Potty learning -- how to shift the control back to him? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 19 Old 11-15-2011, 04:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So we made the shift to diaper-free about a month ago. DS had already been using the potty often at that point, he's been on & off using the potty for over a year now but this is the first month he's been totally diaper-free.

He is doing well for the most part, has an accident every couple of days (mostly with DH, it seems to be a power struggle between the two of them because of their dynamic together). However, before he went diaper-free, he was mostly in control of going to the potty, and would often ask to go or just go on his own. He had a lot more accidents & used his diaper often, but he was taking charge of using the potty. Now, it's DH & I in charge. In other words, he almost never asks to go -- we just watch for his signs & bring him straight to the potty. He often resists ("No, I don't need to go, I don't feel pee coming, my bladder is empty!" even though he's desperately crossing his legs) and we just gently encourage him to 'practice' (and of course he always ends up going). I don't want this to be a power struggle & I also feel like it's a bit inappropriate for DH & I to be in charge of this so much. I would like him to start telling us when he needs to go again. IDK, is this just a normal stage of pottying? Sure, I'm thrilled he's staying dry all night & staying dry while we're out (almost all of his accidents are at home), so maybe we're doing fine??? I'd just feel better if we could somehow shift the control back to him. Ideas?

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#2 of 19 Old 11-15-2011, 05:04 PM
 
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I wonder if it has anything to do with you being more worried about messes now that he is diaper free?  Are more likely to ask him/insist that he use the potty when you can see he has to pee because you don't have the backup of a diaper?  I have more luck with convincing my 26 mo daughter to go when we make it a practice not to do interesting things while she is in the bathroom...i.e. bring our book with us, stop cooking until she gets back to help, turning off the video...

Alternatively, maybe he is just interested in other stuff right now and will get back to focusing on asking to go pee later. 


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#3 of 19 Old 11-15-2011, 05:28 PM
 
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What do you mean by diaper free?  Like, is he naked below the waist?  Or is he wearing underwear?

 

When we initially did pottying, I just took off his pants, and put his little potty somewhere SUPER accessible (right outside the kitchen by the living room), and just left it to him.  If he had an accident, I just cleaned it up and reminded him very gently that because he wasn't wearing a diaper he needed to pee in the potty.  It happened maybe twice?  And one of those times he was trying to pee in the potty standing up, but he missed.

 

I waited until he was very good at always making it before even trying underwear.

 

It just sounds like your DS isn't quite ready, and maybe taking a break for 2-3 weeks would work better.  Give him the power to do it, don't force the potty - the last thing you want is a power struggle with him over it!!

 

Also, I didn't catch his age - did I just miss it?  I'm pretty tired, but my ds JUST trained (within the last week or so - but we had a bunch of disruptions from moving and an entirely new daycare and routine in the last 6 weeks - he was almost trained before we moved, but then we had to let it go for the time being), and he'll be 3 in 2 months.

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#4 of 19 Old 11-15-2011, 05:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hmm. Yeah I am probably asking him a little more often since I really don't want him to have accidents and since I know we CAN avoid an accident if I encourage him. So maybe I should just stop asking him and let him wet himself a million times??? He doesn't seem bothered by being wet (and often is just naked around the house so is REALLY not bothered by his 'accidents' then!) so I don't see how it would motivate him, but who knows. I am not much into rewards but maybe that is the way to go?? It just feels unnatural for me to be in charge of his elimination, yet how can I not, we are so in-tune you know?? We have tried bringing whatever activity he was doing into the bathroom, but it doesn't seem to decrease the resistance and has resulted in more than one toy soaked in toilet-water. lol.gif

He is wearing underwear most of the time but is often naked at home. And he was pretty successful at pottying when we stopped using diapers. He is almost 3. I don't really think going back to diapers would help him, but this doesn't seem to be right either.

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#5 of 19 Old 11-15-2011, 05:45 PM
 
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How old is your toddler? I have 2 year old twin boys and my husband and I have been dreading the thought of potty training twin boys. Does anyone recommend books/videos? I keep reading 20 to 36 months is a perfect time. But, is 24 months too early?

