Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Bringing Up Bebe

So I finally finished reading Bringing Up Bebe and so glad I did!  I have had it on my list of reads when it came out 2 years now, and now I wish I had read it back then.  For anyone who knows me, I think I lived my former life in Paris ;) Bringing Up Bébé (14.99 Amazon)

Anyway, so in case you haven't heard of this book, it's basically about an American mom living in Paris and raising her 3 children there.  She used to be a journalist in NYC, and after moving to France with her British husband, they had a baby girl, and a few years later had twin boys.  So you could say she has a good perspective on the whole parenting thing.

This book has totally changed the way I think about things when it comes to my current parenting woes..aka whining kids, constant attention and poor eating habits, not to mention sleep!

I am not doing a book review here, but I have to give a few highlights of the book which have really helped give me new perspectives:

1) Sleep!  When my babies were not sleeping through the night, I would wonder all the time how other cultures dealt with baby issues like crying.   I was so glad that this book was finally written to help gain some perspective on American sleep parenting vs. a European view.

The author finds the magic secret that all French babies are sleeping through the night or as they call it, 'doing their nights', by 3 months of age.  How do they do it? By using the 'pause'.

Basically instead of rushing to the baby's side at the first cry (during the day or at night), they wait and try to really listen and figure out why the baby is crying: is she hungry, teething/pain, dirty diaper, etc. They are 'observing' the baby to see what they really need.  They take a couple of minutes to figure this out, and let the baby learn how to communicate their needs.

They also say that the baby wakes up during the night in between regulating sleep cycles and if we rush to them immediately, then they won't learn to link their sleep cycles together on their own.  I know some Americans and some sleep books that do advocate this type of not rushing to calm a baby, but I am a sucker and can't stand to hear an infant baby crying.  I think I was one who rushed to their side even before they would start to cry!

But if I had to do it all over again (which won't be happening at all), I'm thinking maybe waiting 1 minute isn't such a bad idea. Not 5 minutes, but maybe just 1.  I mean, they do have to learn that we can't be there immediately every time they need us right? Which brings me to the next part...

2) Learning to Wait

Apparently in France, children/toddlers can sit and play by themselves and the adults can have a real conversation around each other.  They aren't demanding of their parents, they aren't pulling on their pant legs for attention and they don't scream and throw tantrums at restaurants.  Say what?  Not really the case here in America :0

The secret?

The French say that their children learn to wait.  They have learned the art of entertaining themselves and distraction.  They don't teach them these skills, they just give them opportunities to learn it themselves.  Basically involving delayed gratification, such as buying them candy, but making them wait to eat it after dinner.  It's setting firm limits and learning to say 'no' to their kids.  In fact the author goes into a long story about how to say 'no' and mean it, so your child will actually listen to you :)

They recommend teaching their kids that they can't have everything right away, especially in a store. Or when a child starts to whimper for more food, rushing to feed them is viewed like giving in to an addiction, and teaching them to have patience is a way of respecting a speaking of food and waiting...

3) Eating

The French also teach patience through meals.  Apparently they all eat 3 main meals a day and the children don't have a single snack until the 4pm 'gouter' snack.  All I can say is wow!  In my house, my toddler is demanding 'snack!' like 15 minutes after her breakfast and wants Goldfish crackers, or a pouch or her Cliff children's iced oatmeal bar.  Since reading this book, I have learned to tell her 'no' as she runs to the pantry and I tell her no, set a limit, then distract her and it has surprisingly worked!

I would love to have my girls wait for meals too.  The author talks about a dream world where moms don't "walk around with baggies of Goldfish or Cheerios in their bags to patch over the inevitable moments of angst" tantrums.  She says, "Americans have decided that it is impossible for children to take part in any activity without shoving something in their pie holes."  So true!  We don't leave the house for an errand unless snacks are packed.

They also have 4 course meals at home and most families eat together to teach them manners as well as patience.  They serve the kids fruit and veggies first to munch on while they wait for the protein part, that way they get the nutrients first.

The author also talks about how they learn to eat normal food, not kid food like nuggets and pizza!  In France, daycare and preschool is free, and it is government run, so ALL employees go through rigorous trainings and have advanced degrees in childcare.  They go through tough interview processes with 500 applicants and sometimes only 3 are hired, and they all have a psychological evaluation.  And so when it comes to the food, they are also very picky about the diets of the day care kids.

