Remembering That Every Kid is Different

By: Kristen Clifford

Just a few weeks ago I started the task I was dreading the most: potty training my 2 year old twins. I’ve been dreading this task ever since I potty trained my oldest daughter right after I had the twins. I knew how hard it was with one kid, and the thought of doing it with two just sent my head spinning.

The Twins

When February vacation hit, I knew it was time. Without having all the school, dance, gymnastics, and cheer-leading runs I had no excuses. I hunkered down in the house, rolled up the rug, and put away all the toys that would be hard to clean if peed on. I stocked up on cleaner and undies, and got out the kid potties. I prepped the sticker charts and loaded up a basket with lots of books.

Emma had been showing signs of being ready. She was asking for the potty and telling us when she was peeing. However, her twin, Carter, was not doing any of these things. However, thought I’d give it a shot anyways. I got out the juice cups and the twins were so excited to be able to drink as much juice as they wanted.

Different children

After the first morning, Emma was having a few accidents but was showing signs that she was understanding the whole process. Carter, on the other hand, was terrified, and was screaming and crying. By nap time Carter had exhausted himself from crying so much, he went to sleep without a fight.

During nap time I tried to refocus. I knew Carter just wasn’t ready. I had to have an internal Mommy conversation, and needed to decide “Do I push him or do I back off?” I had to remind myself that just because they are twins and share a birthday, does not, in fact, mean that they are the same person. I needed to remember that every kid is different. They like different things, learn differently, and learn at different paces.

Carter and Emma

I took a step back and decided now was not a good time to push Carter. I focused the rest of my time and energy that week on getting Emma potty trained. She did great! She has an accident once in a while, but for the most part she wears her big girl undies and does great.

Carter is still not ready, and I’m okay with that. He is not his sister, and she is not him. Every kid is different- even those that shared a womb!

4 thoughts on “Remembering That Every Kid is Different

  1. This post brings up an important point about the unrealistic expectations parents have for their kids. It sounds like you did a wonderful job of keeping yourself from pushing your son into something he wasn’t ready for. He’ll get there when he has the ability and maturity to handle potty training. And congrats to your little girl! 🙂

  2. A lovely piece reminding us that we all do things in our own time… in this instance I too believe you were definately right to give Carter more time. In my experience girl are quicker in this area, but one wouldn’t like to stereotype. Well done to your daughter! I am sure she will take longer to do other things, so this will always be a moment for her to remember and boost her self esteem when things are going Carter’s way later.

  3. This is wonderful! I have so many friends that believe just because their child is a certain age, they need to be potty trained. I always have the same advice….every child is different and they’ll be ready when they are ready! No need to rush, it will only end up bad for you! Lol! I was really lucky that it went pretty easily with my daughter and can only hope for the same with my son in a year or so! Good luck to you with your son and congratulations with your daughter!!

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