Conflict in parenting is unavoidable. The truth is, if you care at all about your child's well being, there will be conflict. In essence, conflict is due to incompatible goals, scarce resources, or interference in achieving your objectives. For example, when you go to the store, you are there to buy whatever it is you went there to get. Your child, however, is on a vision quest find something he desperately needs for his survival. He doesn't know what that item is until he sees it on the shelf, and that item can change from aisle to aisle. But trust me, he will die without it. iPhones are another source of conflict. Your child wants to play Angry Birds, and this severely inhibits your ability to use your phone ... to play Angry Birds. Parent-child conflict is perhaps no more evident than with the issue of going potty. As adults, we approach going potty much like Forrest Gump: "When I had to go ... you know ... I went." We know from experience that some times and places are better than others for going potty, and our children just haven't figured this out yet. We have learned over time that there is a difference between a "desire" to go potty and a "need" to go potty. There are specific circumstances when we desire to go potty so that later on we will not need to go potty. At any given moment during the day you can actually measure this desire to go potty in any person. After about a year of rigorous research in this area, I have collected the following pilot data. The scale for this research is between 1 and 10. If the child is visibly resisting the act of going potty (e.g., performing "the grab," "the dance," or "the squeeze"), that child may be given a negative score. If the parent considers, even for a nano-second, letting the child have an accident in order to "know better next time," that parent receives a negative score.

As you can see, parents need not spend so much time convincing their children about the ideal time and place to go potty. They will figure that out eventually. What we need are more bridges.