The chefs of daycares do big time menu planning and come up with menus such as: first course of shredded red cabbage, and white cheese, then a white fish in dill sauce and a side of organic potatoes, followed by a cheese course of Brie, then a dessert of baked organic apple.  And it is either pureed or cut up depending on the age.  Did I mention these are free, government run daycares??  Toddlers here people! These are not 15 year-olds but toddler meals!

The best advice she gives in teaching your child to eat good food, is making sure to re-introduce foods each time, even if they don't like them.  To make sure that your child 'tastes everything on their plate.' They don't have to eat it but at least taste it.

French parents also encourage good eating habits by discussing the texture of the foods on their plates, the smells, etc to get them interested.  They also make them help prepare the meals they eat, so they are invested in how it turns out and willing to eat it more.  And to get them to eat the veggies (and prevent battles), they ask them to eat each veggie item on their plates with as much enthusiasm as the sweet fruit sitting next to it.

The book also goes into a lot more about the different cultures, and even how the French push independence so much that 4 year-olds go on 2 week long away school trips!  Okay, that one I am not a fan.  But for the most part, she has given me a lot to think about and some great tips. I totally recommend reading the book and all of the drama she encounters along her parenting journey!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Me First!

My house has all of a sudden been taken over by the words, "Me First!"  Ugh.  It's my 4 year-old's new favorite phrase.  It centers around her younger sister, and ranges from, "mommy, I wanted to get in the car first!" to "mommy, I wanted to wake up first!" Seriously? Wake up first?

When my second child was born, my first born didn't have a lot of jealousy going on yet.  She was only 24 months old and I honestly think she thought the baby was a doll.  My older was also at the age where she was still baby 'cute' and got a ton of attention from family.

Fast forward 2 years, and now she has finally been bit by the jealousy bug.  I also think it's the age as she is now able to compare more, plus her younger sister is more mobile and able to do the same things she can. AKA competition.

So I try as much as I can to reflect her feelings, as the good counselor mom I am, but it still seems like a broken record:

"Sweetie, you look really frustrated and I can see how much you want to get in the car first."  I say similar statements all day long, including "it must be hard having a baby sister, etc".  Hoping it helps.

But for the most part, I can tell it's just plain competition in my household.  With siblings, I know how important it is not to compare your children in front of them. Even basic, seemingly harmless statements like, "Look at how much of a great eater your sister is"..when my toddler refuses to touch anything on her plate and her sister eats everything.  Just harmless little statements like that one can set the tone for competition.

And we are also at the age where losing a board game is the end of the world.  It's just one of those things that children learn. Losing isn't fun, but it's part of life ;)

I've also tried to spend some alone time with my older child, so she can get more attention from me, and I have been doing weekly 15 minute play sessions at night when my younger one goes to bed.

Another thing that has helped, is a good story book for preschoolers that teaches about being first in line, first in sports, etc.  It has a really clever title called Me First :) (6.30$)

I am hoping this phase goes away soon.  I think my next technique is going to be some sort of reverse psychology.  I can't help but keep chanting, "first is worst, second is best, third is the one with the hair on their chest!"
Friday, August 8, 2014

Testing Limits

Children testing limits, or in my house we call it 'pushing' limits.  You know, when your child asks for one more piece of candy.  Or better yet, you are at a restaurant eating and tell your child 'no' and they scream and cry for whatever they can't have.  Sound familiar?

Why is it that kids LOVE to test limits on their parents more than anyone?

It's because kids act out more around those that they trust.  They trust enough to push limits with their parents (or any close family member), and see how far they can go.  Makes you feel really special huh? It's why they are usually perfect for the babysitter or a family member that they don't see as often.  "Oh he is just so well behaved, a perfect little angel!"  Little do they know he had a full on tantrum earlier in the day when he refused to eat his lunch.

But it is a funny phenomenon that kids push their limits around their parents more because they feel secure enough to fully be themselves.  So that means if a child is super tired, they feel safe enough to be their cranky self in front of mommy or daddy.  Believe me, happens in my home All. The. Time.

Adults are the same way for the most part.  It's like when I hear moms complain about the ever hard mother-in-law relationship.  Most of the moms of children I know have to smile and put on their best face around the MIL.  They don't feel safe being their real self in front of them.  But with their spouses? Ha, they feel safe enough to be whoever you want.

I do feel very special that my child feels free to fully be themselves, but at the same time it is hard to constantly redirect them by setting limits.  I feel like a broken record half the time.