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#6 of 19 Old 11-16-2011, 04:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well after I read some of your responses I decided to tell DS that we aren't going to ask/remind him to go anymore, that he'll need to tell us when he needs to go. He said OK & broke into a huge smile. He went twice before bed (no accidents). So too soon to say for sure but maybe the simplest, most obvious solution is just what he needed!!

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#7 of 19 Old 11-16-2011, 04:55 AM
 
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Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post

Hmm. Yeah I am probably asking him a little more often since I really don't want him to have accidents and since I know we CAN avoid an accident if I encourage him. So maybe I should just stop asking him and let him wet himself a million times??? He doesn't seem bothered by being wet (and often is just naked around the house so is REALLY not bothered by his 'accidents' then!) so I don't see how it would motivate him, but who knows. I am not much into rewards but maybe that is the way to go?? It just feels unnatural for me to be in charge of his elimination, yet how can I not, we are so in-tune you know?? We have tried bringing whatever activity he was doing into the bathroom, but it doesn't seem to decrease the resistance and has resulted in more than one toy soaked in toilet-water. lol.gif
He is wearing underwear most of the time but is often naked at home. And he was pretty successful at pottying when we stopped using diapers. He is almost 3. I don't really think going back to diapers would help him, but this doesn't seem to be right either.


Is he not bothered by it?  My DS doesn't mind being wet, but he does want to change clothes after an accident (we NEVER make a big deal out of accidents - just a "ok, lets change clothes" and no other reaction - you don't want to make a big deal about it b/c it could cause anxiety about having them and make pottying worse!).  He would also get upset at there being pee on the floor if he went - has your DS ever gone on the floor or had an accident? 

 

It's also not about motivation for me - it was about DS being able to just GO.  Right now his potty is in the bathroom, but its the frog potty from Amazon - he doesn't use the adult potty just yet - and so when he's naked he can just go into the bathroom and go.  It gives him complete control over his own pottying needs/wants.  (My DS does wear pull-ups at night, and occasionally asks for them during the day or after daycare, and when he wants to wear them I let him - I'm so not into making potty time a struggle!)

 

Also, I did see your update, so its good that saying that to him worked for the time being.  Maybe reminding him of that once in the morning and then once after his nap would help until its the norm?

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#8 of 19 Old 11-16-2011, 04:59 AM
 
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Originally Posted by dermaluv View Post

How old is your toddler? I have 2 year old twin boys and my husband and I have been dreading the thought of potty training twin boys. Does anyone recommend books/videos? I keep reading 20 to 36 months is a perfect time. But, is 24 months too early?



My DS is almost 3.  He will be 3 in January, and he JUST trained in the last week or so.  Do.Not.Stress.  They will train, and it probably won't be as painful as you are anticipating - I was dreading it with one, and it was a peice of cake because I just waited until he was ready.

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#9 of 19 Old 11-16-2011, 05:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Is he not bothered by it?  My DS doesn't mind being wet, but he does want to change clothes after an accident (we NEVER make a big deal out of accidents - just a "ok, lets change clothes" and no other reaction - you don't want to make a big deal about it b/c it could cause anxiety about having them and make pottying worse!).  He would also get upset at there being pee on the floor if he went - has your DS ever gone on the floor or had an accident? 
He's not bothered by it at all. Everything I read seems to say that kids won't want to wet themselves or go on the floor, but that doesn't seem to be true for my DS. If he wets himself, he wants to just stay in his wet clothes. If he pees on the floor, he just matter-of-factly says, "I peed on the floor." We don't make a big deal out of accidents at all, just ask him to clean it up (which unfortunately seems to be a reward of it's own, he loves cleaning it up)... He seems to like using the potty but not because it helps him avoid accidents...
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It's also not about motivation for me - it was about DS being able to just GO.  Right now his potty is in the bathroom, but its the frog potty from Amazon - he doesn't use the adult potty just yet - and so when he's naked he can just go into the bathroom and go.  It gives him complete control over his own pottying needs/wants.  (My DS does wear pull-ups at night, and occasionally asks for them during the day or after daycare, and when he wants to wear them I let him - I'm so not into making potty time a struggle!)
He can just go, he's always naked or in easy-to remove pants (which he's good at removing) and he has a little potty available but can also climb up to the big toilet himself (he vastly prefers the big one & we have a bit of a struggle if we're out somewhere and the little one is the only one available because he really doesn't like the little one much & sometimes can't let himself go in it).
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Also, I did see your update, so its good that saying that to him worked for the time being.  Maybe reminding him of that once in the morning and then once after his nap would help until its the norm?
Yes, I think when he wakes up I'll just remind him that we won't be reminding him. smile.gif I'm hopeful it really was that simple, that I just needed to tell him he's in charge now...


