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Parenting Issues Message Board

Parenting Issues Board Index

My daughter will be three on Thursday. I have just a few issues with her and need some advice. She is an only child and may be the only child because we have fertility issues.

1. She is still not potty trained. I have no idea how to go about doing this. During the week, while I'm at work, she stays with my aunt during the day, who takes her to the potty every so often during the day. I do the same at home. It's not that she can't be potty trained; it's that she won't. She wants to wear her diaper, not panties. Just the other day, we went to her cousin's softball game. She told me she wanted to play. I told her that when she was a big girl she could play. She told me she was a big girl, and I told her that she wouldn't be a big girl until she wore panties and went on the potty all the time. The next day, she told me she wanted to wear panties so she could play softball. I told her she would have to wear them and go on the potty all the time. She wore them for about two hours, went to the potty twice in that length of time and didn't have any accidents. She came up to me after two hours and said, "I'm not a big girl, mommy. I'm Tessa. I want my diaper back." I put her back in the diaper. Should I have made her keep the panties on? I've always heard that it's a bad idea to force kids into potty training, and I certainly don't want to punish her for not doing it. But, she has to be potty trained to go to preschool in the fall, and I'm not making any headway at all.

2. She still has her pacifier. I'm getting a lot of flak from people, especially my DH, about her still having it. Honestly, she still has it because I haven't wanted to take it away from her, and the longer she has it, it seems like the more attached to it she becomes. She's never been a good sleeper, but in the last few months or so, she's gotten much better. She will pretty much sleep 12 hours at night if she has her paci and can find it in the bed. I'm not sure I want to change that. Before she became a better sleeper, I became physically ill from lack of sleep. I was going on about two hours a night for several weeks. My DH is on the road during the week, and so, when she wakes up at night, I'm the only one who can be up with her. I would let her keep it, but I'm afraid of it messing up her teeth. How can we get rid of it?

3. All of a sudden, she wants to kill bugs. We'll see one on the porch or in the garage and she'll say, "I'll kill it." To hear these words from her mouth just kills me. She has never said anything like that about any person or about her cat, just the bugs. Is this normal or should I be worried?

4. I feel like she's ahead in some areas and behind in others. For example, she can count to 10, but she usually skips the numbers 5,6,7 and 8. I have actually heard her count as high as 16 one night when she counting some poker chips my DH let her play with. She didn't skip any of the numbers then, but if just ask her to count, she will skip them. Should I be worried about this or is it normal? Also, she doesn't know her ABCs. She can get to about "E" and that's it. Shouldn't she know them by now? The things she is ahead in amaze me, though. She can already draw all of the shapes and is starting to draw pictures that are recognizable, especially faces. She also has the most vivid imagination. She can make up stories off the top of her head. Right now, she's been telling us about a nice, little pink shark that is coming to her birthday party next weekend that she's going to ride, lol. One week, it was a snake and she told my aunt that her daddy hit it over and over again, lol. I love to listen to her make up these stories and even ask her questions to encourage it. I'm a writer, and I would have loved to have someone to work with me that way when I was younger. But, I want to encourage the artistic side, while trying to help her other side with the counting and alphabet. Any ideas on how to do that?

5. Last question, I promise. My grandmother is very ill. I have been taking Tessa to see her at the hospital and now that she is home, we've been going over to her house. We went at least once a week before she became ill, so Tessa has seen both the good and the bad. For a while, when Granny looked so bad, Tessa didn't want to kiss her goodbye, and I didn't force the issue. But, now, she is really clinging to her, kissing her several times in one night, hugging on her, wanting to sit with, etc. I'm fine with all of that, as is Granny, but when we get home, I get the endless questions. She always asks me "Is Granny Green better?" or "Is Granny Green still sick?" "Why is Granny Green sick?" etc. She talks in her sleep, something she gets from me, and I often hear something mumbled about Granny Green. The other night, she woke crying and asked me if Granny was better. I don't really know how to handle all of this with her. I'm having a hard time with it myself (one of the reasons I'm up so late; insomnia from worry is starting to take its toll), and I know it has to be even harder on a three year old. How do I explain it all, and when my grandmother goes (if it's any time soon and it looks like it might be), how do I explain that, too?

Thanks for all the help. I really appreciate it. I look forward to participating in this board.

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