As annoying as it is, it is still super important to keep those limits in check.

Limits make children feel safe.  They need boundaries.  They need to know what they can and can't do. Even if you are more of the permissive parent, or the authoritarian strict parent approach, they need consistent, firm limits.  It will cause less tantrums, less tears and more confident and secure children in the long run.

The child you see running all around the store like they are hyped up on candy, who doesn't listen to his parent and runs off, or better yet, talks back to the parent. Yes, it will happen to all of you one day here or there.  But kids that do this all day long are not having consistent limits in place, or consistent care-giving.  Being told one thing one time and something else another- they are learning to not trust their care givers or the environment and that equals chaos.  Limits help develop self-control.

So as much fun as it is hearing tantrums all day, keep reminding yourself it is temporary and they are TESTING you.  They feel safe enough to act out around you.  They are learning to trust their environment, so keep enforcing those limits, and reflect all those crazy feelings they are showing you.

For tips, click here on limit setting and here for reflecting feelings.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Sibling Rivalry

I finally dusted off my old copy of Siblings Without Rivalry and Oh.My.God…. I should have opened this book YEARS ago!  Years meaning as soon as I was pregnant with my second, who is now 2.1 years old.

Lately I had been using basic reframing and acknowledging feelings, but it just wasn't doing the trick.  I needed more help.  After reading the book, I was doing all of the things this book tells you NOT to do too. Ooops.  

Just basic things like labeling your kids ‘she’s my little active one, she’s my quiet one.” And always pulling the ‘work it out, work it out’ or ‘let’s try sharing, take turns!’ Uhm. Ahem…don’t we all?

And then I read the book and I am now determined to change, because let’s face it. Going through the ‘not getting along’ phase is going to be the rest of my life!  Does sibling rivalry ever end really?  I really want to make a difference in my girls’ lives.  I don't want to look forward to the years of fighting in the backseat or hearing who is not sharing.

For you readers, I will attempt a book review here, but seriously the best thing to do it just buy Siblings Without Rivalry on Amazon for 9$, or your local book store.  It’s an easy and fast read and I love the different approach the authors take in writing it chapter by chapter as if they were teaching a workshop.

The first example they use in getting parents to empathize is to imagine this scenario:

    Imagine that your spouse puts an arm around you and says, "Honey, I love you so much and you are     so wonderful that I've decided to have another wife just like you!"  When she arrives you see she is       much younger and cuter and when you are out in public people say, "isn't she adorable?" then they       turn to you and ask, "how do you like the new wife?"

    Then, your husband comes in and takes clothes out of your closet and gives them to her, because she     needs new clothes. When you protest, he points out that since you've gotten bigger, and they are too       tight on you, they will fit her perfectly.

    Then the new wife wants to use the new computer you got for Christmas, and when you tell her it's       yours and she can't have it, she runs to your husband crying and he comes in and says, "you need to       learn to share!"

Pretty good perspective huh?

Of course there are many examples in the book of how older kids pick on younger kids and also younger kids pick on the older ones too (which happens in my house a lot)!

The first step?

-Accept and acknowledge all emotions. If we want to 'end' the bickering, then the very emotions that we want to close the door on and lock out, need to be invited in, made welcome and treated with respect.  If we forbid the anger and rage, they will reappear in other forms, physical symptoms or emotional problems.

Simply saying, "you are being ridiculous, you have no reason to feel that way" or "you make me very angry when you say mean things about your brother..I don't want to hear it!"

Hearing things like that from parents may make you despise your sibling even more and you feel misunderstood.

It's MUCH more helpful emotionally to hear parents say things like:

"You look like you are feeling really sad that he is not sharing with you"

"It must be very hard for you having a sibling around all the time."

"I want to know how you feel...because your feelings are very important to me..."  "Take as much time as you want to tell me what's bothering you"

Wow, hearing those words from parents can make all the difference in the world.

What to do when you see siblings disagreeing?

1) Put the feelings you see into words:  If your child is saying, "You're always with the baby!" Then saying, "You don't like me spending so much time with the baby" can help validate them.

2) Have the hurtful emotional actions stopped, then redirected:  Instead of telling your child to stop whining about a sibling, say, "It's no fun being left out.  Want to draw me a picture of how you feel?" Or have them  hit a pillow, 'use your words to show how angry you are' such as "You can tell your brother very loud, I'm MAD!"

