Evan is 4 ½. His mom is a pediatrician. So is his dad. His mom and I were sharing stories of feeling like inept parents in the face of trying to help families with behavioral problems. It’s hard to do what we say, and frankly, hard to master this whole parenting thing. Does anyone?
We were having coffee, trying to get some work done when we downshift to talk about pee.
Mom describes Evan as “a genius.” He can count to a thousand. By 10’s.
He will work on kindergarten Brainquest workbooks for 6 hours.
But, he can’t pee in the toilet at preschool.
Until last week, Evan was self-restricting fluids and holding it until he would pee in his pants at 3pm when he couldn’t make it any more. Then, poor guy, he’d cry and freak out (of course). They had tried reward charts, talking about it, not talking about it, stressing about it, not stressing about it, timed peeing, etc. She’d been through the behavioral books.
He said he couldn’t pee without his mom. She got it.
She realized then that if she showed up at school and gave him permission to pee, he would. She worried she was doing what all pediatricians would tell her not to do. But instead of acting only like a pediatrician, she was thinking like a parent, using instincts. Trusting herself instead of her training, she formulated a plan.
Last week, before naptime, she hauled over to preschool with a little sign in her pocket and met up with Evan. No biggie, she thought. She pulled out the sign and showed it to him. He instantly marched off to the bathroom, peed and came back.
She’s been doing this daily since then.
She flashes the little wad of paper, then waves bye. She told him when he didn’t need her anymore, she’d stop showing up. That was it. A daily 30-second encounter and her son is functional at school again. Drama free. Hopefully this won’t continue until high school graduation. Over-under, anyone?
Well done, Dr. Evan Mom.