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#10 of 19 Old 11-16-2011, 05:46 AM
 
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He's not bothered by it at all. Everything I read seems to say that kids won't want to wet themselves or go on the floor, but that doesn't seem to be true for my DS. If he wets himself, he wants to just stay in his wet clothes. If he pees on the floor, he just matter-of-factly says, "I peed on the floor." We don't make a big deal out of accidents at all, just ask him to clean it up (which unfortunately seems to be a reward of it's own, he loves cleaning it up)... He seems to like using the potty but not because it helps him avoid accidents...
 


the bolded:  lol.gif  Kids are funny.

 

Maybe it really was just a power thing then - totally possible.  If he has the power maybe that will be motivation enough?  Hopefully it works out!!

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#11 of 19 Old 11-16-2011, 10:57 AM
 
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Just as another data point -- my DD had a week or two of this freaking out about using the potty even when she clearly needed to thing when she first learned. it turned out to be partly a control thing and partly about her fear of something new. It just disappeared all on its own.


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#12 of 19 Old 11-16-2011, 05:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for sharing your experience smile.gif

He has done great all day. He had an 'accident' (more of a 'purpose') first thing this morning -- was quite intentionally testing me, it seemed. But the rest of the day was good, so I am hopeful that I found the key! It was incredibly hard not to ask him if he needed to go, especially before a half-hour drive when he hadn't gone for a while, but I held my tongue. I had been asking him & encouraging him to go more frequently than I even realized I guess.

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#13 of 19 Old 11-16-2011, 06:15 PM
 
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Can you make it a game to kind of take the pressure off?  Like "Let's see if there is pee pee hiding?" etc?  Sounds weird, but if you can turn it so it isn't you telling him  (even when he clearly needs to go!) and him returning to discovering...

 

Its hard.  I think because of that I have been too mellow on the potty front with my little guy.  He loves to sit on the potty, etc. but isn't consistent.  I'm trying to avoid the potty wars :LOL: !


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#14 of 19 Old 11-17-2011, 04:59 AM
 
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Thanks for sharing your experience smile.gif
He has done great all day. He had an 'accident' (more of a 'purpose') first thing this morning -- was quite intentionally testing me, it seemed. But the rest of the day was good, so I am hopeful that I found the key! It was incredibly hard not to ask him if he needed to go, especially before a half-hour drive when he hadn't gone for a while, but I held my tongue. I had been asking him & encouraging him to go more frequently than I even realized I guess.


