Thursday, October 19, 2006

Pottie Training

There are many experts on every topic imaginable. There are people who are experts in finances, outer space, science, mathematics and computers. The one field seems to have the most out spoken experts is the field of human psychology in general and child rearing in particular. It seems that everyone feels that they are an expert on how people should raise their children. How a person was parented seems to be a leading defense in our criminal system and many psychologists have people in therapy for years discussing their childhood. So often experts refer back to potty training to explain why someone behaves the way they do.
I have been in the human services field for many years. I become outraged when I hear so called experts make blanket statements about how potty training and other child rearing techniques are to blame for a person’s actions. I have worked with children that have been severely abused and neglected by their parents, and yet they are able to move on with their lives and become happy productive citizens. I think that the experts that go on talk shows and write books, like to give people excuses for their poor behavior. They also simplify major mental health issues and the actions that can result from the illness, by blaming the parents of the individuals. It is ludicrous to believe that potty training techniques that are done are going to cause a person to become a criminal. To me this is irresponsible and damaging for the people that listen to these experts. There are many excellent therapist and psychologists that make real differences in the lives of those they treat. Their time is so filled with appointments that they do not have the time to go on talk shows. The famous experts tend to be attention seekers that want to be celebrities and they use basic knowledge in psychology to make a name for themselves.
Anyone that has been involved in good growth producing therapy knows that the best way to move on with their lives is to make a plan with obtainable goals and to move forward. They may need to process things that happened to them as children, but they are taught not to dwell in the past. I have never seen anyone become a well adjusted adult if they are clinging to the memories of their potty training. Most adults do not even have any recollection of the potty training techniques that were used by their parents.
Many new parents find themselves afraid to parent their children because they feel they will scar them for life. If they use the simple techniques of correcting undesirable behavior and present consistent guidance, their children will have the desired behaviors. You do not need to listen to the experts to have a well adjusted child; you need to listen to your child.