't help that I was, twice, pregnant when my children turned 2 and new baby and potty training just don't mix. So, I waited. And it was easier.

My son had bed-wetting issues. We tried the easy stuff, reducing liquids and waking him up at night. Nothing helped. We just lost sleep. I finally decided just to wait; after all GoodNights work really well. Then, he turned 10 and we were talking about going to summer camps. We tried prescription medication with limited success. Ultimately, the doctor suggested stopping for a couple of weeks. Out of the blue, I decided to tell my son that if he went 14 nights dry, I would buy him Guitar Hero. I figured I was pretty safe, he hadn't gone a single night, much less two in a row. Guess what happened? He went fourteen straight nights, though he ended up with a subscription to Wizard 101 (his choice). He has now gone six weeks. WOW! That was so much easier than I had feared.

So, I tried it with my daughters. They had been biting their nails for years and I just hadn't had the energy to make a big deal out it. I promised them manicures and pedicures if they stopped biting their nails long enough for them to grow. Guess what? They stopped immediately and we had a great day at the spa.

It also sometimes happens the other way around too. Like if your 10-year-old asks to be able to walk to soccer practice alone. You might not be ready, but he apparently is. So, let him. It might just change your life.

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