Monday, September 9, 2013

I did it the wrong way.

Potty-training has been the bane of my existence this whole last year.
Of course, it wasn't a continuous year, on-and-off is more like it, but still--I'm so over it.
THANKFULLY, the little stinker has finally got the hang of it.
I can officially say,

Now, for whoever cares (and for my sanity), take my advice: only potty-train when your child is READY.
MEANING, when he/she is interested and WANTS to.
That seems pretty obvious, right?? 
Well OBVIOUSLY, I didn't get the memo.

Instead of taking my own advice, I was influenced and pressured by others. I saw other moms with their just-barely-3-years-old already potty-trained and I longed for their success. I sat in my Sunbeam class and saw no one else wearing diapers but Wyatt and I felt embarrassed. I was being questioned by everyone, constantly, if he'd been successful. And I wanted him to be...SO BADLY. So I forced him into it.

My method was both frustrating and disappointing to me AND to Wyatt.
Don't follow my example.
It all started last summer, when Wyatt was two-and-a-half, and we were up in Overgaard on a mini-vacation. Wyatt went poop on the toilet for the very first time and I was ecstatic. But as soon as we got home he stopped and didn't want to do it anymore. I wasn't worried however, because I wasn't planning on seriously contemplating potty-training until he was three. So when his third birthday rolled around, and he still wasn't very interested, I decided to try using incentives (first candy, then stickers, and even little toys) hoping that would get him excited. And it did, but only for a little while. So then I decided to change the incentive...and again, it would work, but not for very long.

 And that's how our relationship with potty-training went for the next 6 months--literally on-and-off, one week to the next, with some days being really successful, and others ending in miserable failure. 

After a few months, the incentives no longer had any affect. I tried everything else--I got angry, we had pep-talks, I tried to get him excited about being a "big boy," I tried being happy, disappointed, energetic, sad....
...I even started taking away his toys at one point.
He just didn't care.
He didn't want to do it.
So then I gave up. I stopped asking him about going to the bathroom. I stopped pressuring him. I stopped being angry about every dirty diaper I changed.
And then I noticed he started telling me when he had to go.
And then I noticed it was every day. For a month.
And then I noticed he wanted to do it.

FINALLY he understood, and FINALLY he was successful.
And now we are SO HAPPY.

1 comment:

Susan said...

This sounds exactly like how potty training Grant went. :) Glad he finally figured it out and now it will be easier with Logan. Each one of my kids potty trained a little earlier than the previous one. Hopefully it will be the same for you.