Friday, February 13, 2009

Dead Horse, Beaten

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...

9 comments:

The Quinn Report said...

I think it's so sweet that you got all those goodies for her for Valentine's Day! Andrew's out of town, so I'm going to take the kids out for a date by myself!

Hope the potty bribe works!

Katie said...

Noel, John's out of town too! Bummer! We definitely have to get out of the house, so I'm trying to come up with some kind of indoor activity for us that doesn't involve the grocery store!

Angie said...

That list doesn't quite seem to all go together, huh? I wouldn't leave my kid in a room with a poopy diaper or pull up that she could remove. Yuck.

molly said...

Oh my goodness! The things I have to look forward to!!! Joy!!!

But seriously: good luck, sister. May your tantrums be few and your pants be dry...

lisa said...

Ugh....Im sorry you have to go through this. But someday.....eventually..... "this too shall pass."

honeybecke said...

Hi Katie,
This is the same handout our doctor gave us for our 3 year old. It worked pretty well for us. I felt like a mean ass mama making him clean up his pee pee accidents but did it in a gentle, this-is-how-it-is-gonna-be kind of way. He didn't like it one bit, but got over it and I think he only ended up peeing on the floor like three or four times. I still have to remind him to go before we leave, but that's ok I guess. I keep a small bjorn potty in the back of my car for on-the go emergencies. He loves climbing over the seat to take care of bidness. Clean-up is, er, not so bad. If it's pee I just pretend I don't care and dump it inconspicuously on the ground and if it's poo then I have wipes ready and a plastic bag to take care of it. And lots, and lots of hand sanitizer!
Good luck with this, I totally remember feeling like you do now.

molly said...

Eager to hear how the big talk went today...

Jen said...

I hate reading things like this; they say one thing and then they contradict themselves in the next sentence! WTF?! So are you supposed to just put her in undies all day and keep changing her? Or pull-ups sometimes? What about in the car? It's not like you're going to want to drive places with her "going at will". I totally feel for you. If I come up with any other ideas or hear of anything, I will let you know.

Lysandra said...

We have that same potty! Good times.