Last December, my daughter started asking to go on the “potty.” As all moms experience, she had joined me on MANY trips to the bathroom, so inevitably she began to get curious about the process.
For Christmas, she decided to ask Santa for her own “potty.” We went to the mall, stood in line, and watched our daughter (through tears) tell Santa she wanted a potty, along with books and toys.
Well, come Christmas morning, turns out there were quite a few “more exciting” gifts than the potty from Santa. I felt some defeat, but had a plan for how to move forward.
Since we had a lot going on with the holidays, I decided to wait until January to begin training. Being away from home for parties and gatherings didn’t seem like the appropriate time to potty train. I assumed we would be setting ourselves up for failure.
Ok, January had arrived… I found a couple dates with not a lot going on. I wanted to make sure we could stay focused on the task at hand, and not be distracted by other events in our lives.
We went to Target and I let my daughter pick out her own “Big Girl Undies.” By giving her some choices about the process, she was taking ownership of her own learning and getting excited about it at the same time.
Finally, I made my daughter her very own “Potty Chart!” It Included empty boxes to be filled with stickers, each time she went on the potty. After three stickers, she would receive the prize written below the boxes. I chose items such as… a lollipop, walk to the park, a trip to the BIG park, extra iPad time, Chipotle for lunch (her FAVE!), and for her final three boxes (which I assumed would mean she had successfully completed potty training) she was going to be able to pick out a new toy.
The only thing left to get ready was my mind. I was kind of nervous about the process. Is that normal? Diapers have become easy. Yes, changing them can be a pain, but you don’t have to worry about accidents, going potty 100 times a day, asking your kid to go potty 100 times a day. It seemed like A LOT more work than putting a diaper on your kid’s bum. However, I am not sending my child to Kindergarten in a diaper, so I had to get my mind right. Ha!
The day arrived… Potty Training Day! I woke up with a positive attitude and decided I was going to make the best of the situation. My daughter was very excited about wearing undies, but that is about where her excitement ended. Every 30 minutes or so, I would ask her if she wanted to try and go on the potty. Her response was literally a screaming, “NOOOOOO!” I reminded her that wearing undies was a special part of the process, but only if she went the bathroom on the toilet. She still did not seem enthused. Eventually, she had her first accident in her undies. She told me immediately, and I quickly rushed her to the toilet. She was done by the time we got there, but I wanted her to make the connection.
This pattern continued the rest of the day, with no progress. We had several accidents, many adamant moments of not wanting to go on the potty, and lots of tears. It felt like I was torturing her, making her do something she really did not want to do. I was very stressed out, and I am sure that was stressing her out as well. Things had not gone as planned and I wasn’t seeing any light at the end of the tunnel.
After another accident the following morning, and more tears, I decided to scrap the whole thing. It wasn’t working and my daughter was not ready. She had shown many signs she was ready, including: asking Santa for a potty (desire), leaving the room every time she went poop (asking for privacy), and simply her curiosity. However, even with all of those signs pointing to yes, I chose to say no. She just wasn’t ready, and that was OK!
As moms, we have to know things are not always going to go as planned. We can’t take blame or feel defeated, even though it is SO EASY to do. Sometimes, our kids just aren’t ready for what we have planned or the plan just wasn’t meant to be.
Hopefully soon, I will be tackling this potty training thing again, preferably with a different outcome!
Stay tuned for Part 2…
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