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Overcoming Bad Parenting

Updated on August 26, 2016
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She was slow to develop physiological, late in most areas of growth – slow to walk, talk and to be potty trained. Her slow growth was not genetic, it was due to the single parent only child syndrome. It was just the two of us and I was usually too busy or too tired to have sufficient interaction to foster average or above average development. So her physiological growth was impede. However, that soon changed as I felt the social pressure of family and friends. Sometimes because single parenthood is overwhelming baby will be negatively impacted but be of good courage there are some great techniques to help correct most deficiencies.

The Early Year Strain Of Parenting

I was emotional, angry and tired the first year of her birth. At that time I had relocated and was working the late shift which meant being able to do the basic care – food, bath and bed. Consequently, for a year that is all I did with the occasional social visits. Through it all there were lots of hugs and kisses but very little talk. What would I talked about, how stressed, depressed and unhappy I felt. That is not a conversation I wanted to have with my toddler. So, we co-existed.

Social Pressure To Parent

At social events, there were a lot of criticism. Why isn’t she talking? Why isn’t she potty trained, or doing this or doing that? I had to take stock. I looked at my parenting skills and acknowledge that I had to “do better”. I took stock and begin implementing various changes to my parenting.

Talking To Your Child

To help make up for the lack of communication, I begin talking to my daughter about our routine. I went into details about preparing for day care, for bed, about cooking. The more the one sided conversation occurred the more I realized how much we both needed this interaction. Grace took it all in, she looked to me as if to say something but words came much later.

Reading Is A Good Habit

One morning I woke up with the realization that it was never too early to start reading to my child. I saw or read somewhere that parents should read books to their children but for me I thought that rule applied to older children not to toddlers. So the morning of my “aha moment” I immediately began reading to my daughter. She was eleven months. It was as if a barrage broke. I had a lot to make up for and since I could not buy the quality of books I sought, I became a regular at the library. On the weekend, I check out three overstuffed plastic grocery bags of books. I was equipped to read. Grace loved it so much that she demanded I read 2 books before bedtime. Hence, the weekend trips to the library; I stocked up for weekly reading.

Types Of Reading

We read a lot of books, funny, scientific, social and happy stories. All with voices and body animation. Did I mention, that Grace loved it? Those plastic bags of books initially contained hard cover books with colorful pictures. Those books had one, two, or three sentences per page. Some books were rhyme books, such as “Humpty Dumpty” which she had me read over and over. We read books with pictures of animals, human faces, household items, clothes and anything that was a building block for Grace’s understanding of the world. I did not have the skills to communicate through our daily routine so I checked out books that could. It was more than a daily routine, it was a way of life for us. We took turns reading in the voices of every character, initially her reading was by memory. We act out some of the actions of characters and through it all we laughed and I became successful in communicating with my daughter.

Using A Walker

To catch up with her mobility, I purchased a walker, placed her in it and made active demands on her to follow me around the one bedroom apartment. The kid did not like being alone, a very social being, so she would follow me around. As I moved to the kitchen, the bedroom, the bathroom, the dining room I would let her know and she at first slowly followed. She began to associate my getting up from any chair as movement to another room. So as I walked to different areas of the apartment she was always one walker wheel behind me. One day as we played on the floor she crawled over to the sofa raised herself up with the help of the sofa and became mobile. She rose on her feet one weekend looked to me and as I told her to come she wobbly walked into my open arms. When she uncovered the power of walking on her own, the kid ran around the apartment so much that I knew I lost at least 5 pounds trying to catch up with her.

A Taboo On Walkers

I did not know it at the time but walkers with wheels were frowned upon by experts. It worked for us because I could not find the time to interact with Grace in the traditional manner. We got home after a day’s work and I was too tired to hold her hands and maneuver her around the room. It was easy, safer because of the small apartment, to put her in a walker. She adapted well. She would lean on the left side of the walker and move her tiny feet to follow me around the apartment. We lived on a ground floor apartment so there were very little issues of safety. We had very little furniture so there was little to grab and pull down. Grace liked the walker, it made her mobile; it placed her in a sedentary position like her mother and at an early age that was important to her. She wanted to do everything I did.

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Potty Training Experience

Potty training was the most difficult. Urine and poop were all over the apartment. It was after Grace was potty trained that I learned about pull-ups. So, we struggled with potty training. The portable potty did not work because she did not like sitting on the little potty and would get up and walk around the apartment and go anywhere. One day after putting her on the potty I walked away to answer the phone. As I was talking on the phone she walked up to me with brown substance around her mouth, I thought she was eating her poop. It turned out to be the piece of chocolate bar that I left at the edge of the table. That weekend I purchased the toilet cover potty seat and discarded the portable potty. Ultimately, my success came from never having a close door in the apartment. I wanted always to be visible to her and vice versa. Hence, one day when she put her doll on the training toilet seat, I realized she noticed what I was doing. She was potty trained three weeks later. I cheered her behavior she smiled loving the cheers and her big girl use of the toilet.

Suggestions For Potty Training

At three and a half Grace was potty trained. Most of the parents I knew, bragged about their child potty training earlier. Of course in their household their child had siblings to keep up with, Grace did not. Instead she had a mother who was very clueless about potty training. Notwithstanding, experts at the American Academy of Pedestrian stressed that potty training will only happen when the toddler is ready. They also asserted that bowel retention begins at 18 months and up. They suggested the below steps to prepare the toddler for the transition to the potty.

  • Select the best potty training tool that your toddler can adapt to. The potty cover on the toilet might be intimidating to some toddler.
  • Communicate in simple terms when talking about your child’s genitals. I am a proponent for the use of the medical terms.
  • One and a half to two hours after every meal place toddler on the potty, this routine will help him recognize when the potty should be used.
  • As usual positive interactions are preferred. Do not raise your hand or voice when your child has an accident.
  • Be patient and loving.

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CC by Flickr | Source

My struggle to parent manifested in the above areas of my daughter’s life and it taught me as a single parent there will be many short comings. My redeeming quality came about with the use of the above different tools and resources. As I implemented change, my short comings became success stories. Once Grace was potty trained there were no accidents and she never once wet her bed. As to her talking skills, she advanced to reading at the early age of four. It is never too early or too late to adjust one's parenting skills, a loving change will always mean some degree of success.

What was your most difficult parenting stage?

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