Boy, you think once you’ve gone through potty training your nightmares are over, but recently I had an email from a mom asking me what to do with her 4 year old who refused to wear underwear.
Well, all you Adlerian trained parents who have taken courses with me, are you thinking back to the theories you’ve learned to answer this one in your own heads?
I guarantee there are no journal articles written by either Dr Dreikurs or Alfred Adler on this exact situation, but here is how I pieced my answer together:
- I asked myself what is the usefulness or social benefit of the behavior? Probably she gets into a fight with mom and so this could be a power struggle.
- If it’s power we ask ourselves to divest our personal power and authority and instead try to look a things situationally. What are the TRUE needs of the situation? Well, gosh, why do 4 year olds wear undies? I agree they must cover their private parts, but if they are wearing pants or leggings or opaque tights, does it really matter to anyone else if they have panties on underneath? If it doesn’t bother to child and she is covered, is this something we need to busy ourselves over?
I think not.
What say you?