It's OKAY to wait on potty training!

A while ago I wrote about potty training my very head strong stubborn toddler.  Of course technically thats not even a correct statement, he’s not a toddler he’s a preschooler.  I had been trying to train him since about 2.5.  I pretty much tried everything in the book to get that child to potty train.  It just wasn’t happening.  Finally I was at a playdate and the Librarian was there and she heard me talking about my disastrous potty training attempts.  She continued to tell me that Rocky was over 4 years old before he was potty trained and that he is just fine.  For some reason a light went off in my head, it was almost as if she was giving me permission to stop trying and put it in little C’s hands.  So that’s what I did, I laid off and gave up all mentions of underwear, the potty and everything else I was doing.

The comments continued from the older generation.  “Well if he was my son, he would have been on the potty since he was 2”, “Well in my day we just MADE them do it”.  And then there was an event where I worked with an elimination communicationist (They learn their baby’s cues and hold them over toilets, claiming to have their children trained at infancy) and the mere disgust on the faces that I had an almost 4 year old still in diapers was enough to make me want to run screaming.  If you have the patience and can do what they do… more power to you, but that is not for me.  They said I was training my child to be reliant on diapers.  I guess…

The hardest part of having an older child not toilet trained is not the diapers, its the constant disapproval from outsiders.  I’m always amazed at how once you join this motherhood club, the lack of filter some people have.  Just because we’re both moms doesn’t mean you have the right to tell me what I’m doing wrong.  I can see if I’m soliciting advice, but if I’m changing my son’s diaper on a changing table that is obviously too small for him, I don’t need the comment “looks like that boy needs to be going on the toilet, he’s too big for a changing table”.  Keep it to yourself lady, you think I’m choosing this?

So back to my stubborn, head strong preschooler.  My mother-in-law was determined to get Little C toilet trained.  I kept telling her I was waiting for him to be ready but if she thought she could do it… more power to her.  She purchased the Potty Scotty doll and got everything prepared that Dr. Phil had said to do for the 1 day program.  The plan was to do this Sunday.  We were ready.  I had a long week.  Plus I worked all day Saturday (something I don’t normally do) so Little C was missing me.  Instead of flopping on the couch to relax we decided to take Little C out for the night.  We played, ate and had a great time.  In the bathtub that night he looked at me and told me he needed to go potty.  I whisked him out of the bathtub and onto his potty… he went!  Hooting and hollering followed, he was so proud.  He literally has been potty trained since.

I believe he knew his grandma was going to try to train him the very next day and he wanted to be the person responsible for potty training himself.  I also think he was rewarding me for a great night out and letting him do this on his own.  No matter what his reasoning, he did it totally on his own, I really had no hand in it except helping him to the toilet.  He’s so proud of himself.  Now he’s even going standing up, he transitioned from a little potty to a big one in 3 weeks (which some say takes forever!).

I’m so happy I eased up on him and let him go at his own rate.  I wish more moms would allow their children the freedom and not pressure their children to do things too fast.  Big E was ready very early and was super easy to potty train.  That just wasn’t the case with Little C.  But the moral of the story is that kids will eventually be potty trained.  They wont be going into kindergarten in diapers so maybe we shouldn’t push so hard.

Just make sure to tune all the negative comments out…

The Photo Addict

Potty Training a Stubborn Preschooler

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When Big E was about two and a half I looked at him one day and decided it was time to potty train him. I purchased some big boy underwear, got some treats, spent about a week at home with him, and there you had it… I had a potty trainer toddler. So when my very “spirited” three year old Little C turned 2, I started introducing him to the potty. Let’s just say it’s been 18 long months of a very frustrating relationship.

Let me take you back to the beginning. When Little C was born, he was induced several weeks early. He had a very weak sucking mechanism so getting him to breast-feed was ridiculously difficult, but I kept at it. 2 months of the La Leche League later, I had a confidant breast-feeding baby. Little C has always been challenging. He would cry non stop unless I would hold him, so I found myself doing everything with him in a sling, even the dishes. On my birthday, he refused to take a bottle from my mother-in-law and went 12 hours without eating… at 6 months old!!

As the toddler years came it didn’t get any better, the headstrong stubborn behavior turned into screams and cries of power struggles. By his second birthday we were at the pediatrician’s office and she pointed out to me that he was far behind his other kid counterparts in his speech development. This totally explained his outbreaks; he couldn’t communicate. Everything has been a struggle, but gosh darn it he’s so darn cute! Two and a half, I start the potty introduction, not good. At his third year checkup I explained to his pediatrician that he was not interested at all, she told me to give it a rest for 3 months and then reintroduce him to it. Got it…

So here we are now, at three and half trying to start potty training with a head strong, speech delayed, stubborn preschooler. I’m trying to find a preschool for him, he NEEDS to go to a preschool twice a week… I NEED him to go to preschool twice a week, but no one wants him at his age unless he’s potty-trained. Its not like he’s a dog for crying out loud, he’s a human being. So once again I bring out the potty. I do all the right things, I have the rewards system (I even made him a cute little container with candies for him), I have a potty in almost every room, we’ve gone days without any diapers and nothing works. And don’t tell me he’s not ready, he has every single sign of being ready, he’s just stubborn!

I know what you’re all thinking… well she hasn’t done THIS, or she hasn’t tried THAT. May I remind you I potty-trained Big E in less than 2 weeks. Let me explain how Little C does things. We spent 45 minutes in front of the TV watching his favorite movie, E.T. with him sitting on his potty. I ask him every 5-10 minutes to go Pee or Poop for mommy, and he’ll get a candy. Mommy has to use the restroom, I go to the bathroom, and not even 2 minutes later my son has moved from his potty, found the only place in our house that has carpet, and takes the largest, most giant dump I have seen from a kid his age on my office floor!

That my friends is a clear power play… the battle continues.

The Photo Addict