Potty training is one of the most challenging learning experiences for parents and children alike.

Having gone through this with my own six kids, I can attest to the opposition this causes, especially when the one being trained doesn’t want to have any part of it.

There were books written on the subject and methods encouraged by other parents who believed this to be a whizz.

Pun intended.

I had one friend who had had it and decided to wait until the child was truly ready. Her son was four and not interested. Her comment: “You see very few kindergartners wearing diapers.”

When did potty training become a badge of honor among parents? I recall it having more to do with the attitude of the child than the skilled coaching of the parents.

Some of my kids wanted to learn. Others didn’t want to be bothered,. Why pause for a bathroom break when a diaper could easily catch what was coming?

Cal just turned three and is in the school of “Why bother?” He gets busy playing and doesn’t care. He’s learned that he gets an M&M if he goes on the potty, and his commitment to chocolate far exceeds his desire to learn to use it properly. He’ll sit there for enough time to squeeze out a little, then he gets his candy. And proceeds to wet his pants five minutes later.

The challenge for his parents, however, is his tendency to play with what fills his diaper when he’s supposed to be taking a nap or going to bed. He has painted the walls, carpet, his toys, his bed with his excrement. My daughter caught him on the video recently where he’d removed his diaper, grabbed a handful of what was in it, and exclaimed, “I can draw a volcano!”

She was able to make it upstairs before his artistry took place.

There is humor in this, but it’s not fun to deal with fecal matter that should remain where it was meant to be–the toilet. Some things were never meant to be played with.

The same can be said about a lot of our critical, disruptive, and hateful rhetoric of late. With a new president having just been sworn in, it’s easy to get angry at what isn’t or upset about what is. What has happened in the political arena is nothing short of contentious; people taking matters into their own hands and smearing their hurtful and angry remarks to anyone who will listen.

We’ve forgotten what it means to be a good citizen, making the best of our lives even if we don’t agree with all that leaders are telling us to do. God calls us to honor our leaders and give them the respect their positions require. 

Unity is a value God has imbued in our lives. We do better as a community than in isolation. We are stronger together than polarized by disruption and hate.

The Bible tells us a cord of three can’t be broken. 

Rather than add to the disorder, consider what it would mean to be encouraging to others you don’t agree with.

Leave the ugliness where it belongs. Unsaid and unseen.

If Cal can learn that, anyone can. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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