The book has a TON of examples in it of real stories.  One that really stood out is when a mom sat down with her child while the other napped, and put her arm around her and said:

"I'm glad we can be alone together, because I haven't talked to just you in a long time.  I've been thinking..sometimes it must be a pain in the neck to have a younger sister.  You have to share everything with her, even your mommy" Wow, really gets ya!

Comparisons and Putting Kids in Roles:

The next chapter talks about how we put our kids in roles and compare them without realizing it.  Roles such as 'the hard worker', the 'lazy one', the 'tom boy', etc.

And parents comparing kids: "Alex why do you always have to keep the family waiting while your sister was in the car 10 minutes ago?"

And I found myself doing it too the other day, "This one doesn't eat a thing, she is a terrible eater, but my other daughter eats her fruits and vegetables much better!"  Poor things, I am already assigning roles to them AND comparing them. I am setting them up to compete and feel bad about things before they are even old enough to understand!

What to do?

1) Don't say anything about a child that is in reference to the other siblings. Instead, DESCRIBE what you see, like or don't like:

Instead of "You don't leave a mess lying around the house like your brother does"  say,
"I see you picked up your blocks, put away your truck and the puzzle pieces." No comparing and no roles assigned.

2) Then describe what needs to be done:
"I see a new jacket on the floor, it belongs in the closet" and then when they comply, "I appreciate that, I like seeing our hallway looking neat."

The book also talks about making things equal and what you can do to avoid that complaint from kids. "But you gave him more cookies!"  Or comparing attention, love, needs, etc.

It also gives great suggestions on how to stop roles we give kids like assigning a child as the 'bully', or playing a 'victim' role, and children with disabilities.

Then of course they assign an entire chapter on How To Stop Fighting with older Children!

How to stop the grabbing toys from each other, to name calling to actual physical fighting. Right now in my house I have a lot of grabbing toys and not sharing, to my youngest pushing and biting my oldest child and laughing about it.  The mornings we don't have anything planned start off so nice and fun, and then after an hour I am trying to get them out the door to distract them because I can't hear anymore:

 "it's mine!  I had it first!"

The authors give great tips:
-Acknowledge the anger you see: "You two look really mad at each other!"
-Listen to each side respectfully: "I see, so it was your idea to build a tower with the blocks, but you saw the fun she was having and wanted to build one too."
-Express faith in their ability to figure out a solution, "That's a tough one, you both want to build a tower, but I am sure you two can figure out a way you can both do it"
-Leave the room: "I'll be cleaning the kitchen while you two work it out"

This helps them learn how to work things out on their own (which will help them as they get older in the real world) and can help stop the tattling and constant relying on parents to solve everything.

Of course it works better with older kids who can understand, but you can still use the language with toddlers.

An example for toddlers, when a child starts to grab a younger baby/toddler sibling, say "No hurting your sister, You can show me your feelings with your doll (or show me on this paper how mad you are!)"

For Physical fights with older kids, they suggest the following:
-Describe what you see: "I see one boy on a chair about to throw a block and the other one about to hit with a baseball bat!"
-Establish limits: "This is a very dangerous situation, people are not for hurting. We must have a cooling off period"
-Separate them: "You to your room, you to yours"

They then go into what to do after situations like this as well as what to do in 'other situations' like teenagers, fighting over property, when kids play fight, etc.

Can you tell how excited I am to have finally read this book? I can't wait to start putting these skills to practice. I'll get back to you on how it's working.  In the meantime, anyone have any other tips that have worked??  I know there are moms of 3 and 4 kids out there with tons of practice :)

AND LASTLY, Remember, that parents put too much pressure on themselves to 'say it right' or 'do it right' all the time.  Don't be so hard on yourself if you mess up! You always get a second chance with your children :)

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Summer Fun in Dallas

Now that my kids are a little older, I have come across a pretty good list of places to help beat the heat in Dallas this Summer!

  • Pump-it-Up on Forest Lane has open gym play Monday-Fridays from 10-11:30am and from 12-1:30pm.  Check out their calendar here.

