I was wondering if you could assist me with ideas regarding my almost 3 1/2 year old daughter with potty training. I think I missed an opportunity with her when she first turned 2 and was more into it and I wasnt very consistent. Now for over the past 6 months I have been going between really trying with her and then backing off for a bit when she really resists. As she is getting older, I am becoming more frustrated. I have always heard that its not an issue to force on them, could cause future issues in this area, however, I am wondering with the older she gets if I should? We have tried all different routes from a lot of praise and hugs to I bought a box and put all special items of her interest in it and told her she could pick 1 out after she puts something in her potty. I have tried her on our potty, her potty and as I mentioned backing off without any regards to it for a while. She has gone on it here and there and other times she could sit there for an hour and not do anything but as soon as she gets off the potty she goes. She has an amazing power to hold it for a long time and most of the time wakes up in the morning dry. I started to tell her that pretty soon we are going to be out of diapers and she will have to go on the potty, not sure if this is the right way to go? Sometimes she becomes pretty upset, am I supposed to force her to sit on the potty when she is crying about it? Any suggestions would be appreciated as we are at a loss here.
I feel your pain! my sister and I have been fighting this with her oldest son for about a year now. between us, two sets of grandparents, and the boys' dad, everything from bribery to time out to forcing him to wear underwear was tried over that time. He kept saying he didn't want to be a big boy. Two weeks ago, at four years and three months, everything clicked for him. He has been completely accident free for two weeks now. It was nothing any of us did. He just finally decided he was ready. If you find a method that works, great! otherwise, trust that she really will know when she's ready. I know how frustrating it is, especially when EVERYONE else around you has potty trained at that age, but my nephew's doc says this happens sometimes, and told us to wait it out.
The one thing that made a difference to him, I think, was playing with two potty-trained kids his age. He seemed to suddenly reach a point where he didn't want them seeing him get his diaper changed.
Thanks Janey78 for your support, it is nice to hear others have been through it and there is a light at the end of the tunnel! I am not sure if its a too opened ended question for Dr. Sears. I will just keep doing what we are doing and hope it clicks with her sooner than later, lol!! Thanks again!!
Hey - sorry, been away from the board for a few days. My approach to potty training with my 3 kids was to NOT potty train them. They did it themselves. ONe was two, one was three, and the third was 3 1/2. What I mean by that is this: We had them watch us use the potty, we talked about it, we read books about it, but we didn't try to get them to do it. We didn't push it. We would occasionally ask if they wanted to try it for fun, but we didn't push it. Once they were at least doing it occasionally for fun, we bought a bunch of underwear (let the child pick them out) and put them on their bedroon shelf. We'd talk about them and say "someday you can wear underwear like mommy and daddy." We acted like the potty had nothing to do with it. So, they'd each decide they wanted to wear underwear, and we'd put them on, and all day we'd take them to the potty every hour to pee. If they didn't want to sit on the potty, then we'd take off the underwear and put on the diaper again (no pull-ups). But we'd act like it was no big deal. They wanted to wear underwear so badly that they happily went on the potty and that was that.
I think this works well when you take this "no big deal" approach from the start. In your situation, it sounds like it's already become a battle or an issue that your child is resisting? I'd back off and stop trying. Act like it doesn't matter to you where she goes. Just do diapers as if it's a totally normaly thing to do (cuz it IS). No pull-ups (that makes them feel like they've made a grown-up step when they really haven't if they are just using the pullups as regular diapers). It may take another six months or a year, but she should decide one day she wants to be more grownup about this. Buy some underwear with her and let her know she can tell you when she wants to start wearing them. make it all about the underwear, NOT about using the potty. My kids felt like the big step they were making was being able to wear underwear and the potty was more of an afterthought. We didn't even praise them for using the potty, cuz then that makes it a big deal. You could act non-challant about it.
Thank You Dr. Sears for taking the time to help me. We did buy special underwear that she picked out, I am going to try leaving it in her view in her room like you said to see daily and will back off until she says she's ready. Thank You again!