What They Don’t Tell You About Potty Training

Adventures in potty training are – well – an adventure.

You start out with a trusted map – directions and pointers from books, magazines, websites, other parents, whatever. You diligently follow the steps:
* Make sure he’s showing signs that he’s ready
* Let him pick out his own potty
* Buy pull-ups and/or ‘big boy underwear’ 

You sing songs, read books, watch videos, and post charts. You exuberantly dance a ‘potty dance’ to celebrate victories and apologetically pacify close calls.  Accidents happen – right?

And in the begining, it’s complicated. Which potty does he like? Should you do this gradually using pull-ups or let him run naked for 3-4 days in a controlled environment? What treats are more persuasive in helping him remember to use the potty? Did you start too soon, too late? It’s a trial-by-fire process – every child is different.

But after you’ve been at that thing for weeks – maybe months – the fog goes away and the mission is more clear. The pee and the poop must get in the pot – PERIOD!  

I believe the child knows it too. Oh he’s no pro- but he knows that he’s in control. You can take away toys, say ‘no’ to more candy and even make him go to bed – but he – and only he – has the power to police his pee! 

Thus, in my experience of potty training two strong-willed boys, the last step in potty training is discipline.  You can tell when your child honestly had a mistake or when he plants a puddle on your carpet -on purpose (the devlish grin kinda gives it away).

So, there are consequences and reprecussions for not making a valient effort in our household. Because when Once Upon a Potty becomes Once Upon a Nightmare – and the Elmo potty training DVD is more entertainment than educational – it’s time to regain control. 

Honestly, once we showed our boys we meant business (no pun intended)  – MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!  For the most part, we are over this potty training hump.

And occasionally, accidents do still happen – but that’s okay!

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