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Candy-Free Potty Training Should be the Norm, Not the Exception

When my husband and I decided to start potty training our two-year-old this summer, we agreed to be patient, let her lead but with some firm direction, and not dazzle her with sugar. I won’t say that we’ve been obsessive about her eating habits since she started on solid foods, but I will say we are hyper aware of what she eats and her nutrition is of utmost importance. Because of that, my daughter turns away offerings of cake, ice cream, or even small pieces of candy. However, she’ll knock you over for a bite of avocado.

I’ve watched friends charm the training pants off their toddlers with promises of suckers and candies to convince them to potty on the toilet; specifically one incident where one-and-a-half Fun Size candy bars and a handful of M&Ms were used to reward a toddler for taking care of business. That’s a lot of sugar and calories for a little tinkle. My daughter gets none of that. She gets high-fives, a big cheer along the lines of “great job! I’m proud of you!”, and two or three squares of toilet tissue.

This, I kid you not, is a really big deal to her. That she is allowed to get squares of toilet tissue to clean up is like she’s arrived at the throne of the big girls. Every time she potties she announces, “I get tissue now!” and she is proud of it. She earned it. Not long from now I won’t be able to reward her with septic-friendly paper, but for now, I’m totally rolling with it.

I can feel half the world rolling their eyes at me, but that’s the decision my husband and I made – candy-free potty training. It’s the choice that’s right for our daughter. Maybe it’s not right for your child, but I at least ask you to listen with an open mind and consider that maybe it might just work.
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The rewards of an injury

I have recently been struggling with a bout of back pain. Whether it is from carrying around my toddler for the past 2.5 years on my hips or the wear and tear of moving and sitting in a way that has misaligned my lumbar spine, my introduction into chronic pain has not been pleasant. But then again, it’s pain and what pain is truly pleasant on the physical level?

One positive note that has come out my ongoing back problems is that now I am so aware of how I move myself. Whether it’s simply standing waiting for the water in my tea kettle to boil, picking up my daughter from her nap or just sitting at the computer, my awareness of how I use my body has increased exponentially. And for that, I’m grateful to this injury.

As a yoga practitioner and instructor, I’m very aware of how our movements affect us and how over the years, our conditioned ways of moving create misalignments in the body. I have always known this on an intellectual level and now, I am experiencing it first-hand. However long it takes for me to rehabilitate my back, I do know that because of this injury, my posture and my minute-to-minute movements have markedly improved. And my prowess as both a yoga practitioner and teacher have also markedly improved.

If you have dealt with chronic pain, I’d love to hear from you and how your injury affected and influenced you.