Potty Training Part 1

Oh dear, where to begin? Twice last week V sat on the potty on her own and peed when I asked her if she could. I thought potty training would be a breeze, and I had everything ready to go.

The minute training started she began to rebel. Most methods involve placing your child on the potty every 20 minutes or so and seeing if they’ll do anything. I can’t even get her on the potty. She does the full on arched back tantrum thing. In 90 minutes we had three accidents and not once would she even sit on the potty. We tried bribes. We tried  explaining she was a big girl now and big girls use the potty. My husband even went as far as to tell her that the grandparents wouldn’t want to see her again until she was potty trained.

I emailed the playgroup, and the general consensus was to hang in there. One mom said she’d bribed her daughter for sitting on the potty, the other backed off for a few weeks when her daughter refused to sit at all. I started Googling for help, but the internet didn’t offer much. At a loss, I decided to check the library to see if they had a copy of Stress-Free Potty Training, a recommended book, and it turned out they had an eBook!

The book has a quiz at the beginning that helps you figure out what sort of child you’re dealing with. V, of course, is “Strong-Willed:”

With Strong-Willed Children, you can show them the hill; you can point out the benefits of going up the hill; you can walk with them to the bottom of the hill and go up the hill yourself; you can call down with a description about how great it is at the top. You can even have the rest of the family go up the hill. But, you can’t make the Strong-Willed Child go up the hill until they are ready.

The book really hit the nail on the head, and confirmed what I had suspected- that my child would only do this if she thought it was her idea. That’s why she did so great when she sat on the potty herself and I just casually asked her if she could pee. It’s also why praise has always worked so much better than bribes. So I’m going to try to back off for a while. It’s going to be really tough. I had to really work up to this whole potty training thing to begin with, so letting it go seems like such a setback. But I need to slow down and try to subtly convince my daughter that she wants to use the potty…without her realizing it.

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