Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Potty Training Positive Thinking

We have begun serious potty training this week. It was not something I was looking forward to. I tried potty training over a year ago with one of the therapy groups Boog was seeing and it didn't work. They expected him to wear underwear and stay dry while he was doing intense ABA work. That was way too much to ask of a 5 year old and caused him anxiety. I had to tell them to stop trying to potty training because at that point, the ABA therapy was more important.

That experience, plus my own huge amount of self doubt has made me dread potty training a lot more than I should have. Boog is smart and doing well. This is the exact time he needs to be potty trained. I believe in him, I just don't believe in myself.

Yesterday, our first full day trying, Boog tee-teed in the potty four times. That's more times than he had ever. But instead of being thrilled about it, I focused on the six times he had an accident after the successes. I hate that I think that way. I put enormous amounts of pressure on myself and I am my own worst enemy. Someone tells me to do something, I can't just do it, I have to do it 3 times faster than they asked me to. That's a great personality trait to have in the working environment, but not as a stay at home mom. 

I'm trying to get my brain to believe that this isn't on any time table. No one is judging me on how long or how perfect I do this. I'm trying, but it's not working so well.

I was just watching a DVR episode of Dr. Phil (don't judge) about a man with two wives (who would want two nagging them?!). Anyway, after the poly-whatever family, Dr. Phil had a special guest on for the last 5-10 minutes of the show. His special guest was Joel Olsteen. To be honest, I've never listened to him. I know he's got a huge church in Texas and a ton of people watch him on tv, but that's about it. He has a new book out and he was on Dr. Phil to talk about it.

I was about to change the DVR to something else, but for some reason I listened for a bit. Olsteen was talking about his book "I am" and the concept behind it. He explained that people spend so much time thinking negative thoughts about themselves, convincing themselves that those thoughts are true. He gave examples like "I'm not good enough" or "I can't do this". Basically the constant thoughts that have been going through my head for two days now. This got my attention and I watched more.

Olsteen said that instead of waking up and thinking those thoughts, you should get up every morning and list three things you are grateful for. So I thought about it:
1. My son is healthy
2. I have my family
3. Boog is doing well

How many people would love to list those three things? A lot.

Olsteen also talked about replacing negative thoughts with positive ones. It's very much like CBT (Cognative Behavioral Therapy) where you literally train your own brain to stop thinking negative or intrusive thoughts. The basis is that if you stop a negative though enough times, it will stop coming up. The hard part is keeping with it because it may take a while, but it's proven very effective.

Some of the positive thoughts that were listed on the screen as examples were:

I am blessed
I am successful
I am victorious
I am talented
I am creative
I am wise
I am healthy
I am energetic
I am happy
I am positive
I am passionate
I am strong
I am confident
I am motivated
I am focused
I am disciplined
I am determined
I am patient
I am kind

Some of these statements I know are true about myself, but some of them I know I need to work on (patience). I also believe that God will tell you what you need to hear, you just have to know how to listen. It took me a long time to learn how to stop and listen. He knows I have prayed and cried with self doubt about helping my son. I truly believe He has given me this lesson to realize I am not the failure I often think I am. 

So I will wake up and think of three things I am thankful for every morning, and when I get in that downward spiral of self hate, I will read the list above. 

I am flawed, but I am also blessed and I know He can give me strength.

-Boog's Mommy