  • Walnut Hill Rec Center on Walnut Hill and Midway Rd. has open play/gym for children through age 4 Monday through Fridays from 10:30-11:45am for 5$
  • The new Ridgewood Splash park at 6800 Fisher Rd. just remodeled and is amazing:

  • Splash Parks at various Dallas Recreation Centers, free!:

  • Northpark Bookmarks Baby Bounce and Tickles for Toddlers. Music and story time!  Check out their calendar for weekly times: 

  • Arboretum picnics in the morning (before it gets too hot)

  • Top Golf  for putt-putt

  • Playgrounds that have padded surfaces are Scottish Rite Hospital's playground and Coffee Park at Hillcrest and Northwest Highway

  • Storytimes at Lochwood Library on Fridays at 10:30m or Skillman Library at 10:30am on Thursdays.  Also Highland Park Library has them daily at 10am, click on link here.  The Preston-Royal location also has a different activity each Tuesday at 10:30am from music classes, to storytimes.

  • Cry baby movies at the Angelika recommended for babies under 6 months on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 1:30pm. 
  • Studio Movie Grill has Summer Kid Movies Mon-Friday at 11am for 1$ kids and 2$ adults, check the schedule here.

  • Indoor Playgrounds at Galleria Mall and Willowbend Mall
  • The Treefort at Watermark Church has a great indoor play area. Check out the daily schedule of open hours here (scroll down).
  • Richardson Public Library I've heard has the best area for kids with an aquarium, lots of stocked kids books and a train table. Check out their schedule for storytimes though as you have to register beforehand here.
  • JumpStreet indoor trampoline park has open jump from 10am-9pm Monday-Sunday and is 4$ if under 4 and 8$ from ages 4-7.

  • Best indoor restaurant playground is at the Chick-Fil-A at Southwestern and Central Expy and Hillcrest Ave (not as crowded!)  
  • Klyde Warren park downtown also has a lot to offer, including splash areas for kids to run around, food trucks and a park. If you are feeling adventurous, you can try to take the Trolley down there too. 
  • The Perot Museum has an area on the lower level for children under age 5 to play and run around in, with water play, climbing structures and art activities.  Just beware the museum and parking gets crowded in the summer with kids out of school!
  • Monster Yogurt is also a great way to cool off the summer with a froyo AND an indoor playground!  Check out their site here.
  • Barnes and Noble at Lincoln Park also has storytime on Tuesdays at 10:30am
  • Tuesdays at Whole Foods Park Ln has storytime and crafting at 10am! We love going here for the free snacks too.
  • Pottery Barn Kids off Knox also has a Tuesday storytime at 11am
  • For fun weekend storytimes, visit the Half Price Bookstore on Sundays at 3pm for children under age 10.
Hope this list helps fill up your Summer fun! If there are any other places I've forgotten, post in a comment below!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Indoor Summer Activities

I posted some great indoor summer preschool activities last year and they were so much fun, I decided to do a re-post of them!  Now that my children are 2 and 4 years old, they are at different developmental stages so it's fun to see how they work on the activities now that they are older!

1) Busy Bags! 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Potty Training and Accidents in Preschoolers

How many of you parents out there dreaded and still do dread potty training? Maybe you tried the 3- Day-Potty method and it worked great, or maybe it didn't and it's 6 months later and you are back to square one.  We trained our 4 year old when she was 2.5 (read about our 3 day training here), and we lucked out in that it worked amazingly well and hasn't worn a diaper at night since.

But it doesn't always go that smooth for a lot of families.  Last week, being on our preschool parent committee, I helped interview new teachers to hire for the school.  One of the questions I asked was, "what is your philosophy on potty training, rewards and punishments?"

This question is a HUGE deal to me because I have strong feelings when it comes to potty training and shaming a child for 'not getting it.'

My first job out of college was as a preschool teacher, and I was so excited to be at an award winning school that was NAEYC accredited.  Well, my first week there, I was in the gym with our class and one of the 3 year olds had a pee pee accident on the floor.  An aide stepped in, SHAMED the child and made him go stand in the corner! I just.about.died. I marched right over to the director's office (after helping the poor child), and told her I refused to work at a school where the staff shamed a child for having an accident. She didn't seem to think it was a big deal, so I quit.  I was 22 and looking back maybe I could have made a difference if I stayed, but I was so shaken and upset about it all.

So with that being said, I felt like a blog post about potty accidents and possible causes was needed. Plus I also recently came across some medical articles about reasons children have accidents and thought I would share, since I feel so passionately about helping kids through this delicate but HUGE life milestone. (Pat Bass III, MD, MPH). Let's start with what causes accidents..

