Polk Moms

Connecting moms in Polk County, Fla.

We have twins, one girl and one boy, and are attempting potty training. It's been a tough go because the girl seems to wait until her brother does something before trying it. He could care less about it. Any ideas how to get him interested? They will be three in August and have to be trained before they can go to preschool.

When our twins were around three, it was our son who wanted to do things his sister did. And, she was not interested in potty training. The end result was that we had to let her grandmother train her and we trained our son. It only took a couple of weeks or so but it worked pretty well with a few minor accidents. If you have someone to help you train one or the other, try it and see if it'll work in your household. - Steve and Les T. in Fort Meyers, FL

FROM JODIE:

Sometimes kids are reluctant to potty train for several reasons, anything from the weather outside to they are just a tad too young. Boys in particular may often need a little more time to become more interested. Their physical maturity is also a little behind. If you wait until it's slightly warmer outside, which will bring up the temperature inside as well, he may be more responsive. The reason for this is that sometimes, in the spring and summer, parents will place potty chairs outside near where the kids are playing for when they have to go potty and can quickly get to it without leaving the area and without feeling their bottoms be exposed to cooler weather. However, you can still talk to them about it and keep the potty out now. There are plenty of books and videos available in the marketplace as well games and reward systems that might entice them to want to go potty. If you're not utilizing two different potties for each child, this may also make a difference. However, since your daughter likes to follow in her brother's footsteps, she may very well want to always use his. This is fine. And if she decides that she wants to find out what it's all about on her own, there is no reason why you can't proceed with training her. Training one child is somewhat of a trying time, so in your situation, training two will require lots and lots of patience. You have six months so things should be fine.

CAN YOU HELP?

My stepdaughter visits us each weekend and we enjoy her company very much. However, she seems to be quite jealous of our dog. We're not sure why but the only reason we can think of is maybe because he gets to live with us all the time? She plays with him but we've noticed that she is also unusually rough with him and will sometimes try to spank him and say he is a bad boy for any given reason. How's the best way to handle this?

PLEASE NOTE: The model number for the Brother Portable Label Maker mentioned in a recent column was incorrect. The correct one is PT-H110. It's available on Amazon.

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