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At What Point Do You Punish?

Deep breaths. I’m about to tackle a tough subject here and I want to start it off with everyone gathering around the campfire and singing some old James Taylor songs until we feel that weird comraderie of motherhood. Got that feeling? Good.

I’ve talked about potty training before, about how it’s been hard, and eventually I just threw in the towel completely.

“It’s a power struggle and your toddler (who doesn’t get much control over most of his life) has found something he can control. Even better, he’s found something to control that you want him to do so badly that you’re almost begging on your knees. Also, you get totally ticked so it’s a win for the two-foot-team. So by golly, take the control away from him by removing the situation he wants to control.” ~from my previous post

That was over two months ago and at the risk of sounding braggy, I have done beautifully with it. But I’m starting to lose my patience.

We’ve tried every positive enforcement possible to get him to usethe potty. We’ve tried star charts and poop toys and stickers and treats. We’ve done everything the pediatrician and Pinterest and parenting magazines have to offer and still…nothing.  Nothing is worth it to him.

I’m starting to wonder if punishment is what will finally work and I don’t say that lightly or flippantly. I say that as I’m truly wondering if he’s just one of those kids that needs to lose something instead of gaining a reward to make it sink in. I’m not talking spanking or time-out or anything like that. But if he wants to go swimming, but I’m not willing to change his diaper on the floor of a locker room at the local YMCA because he’s too big for changing tables. So I tell him that we can’t go swimming until he uses the potty three times. Same with birthday parties or the park. Basically, I’m in a lose-lose situation where the biggest thing I am losing is my patience.

More from BA:

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Stuff I hate doing for my kid.

I’m not pregnant. Here’s why.

Beth Anne writes words & takes pictures at Okay, BA! You can also find her on the Twitters & Facebook.

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