I don’t know about you but I cannot believe how much poop talk is in my life now that I have kids. Especially now that I have toddlers. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t talk about it. And I am not one of those people that thinks “butt” jokes are funny. I don’t want to talk about farts, I don’t need to know how big your “load” was today, I certainly don’t want pictures (anyone else’s husband send pics of their dumps to their friends? Um yes I am serious with that question because I literally think my husband is crazy).
Then enter children. My two year old is not potty training yet; I will keep him a baby forever. I will throw myself over his crib if you attempt to put a toddler bed in there. I will hang onto his diapers for as long as possible. I will cuddle, rock, kiss and make a fuss over him for as long as I want to!! (Can you tell we are done having children??).
Anyhoo, I also have an almost 4 year old who has been potty training for close to a year now. Number one, good to go. Number two? We are struggling!! He will go into the corner of a room and sit, so we know he’s trying to poop. So when I see this, I tell him to get up and go into the bathroom. What does he do? He sits there, turning bright red, and stares at me as he poops right there. He’s turning red, not because he’s embarrassed by any means, but because he’s pushing!!
When I ask him why he’s not pooping in the potty, he tells me it’s not fun to. I make him clean himself up completely when he poops his pants. He has to flush everything, he was to rinse everything, the whole 9 yards. He thinks that’s fun!!
I then try rewards for pooping in the potty. He can take them or leave them (and I’m talking chocolate here people, who in the world can take or LEAVE chocolate??).
I then make him sit on the potty every 30 minutes and try to poop, since if I can’t trust him to tell me when he’s gotta go, I have to make sure he goes the right way. He sits in there and sings!
I then start to take toys away from him when he keeps pooping in his undies. I took away his bike, his Power Wheels, his favorite movie. . . . HE DOES NOT CARE!!
So then I use the “disappointed” approach. I tell him how disappointed I am that he won’t poop in the potty, when he knows exactly when he has to go. I tell him how happy it makes me when he does go in the potty on his own. I think this he cares about, but not enough to make him go on the potty.
I of course read all the books and use all the tried and true techniques – “Potty Train Over the Weekend”, “2 Days Until Potty Trained”, “How to Potty Train in a Week”, etc. No dice.
Now why would I title this Potty Training 101 if I am obviously failing? Because I learned something VERY valuable in all of this. You can read all the books and be super prepared and know all there is to know about potty training your child. But if they aren’t ready, it won’t work.
Did you hear that? If THEY aren’t ready, IT WON’T WORK.
Every child is so different in so many ways and this is no different. I have friends who’s children were potty trained in 3 days at age 2. I have friends who’s children were potty trained over the weekend at age 3. And then I have friends who, like me, their child or children “isn’t getting it”. But, is it really that they aren’t getting it? I don’t think so. I think they understand what they are supposed to do. I just don’t think they are ready to do it.
Every child ages differently. No matter how much we push them or plead with them they will advance when they are ready. Don’t sweat it, don’t get all worked up over it, don’t think your child or children are are going to be in diapers when they are in kindergarten. They will do it, just not when you are ready but when they are. They have little minds of their own. They have little personalities of their own. They have their likes and their dislikes. Why would we think we can “push” them to potty train? Everything else they do when they are ready, why is this different?
Society seems to tell you that if your child isn’t potty trained by the time they are 2 or 3, there is something wrong with them. All of these potty training books that are popular right now tell you if it doesn’t happen within the week or 3 days or whatever, there is something wrong with them. Or with you, maybe you aren’t doing it right. Maybe you aren’t following directions exactly.
I say RELAX!! Respect your child’s wishes and needs; wait until your child is ready; don’t force the issue of potty training. All that will do is frustrate you and your child!! Just relax and use pull-ups, your child will use the potty and be potty trained when they are ready to do it!!
Now you’ll have to excuse me, my son is in the corner 😉