Yay!!  Awesome update.  My DS had an "accident" this morning - 2 seconds before we were supposed to leave the house!  Ugh.  I do ask before going on drives, or before going out. Although, sometimes I frame it as, "Mommy needs to go pee pee before we go out shopping/playgroud/walk the dog/whatever"

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#15 of 19 Old 11-20-2011, 05:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It's not working. He is just having tons of "accidents" now... except they seem quite intentional, like he'll take off his pants and just go on the floor. I'm kind of frustrated. I don't know whether to go back to reminding him a ton of times a day (which equals almost no accidents) or trying some kind of sticker chart (I'm not sure how I feel about that)... or what. I really don't want to put him in diapers because he was getting rashes with diapers. I feel like it's just delaying the inevitable anyway, because he does have the bladder control now, it's just some kind of mental thing. *sigh*

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#16 of 19 Old 11-21-2011, 10:54 AM
 
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When we were in this transitional phase, DS was also very resistant to my initiatives, but I found that if I did a partial initiation, he was ok with it.  the two main things I would try were either finding a time when he was absorbed in something while standing up - then I would just pull his pants and unders down a bit, position a plastic cup there, and he would go.  We woudln't even talk about it most of the time, or I would just say, hey, if you need to go, go ahead.  If he was not absorbed in anything and I thought he had to go, I would take his pants/unders off and point out a nearby potty and say 'hey, its been a while since you went, so I thought you might need to go.  There's the potty if you need it."  I woudln't put him on it, or insist he do anything.  He almost always took himself within ten minutes or so.

After a few months, I suddenly realized I was not initiating any more.  He would yell 'peeing!' but most of the time he had not actually gone yet, or just a few drops.  And that was it. 

We never made a big deal about either accidents or successes, although sometimes when he told me in advance I woudl mention it like 'cool, now you get to stay dry and we don't have to do the whole changing clothes and cleaning up stuff". 

I felt like it was important to respect his autonomy by not forcing anything, and not interupting him when he was busy. 

He did do two or three really intentional messes just before he took over, so don't be discouraged!  It might be his last hurrah. 

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#17 of 19 Old 04-30-2012, 10:16 PM
 
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Just as another data point -- my DD had a week or two of this freaking out about using the potty even when she clearly needed to thing when she first learned. it turned out to be partly a control thing and partly about her fear of something new. It just disappeared all on its own.

 

We are just a few weeks into potty training, and we are dealing with this right now. I hope it works itself out.

 

Crunchy_mommy, how are things going now?

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#18 of 19 Old 05-01-2012, 06:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We are just a few weeks into potty training, and we are dealing with this right now. I hope it works itself out.

Crunchy_mommy, how are things going now?

Thanks for asking... things have not really improved as much as you'd think, considering I created this thread ~6mos ago.

On the plus side, he is still pretty much accident-free. Once a month or so he might have a day or two of accidents (accidents tend to come in clusters, like if he's sick or something) but the other 29+ days he is completely accident-free. He always tells us when he needs to poop & I don't think he's had a poop accident in nearly a year?? But pee is another story.

He is going longer between pees so his bladder control has definitely improved. He used to go several times an hour and now can go just several times a day... though still seems like he goes more often than other kids his age for some reason...

Sometimes he does tell us he needs to go -- early in the morning, for example. Middle of the night is the worst, he cries & even screams (and does not wet the bed) but cannot seem to tell me he needs to go so I've just had to learn the signals, otherwise he is up all night crying. During the day, 8 times out of 10 he will tell me he does NOT need to go, even though he clearly does. So I just bring him to the bathroom & tell him it's OK if he doesn't have to go but we'll just try, like we always do. (And he always goes... he doesn't seem to hold back or anything once we're there).

I'm pretty confused, but then again he does have some social/emotional delays and sensory issues so I'm guessing that might be contributing in some way. At least he has been able to remain diaper-free, and I am slowly working on things like sometimes sending him into the bathroom without me so he can take a bit more responsibility for it, even if I'm ultimately taking charge of it for him. This is not the bodily autonomy I value & have been trying to encourage, but I guess there are other ways to allow him control over his body, and I'm sure SOMEDAY he will take control over his pottying too..

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#19 of 19 Old 05-02-2012, 12:32 PM
 
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Some kids like a lot of control and when they have it, do really really well. It doesn't sound like your kid.

 

Some kids need a period of time to build habits that then translate into to potty learning. Sometimes it takes awhile. A month of diaper free is not very long at all. I'd keep going with what is working (dry, clean) until you make changes.

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