We've touched on this in several different posts, but life being what it is, this topic has come to the surface so I thought we could talk about it. I've recently gotten Zephyr potty-trained, for the most part. Granted she refuses to pull down/pull up her own pants, but she isn't having accidents and she's sitting on the adult potty, so I'm happy.
This process has been long and hard for me. I tried several different techniques from books and talking to friends. I think it's important to give Michelle Duggar some props too, especially since I read her advice first and then didn't use it. She writes that she waits until the child is able to pull up/pull down their own pants (getting them on backwards is allowable hahaha) and she doesn't like using the small portable potty chairs. Well I didn't do either of these. We went through a long phase where she would go by herself when she needed to go in her potty chair as long as she had nothing on the bottom half of her body. If she had any kind of pants on, she'd wet them. Finally, somehow, we got past that and she wore underpants only. Then we added pants. Then we took her seat and put it on the big potty (the first time was traumatic, but now it's just fine.) And here we are.
I can see her reasoning on both counts. She had 17 kids when she wrote the book (pregnant with #18--she was born as they concluded the final chapters.) With that many children, having to take a child to the bathroom every 30-60 minutes and take their pants down and back up would be next to impossible--even if someone else is helping her (the child's buddy, for example.) And I also understand why some people don't like the potty chairs. They are kind of gross to empty and clean--it never fails how careful you try to be, they always seem to splash...bleah. She also pointed out that the child likes to try to "help." Zephyr tried to help many times and the mess was frightening. But on the plus side, they are the right height, the right size, and less intimidating than the big thing that flushes loudly. We moved to the big potty as soon as she stopped wetting pants because I wanted to be able to leave the house without pull-ups. Now that she's comfortable on the big potty, she will go on one no matter where we are.
So now that I've shared that story with you, let's talk about other advice or examples the Duggars have shared with us and we've used. I have always shopped similarly to them--discount markets and buying in bulk, buying the store brand (the name brand stuff shown in their pantry during the moving in show was donated to make the pantry look "full.")
We don't buy a lot of used things, because we don't buy a lot of things period, but we do hunt down the cheapest price for things we do buy. When I do shop the used market it's often from a favourite used book store in Portland, Oregon (from their website since I don't live there anymore) and eBay (although eBay doesn't have as much used stuff as they did when they started.)
I do go to local thrift shops when I need things for Zephyr and I have found many nice dresses at a particular one for me. I've even found very nice pants for my husband to wear to temple. The only thing I haven't found (and I have gone to 7 local thrift shops looking) are used shoes. I have never found any used shoes in my daughter's size--most of the stores I went to didn't have any selection at all, even for adults. I'm still kind of amazed as to why that is. So I find her discounted shoes at Ross or DD's. When we lived in London I bought and sold (after she outgrew them) designer baby clothes off of ebay, usually selling them for more than I actually bought them for. I tried doing that once we moved back here and most of the name brand designer stuff didn't sell or sold too cheaply, so I gave that up.
I keep telling myself I'm going to do the Proverb-a-day, but so far I haven't made the time to do it. We have, though, become much more observant in our Judaism and that has made our family more cohesive.
Every time I raise my voice I think of Michelle and remind myself to dial it down. I am hoping that calm and quiet will counteract the hysterics of a 3 yr old who doesn't want to eat her chicken.
I have tried a few of their recipes, but I rewrote them and personalized them a bit.
So while I enjoy them and am fascinated with them, I'm not the best follower in their way of life. What advice from the Duggars have you used and found helpful and successful?