Urinary Accident Causes:

Whether your child can control their bladder or not has to do with their nervous system.  Ok, going to repeat this one because it's important.  YOUR CHILD'S ABILITY TO CONTROL THEIR BLADDER HAS TO DO WITH THEIR NERVOUS SYSTEM.  As the nervous system matures, the child's brain is able to get messages that her bladder is filling up.  It's a developmental milestone and nervous systems mature differently for all children, kind of like learning how to walk. Some may get it earlier than others.  There are also other medical causes like hormones, fluid retention (see below).

By age 5, 90% of children are able to get through the day and night without having an accident.  By age 10 it's about 5%.  So yes, there are still some 10 year olds out there that will be wetting the bed.  I have some family members that had this problem growing up and it was hard on them, especially when they had sleepovers, but thankfully they have special Pull-Ups now for big kids to help.

Other causes of daytime accidents:
  • Overactive Bladder:  Sometimes a child can hold the bladder so much that they exercise the muscle and it makes the bladder stronger, which isn't good for the urinary system.  The bladder can become so strong that it overpowers the muscles around the urethra and it can't hold back urine so they have an accident.
  • UTI: More common in girls, UTI's can also cause an overactive bladder

    Night Bedwetting:
    Getting through the night without an accident can take a little longer to master than daytime incontinence.  It's more common for children to wet the bed after age 5 than it is for them to have accidents during the day.  Here's what could be happening if your child is experiencing bedwetting:
    • It's hereditary:  If both parents experienced bedwetting, a child has an 80 percent chance of having problems staying dry at night.
    • Deep sleeper: Nighttime incontinence is also related to a child being a deep sleeper.
    • A smaller bladder: Your child’s bladder may simply be smaller than other children her age, which makes it easier for the bladder to become full and spill over.
    • Fluid retention: Children who wet the bed tend to retain more fluid than other children. Our bodies retain fluid for our organs, such as our heart. But when you lie down, your heart doesn’t need to work as hard and your body gets rid of the extra fluid. Children who are more active during the day retain more fluid than children who aren’t as active.
    • The internal alarm is still developing: We all have an internal alarm that wakes us when our bladder needs to be emptied. The alarm becomes stronger as the child gets older.
    • Hormones aren’t lowering urine levels:  Antidiuretic hormone is released at night to slow down the production of urine, but some children may not be producing enough of the hormone to stay dry while they sleep.
    • Anxiety: Anxiety and stressful events, such as a new baby sibling, can cause a child to take a longer time to potty train at night or cause a child who’s already potty trained to start having bladder problems.
    • Sleep apnea: If she’s having trouble breathing at night due to inflammation or an enlargement of her tonsils or adenoids, it could be causing nighttime incontinence. Often, treating the sleep apnea can also help keep her dry.

    Other Causes:

    Dr. Hodges, MD is a specialist that also states that a child that has daytime and night time accidents can be caused by constipation.  In most cases the cause is chronic holding of pee, poop or both. He believes that constipation issues are often the cause of pee pee accidents.  Holding pee thickens and irritates the bladder, causing spontaneous, forceful contractions like hiccups. Holding poop stretches the colon, which presses against the bladder and irritates the nerves feeding it. When you treat constipation aggressively, wetting episodes almost always cease.

    Dr. Hodges believes that constipation in children often goes unrecognized, even in children with grapefruit-sized poop masses lodged in their rectums.
    One of his patients was a 3.5 year old girl who was having "excessive" potty accidents; her previous doctor had missed a giant mass of stool in her rectum that made it impossible for her to stay dry. After she became his patient, he found her mass on an X-ray.

    Most kids with masses like hers poop DAILY (softer poop oozes around the hard mass), so no one is the wiser! Many doctors don't look for clogged rectums when patients present with accidents and bedwetting.  The answer is fueling your child with fiber rich foods and less processed, chicken nuggets and mac n cheese (I know, easier said than done.)  Since mine are the pickiest eaters on the planet and refuse all vegetables, I have them taking Juice Plus chewables and I signed up to sell it since it helps curb the cost :) You can read more about it here. Sorry, just had to throw in a plug there.  But it is my saving grace because without it, my kids would be more sick and definitely not be getting enough fiber.

    Also, here are a few books to help get your child to eat more fiber rich foods:

    Hope this helps some of you out there struggling with potty training your kids!  Hang in there, and if you need assistance with accidents and potty training, definitely talk to your doctor about options.