Need advice?

logo-5-2-09If you have a question for me, about parenting or anything else, I’m happy to answer it. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll find it.

You can leave a comment or email me at

sarah AT ParentingByTrialandError DOT com

I’ll post the answer on this page.

I hope to hear from you soon!

7 Responses to “Need advice?”

  1. Amy Grisak says:

    Hi Sarah!

    What would you do in this situation? Sam had a significant fever on Saturday (peaked at 104) that responded to meds. It came down on Sunday sometimes reaching 101.7 at times. Today he seems to be feeling better without a fever. Should I chalk it up to a virus this weekend, or check for something in particular? No runny nose, no ear pulling, no cough. He does have dark circles under his eyes, and is definitely worn down a bit.

    On one hand, I’d like to take him to the Dr. to see what she says (if there’s something like this going around), but I hate to expose him to the germ factory that’s there especially if it’s not needed.

    Have any of your kids done this?

  2. momofracl says:

    Hi Amy,

    Thanks for your question!

    All my kids have had the mysterious fever-with-no-other-symptoms that you describe. Yes, you should chalk it up to a virus since he doesn’t have anything else going on. When Logan was a baby and toddler, it seemed like he had a fever and nothing else every few months. It was weird.

    As long as he isn’t uncomfortable, I wouldn’t worry about it. Kids bounce back so fast from illness.

    Hope this helps!


  3. Kathy says:


    My younger son has taken to pulling his diaper off (usually it’s wet, but sometimes it’s still dry), so I’m obviously fast-tracking the potty-training thing. Right now, I’m letting him go naked, taking him to the potty every 15 minutes or so (more if he’s drunk a lot of water, less if he hasn’t), getting on to him if he goes in the floor, and giving him a couple of chocolate chips when he goes in the potty. Any other tips or suggestions?

    My older son was much easier to p-t — I accidentally had him w/o a diaper on when he had to go, and he was scared of going in the floor, so I rushed him to the potty, and there ya go! He’s had his share of accidents (and he was a few months older than my other son is now), but it was a breeze, so I feel like I’m a new mom when it comes to this! 🙂


  4. Kathy,

    I wish I had the perfect answer for you, but unfortunately, it seems like potty-training techniques and experiences differ from child to child almost as much as the personalities that dictate said techniques.

    I’ve potty-trained four kids now. Even so, this is one area in which I will never feel like an expert. Each child was different. With the girls, I decided when they were getting close to 3 that I was really tired of changing their diapers, so I put them in thick cotton underwear, encased in plastic. It only took the first set of wet pants to potty-train Andie. I know — unreal, right? Too bad they’re not all that easy.

    I tried several times to train Cody before he decided he wanted to participate. I tried the plastic/cotton trick, but he didn’t give a rip if he was wet or stinky (which sort of defeats the whole purpose of being uncomfortable and thus being motivated to go on the potty instead of in one’s pants). I finally waited until he decided he was ready, which was when he saw a peer doing it. He was almost 4 by the time he was trained, but once he wanted to be a “big boy,” it took almost no time at all.

    I believe that there is a certain amount of time there where kids are interested and eager to learn. Once that window is gone, it will inevitably turn into a power struggle. I don’t know how old your son is, but it sounds like he’s still within the window. Use it to your advantage, if you can. I missed the window with both my boys.

    What I found with Cody and Logan is that waiting until they are ready is much easier, albeit more expensive, than trying to get them to do something they don’t want to do. The thing is, kids have us over a barrel, and they know it. They are the only ones who can control what comes out of their bodies, as well as when and where it comes out. They have to *want* to go potty in the appropriate place or we, the parents, end up with the crappy (pun intended) end of the stick.

    If you’re feeling like having to sit him on the potty so often is becoming way too much of a pain in the you-know-what, don’t feel bad about holding off for awhile. My attempts to train Logan, who was well past the window of wanting to please Mommy, were doing nothing but frustrating me no end. But, as with Cody, once he made up his mind that he wanted to wear underwear, it was over very fast.

    Please keep me posted on how this goes.


  5. My 19 month old boy have their diapers off most of the time — they love to get into their soiled diapers and have it around the bed. Everybody keeps informing me to potty train them, but my baby isn’t really speaking yet. How can I instruct when my baby can’t even say to me when its bathroom time? any suggestioms orhelp?

  6. Cherie K says:

    I’ve raised 3 kids–they were all different. Oldest was hardest (boy)…not so much wetting, but soiling his diaper. Then the twins (boy and girl) were easier. They kind of followed big brother’s example of whizzing in the potty thinking it was great fun. I tossed a small handful of cheerios in the toilet for the boys to try and aim and hit. That helped them develop good aiming skills. We also used a bathroom stool–wood bench the kids used to wash their hands when they were all done—I kept a roll of cool stickers in the bathroom and after going potty and washing their hands, they got to choose one and stick it to their bench or wear it for the day.

    Oldest has graduated high school now, two more almost finished and that old bench now sits in our kitchen pantry with piles of half-worn off stickers! A nice memory now.

    Best advice: Never push hard. Offer it. Let them follow you or dad in to get the idea that is where people go. Then give rewards for going in the potty. Never discipline a child for wetting or soiling their pants. Keep it positive and it will be a happy, good experience they go through quickly.

  7. Maxine says:

    Hello Sarah,

    Someone has hijacked my sweet daughter’s room. Who is that in there? My 11 soon to be 12 year old daughter is turning into a monster. I don’t understand what is happening to her. She has always been so sweet, obedient and totally polite. I can’t remember ever taking her to a place or her visiting a friends home and the parents simply not raving about how polite she was. I was so proud of her and of the hard work my husband and I have been doing for years.

    I do not believe in corporeal punishment and can count on one hand the amount of times I have spanked my daughter. We just always believed that communication is the key but for almost a year now my daughter has been becoming more and more defiant/rebellious (basically nuts). I am about ready to give her a good whack on the backside. I was thinking her cycle was nearing but nothing yet. She is still very polite outside and with other adults but at home she is always looking for an argument. She talks back and is just outright rude. She wants to negotiate everything we ask of her. We have to tell her three or four times to do something before even thinks of making a move. She simply refuses to clean her room and do the dishes although we ask her to do those chores only on the weekend. She begged for a piano and less than a year later wants to quit the classes. NOT happening. Also, she confuses wants and needs. She thinks that she is suppose to get whatever she wants when she wants it (material or not).

    WHAT TO DO? My husband and I are pulling our hair out. Me more so than him because he travels a lot for work so it is usually just she and I. Honestly, I have to admit I am happy when she is at school or attending activities away from me. Peace.

    On a positive note, she does quite well in school although I am afraid that will end soon. She has been number one in the school since kindergarten. She has now fallen to the top five and don’t seem to care. She’s in 6th grade. She has started neglecting her homework and is only doing enough to get by. She is only allowed Wii games and the internet on Saturday and Sunday but she can do that for hours on end and it drives me nuts. We have to argue for her to turn the games off. Fortunately, she is a smart kid and learns fast but I am afraid this is going to turn very bad. Especially since I am losing my patience.


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