Thursday, October 21, 2010

Poopity Poop Poopity

From time to time, I like to share thoughts on discipline and parenting.

Recently, my kids have discovered the, uh, joy of bathroom humor. It is beyond hilarious to say things like fart or poop or pee or underwear. One word and they both fall apart in giggle fits.

I hesitated on how to handle the potty talk. And what we've decided on is that we won't ban the words from the family lingo. Instead, we set limits on where we can use those words.

See, I never want my kids to think there is a topic that is off limits to talk about in our family.

So we can have potty talk when it is just us at home or when it is just us in the car. Never at dinner- at least not so others can hear you. We're feeling this all out as we go but it is working fairly well so far.

Sunday evening, Christy and I were heading to Target with my kids. We were potty talking away in an effort to get all the poops and farts and pee giggles over and done with. Earlier in the day, we'd enjoyed making up our own lyrics to the tune of "Twinkle, Twinkle" or the WonderPets theme song... anything to do with underwear was a favorite theme. (Underwear is under there, Underwear is what we wear, Underwear oh underwear, I love you, my underwear, etc)

While at Target, the time quickly approached bedtime and Zach was getting close to being very done with the day. He and Teagan were having a great time in the purse section with Christy- until he discovered the umbrellas and was trying to manage 2 large umbrellas at once and refused to put them down and was actually endangering those around him. As I forced him to put the umbrellas back, he threw himself into the rack, folded his arms across his chest, looked down with a furrowed brow and harumphed himself into a little pout.

Normally, I ignore him. Or I get down on his level and talk about choices and opportunities and responsibilities and all that. But I was tired, too. I just didn't want to go all Mommy on him.

So I bent down to his ear, put up one single nagging finger, and whispered in my best Mom voice so only he could hear me...

"Poopity, poop, poopity, poop poop. Poopity! Poopity!"

His posture changed immediately. His face changed immediately. It wasn't an instant fix but it got him back on a happy track and got us out of the store without a major incident.

I used it on Teagan at dinner the next night. She was whining and complaining and tossing out some major attitude. I started to go into my typical Mom Mode of choices and opportunities and stern voice and "don't make me, young lady!"

Instead, I leaned over and whispered in her ear, "poop and pee and farts and underwear!"

Suddenly, she shifted from her complaints to showing us how hard she was working on NOT laughing.

So what do you think? Can I write a book on Potty Mouth Discipline and sell millions??



mimbles said...

If you can make 'em laugh you've at least half-won the battle :-) That's one of my favourite strategies, now if only I remembered to use it more often...

kbiermom said...

Lovity love love it! Score! When your kids respond to and are redirected by humor, you get many wins at once. One of them is that you teach them how to use humor to diffuse a situation themselves -- a strategy that will come in very handy in their tween years, when suddenly *everything* is a big deal :)

Garret said...

That's awesome. Anyone who overhears you might think you are speaking another language. The Poopy People of the Fart Nation have spoken.

C. Beth said...

That is awesome--I love it! So much of parenting is just figuring out what works. You're creative, so if this fails in a week, you'll figure out something else.

Oh, and...poop. said...

Definitely! The fact that you stopped mid-yell is awesome.

Mrs4444 said...

You are the master of creative parenting! Maybe there's a website you could post that idea on :) If there isn't one, I'm sure a lot of people would appreciate it.