If potty training isn't your "thing," turn away now! I am really hoping this subject will be shortlived on this blog, because. Ew. And Ugh. And Blech. So, if you aren't up for a three page treatise on the subject, I recommend you go look at this "FAIL" instead. And, if potty training is your "thing?" Well, firstly, I'm sorry. And secondly, you have come to the right place, because I'm going all academic on your ass. This is just further proof that the "rationality" of a three-year old is completely beyond me.
The doctor gave me a handout about toilet training resistance. And, basically it says that if you have a strong-willed child (CHECK!) and that if you have reminded and/or lectured that strong-willed child too much about potty training (CHECK!) that your child is likely to resist potty training (CHECK!)
"Most children younger than 5 years....who have daytime wetting or soiling (CHECK!) without any other symptoms (CHECK!) are engaged in a power struggle with their parents (NO SHIT!)"
(And, see also: One sided-ass whipping where WE LOSE.)
We are to do the following:
1. Transfer all responsibility to your child. Your child will decide to use the toilet only after she realizes that she has nothing left to resist. Have one last talk about the subject. Tell her that it is her job to put pee and poop in the toilet. Tell her that from now on she doesn't need any help. (We tried this a few months ago. When we said "You are now in charge," She said, "I don't want to be in charge.") Then stop all talk about the subject. When your child stops receiving attention for nonperformance, she will eventually decide to perform for attention.
2. Stop all reminders about using the toilet (this is going to be HARD!) Reminders are a form of pressure and pressure keeps the power struggle going. Don't accompany your child into the bathroom (which I do ALL the time) or stand with her by the potty unless she asks you to.
3. Give incentives for using the toilet. (See Also: ten million My Little Ponies)
4. Give stars for using the toilet (tried it a few months ago without success, but will try again).
5. Make the potty chair convenient. (Tried this, but will try again.) Put the little potty chair in the room your child plays in. Don't remind your child to use the potty even when she's squirming and dancing to hold back the urine. (And, what about when she's doing this right before it is time to get in the car and go somewhere?!)
6. Replace diapers with underwear of pull-ups (Already have done this.) Have your child pick out underwear with favorite characters on it. Then remind her that the characters "don't like poop or pee on them." Persist with this plan even if the child wets the underwear. If your child holds back BMs, allow her access to pull-ups for BMs only. Preventing stool holding is very important.
7. Remind your child to change her clothes if she wets or soils herself. As soon as you notice wet pants, tell her to clean herself up. Enforce the rule, "people can't walk around with messy pants." If she is soiled, she will probably need your help with cleanup. If your child refuses to let you change her, ground her in her bedroom until she is ready (huh? And just hope the poop doesn't get spread around!?)
8. Don't punish or criticize for accidents (though "grounding" to her room is okay if she won't let you change her poopy pants?) Respond gently to accidents. Pressure will only delay training (No SHIT. We figured that one out this week) and it could cause secondary emotional problems. *GULP* ("Well Doctor, all my problems started when I was three and my parents reminded me about the potty too much." )
I will be having our "final potty chat" with Becca tomorrow. Happy Valentine's Day! Hearts! And Candy! And Flowers! And Cupcakes! And this...