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What To Do When Potty Training Fails

I don’t know about you, but I’m not a fan of potty training.

I mean, I figure eventually I’ll enjoy him using the potty and not having to change diapers. But the whole process has been messy and frustrating and infuriating at times. Like when you stand the kid in front of the toilet and he refuses to use simply on principal and no amount of Skittles will bribe him and so you give up, only to have him pee his pants a minute later.

But if you dare mention such frustrations on Facebook, you’re inundated with “THREE DAY METHOD!” and “He’s probably not ready!” and “I’m so lucky, my child potty trained himself at ten months!” and then you swear that you’ll quit social media forever, live in a tub of Nutella, and earn a living playing the Hurdy-Gurdy on the side of the street. Ahem. Not that I’ve been there or anything.

So what do you do when potty training just fails all over the place? When you’re worried that your kid will be the only kindergartner with pull-ups? When nothing seems to be his “potty currency” and you’re cleaning a toddler bum every night despite doing it “right” by the books and him being old enough to do it?  WHAT THEN?! 

I asked my pediatrician at my son’s three-year check-up and here’s what he had to say:

Stop potty training.

Stop mentioning the potty. Put him (or her) back in a diaper. Don’t ask if he needs to use it and if he poops his diaper, don’t make a big deal out of it. Don’t scold him or remind him that poop goes in the potty.

Just plain ol’ don’t talk about it.

Because 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. Eventually he will be grossed out or peer pressured enough about the potty to not see it as a control method, but rather just something we do.

Have you had to just completely stop potty training before?  Or did you push forward?

More from BA:

Toddler Biting 101

Common mom ruts & what you can do to snap out of them.

I’m okay with “toddlers being “princesses.”

Trouble making or keeping mom friends? Here’s my secret.

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

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