Potty training. Every parent has had to deal with this moment. It might be more or less difficult depending on various factors: your level of patience, the amount of time you can dedicate, your child’s personality, and why not, a dose of luck.
There are some parents that choose to start early, really early. I don’t know. Who am I to judge. But me and my wife decided to wait until Lucas turned 3 to really focus on potty training. Lucas now understands clearly when we tell him that he needs to ask us to go potty. He understands but that doesn’t mean he does it.
It’s been a struggle. We got him cool looking undies he has a portable potty that we can carry around the house and we spend as much time as possible motivating and reminding him “to go” in the potty. There was even a period that we bribed him with small gifts for each time he went in the proper place.
This past weekend we decided to intensify this transitioning by buying some more undies and reminding him every 5 minutes to “go pee-pee” in the potty. It kind of worked.
I have an approach a little more strict than my wife. I don’t get angry at all but I’m very firm when telling Lucas to use the potty. I keep asking him questions such as “Lucas, do you need to go pee-pee in the potty” or “Lucas, where do big boys go pee-pee?” and he always answers.
Yesterday he had already wet 2 undies when I told him that he had to let me know when he needed to go potty. Fifteen minutes later I asked him again and he decided to sit on the potty. I thought, “great, he’s progressing now.” He sat there for about 10 minutes and then said “no pee pee daddy”. I said, “ok” and pulled his undies up. I then go to the kitchen for no more than 5 minutes and when I come back he had peed himself.
I took a deep breath and looked him in the eyes “Lucas, you must tell daddy when you need to go pee pee. Look at you cool undies, they’re all wet now. Daddy is going to put you in time-out for three minutes because you know you have to ask to go pee pee and you didn’t. It almost broke my heart to see his face sitting in time out for something I know it’s hard for him to control. (see photo above). But you know what? It did make a difference. For the rest of the day he was more focused and aware of his urges. He still got two more undies wet but both times he got up and said “pee pee, wet” and we still had time to rush him to the potty so he could finish his business there.
We now decided to get pull ups for him to wear at day care and whenever we’re at home with him we’ll keep him wearing his undies and applying the reinforcement techniques of reminding, praising for achievement, and giving time-out if necessary. Let’s hope it works.
Like I said in the beginning of this post, every parent has to go through this and there’s no magic formula. Patience, understanding and love are crucial to help your child learn this new and very important skill.
How do/did you deal with potty training your kids? Let us know in the comments section bellow or send me your story at firstname.lastname@example.org.