OPINION: Library program focuses on potty training

Even in a divided world I think we can agree about potty training. It can be difficult, certainly, but you don’t associate it with controversy.

Until the other day I had thought about it hardly at all. It’s just the way it is with these types of things. When they’ve got your attention they’ve really got your attention. Then, as if by some strange magic, there’s no reason to think about them any longer. Your kid gets potty trained and on you go to the next adventure.

One thing interesting about potty training is you likely have little understanding about how you were able to manage it.  It’s parents who potty train their kids, and can use some advice about it. “Potty training is a big step for kids — and their parents,” says the Mayo Clinic, on the website. “The secret to success? Timing and patience.”

There was a Record-Journal roundup of storytime activities at libraries across the region recently that included potty training.

“It’s a hot topic in the children’s room,” offered Alyssa Johnson, children’s librarian at the Wallingford Public Library. A photo of Johnson that accompanied Jessica Simms’ story showed Johnson holding up a couple of books. One is, “Poop or Get Off the Potty,” and another is, “How to Pee.” For a certain age group, and their parents, these are very important works.

Johnson told the R-J that parents ask about books that focus on such training, which was an inspiration for the storytime. “We actually haven’t done a program like this before,” she said. My guess is that it will prove an enduring offering. The potty training storytime is full. Silly Story Time, however, remains available.

It’s healthy to be doing these things again. We are all still waking from a long coronavirus nap. It’s probably natural to be impatient about getting back to normal, but important to recognize what we’re recovering. It’s an opportunity to size up the value of what we might once have too easily taken for granted.

Parents gathering together in person with their children is one of those things, and Johnson touched on that in her remarks. “A lot of the time parents love just having that communal feel,” she told Simms. “They love getting out of the house and it’s a lot of fun seeing their kid interact with other kids and we do a good job at making them developmentally appropriate.”

“There’s this energy at our storytimes that’s pretty infectious.”

That’s what we want, isn’t it? To get from others that which helps us grow, and reciprocating is just as important. When we feel we have a positive effect on others it’s a positive for ourselves as well. That’s a lesson you can take from a class offered for those zero to 5.

Storytime is “a time to help socialize, which is so needed right now after going through the pandemic, not only for the babies and the kids but also for the parents and the caregivers,” said Christine Richards, youth services librarian at the Cheshire Public Library. “It’s hard being cooped up all the time and not having that interaction.”

One of the great things about watching your kids grow is watching them grow with other children, and their parents, and their families, and your community. Human beings are social beings, and it’s wonderful to be able to embrace that once again.

Reach Jeffery Kurz at jkurz@record-journal.com.


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