Is it time to back off on potty training or amp it up? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 06-15-2012, 05:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok so i started at about 22ish months with just praising her for sitting on the potty and those random times when she had success we would do a dance and sing a song. Then she seemed uninterested for a while and her doctor recommended at her 24 month check up to give a reward like candy. We decided to give her 3 mini chocolate chips any time she got anything into the potty. This worked fantastic for a few weeks, mostly just with poop though because she doesn't say when she has to pee and i can tell when she is about to poop. A lot of it was picking her up in the middle of a grunt and rushing her off to the potty. Then she entered a very NO stage. She is 28 months now so pretty typical.  I read toddlers live to please their parents. I call BS haha. She wants nothing to do with even sitting on the potty. I ask her and i get a flat out NO. If she is looking like she has to poop i said "oh, do you have to poop?" and she actually lies and says no! ha! So i'm in this behavior toddler class (because it was free and something to do!) and the teacher says i just need to change up the reward and offer something she really likes because she just got bored with the chocolate chips. I was thinking more that maybe she just wasn't ready yet and i pushed her to much? I tried today giving her a jelly bean just to sit on the potty (mind you not something she has willingly done for weeks now) and sure enough she sat on the potty for it but then stood up and sat back down and asked for another! smarty pants! So UGH. i feel like i have really messed up. maybe i shouldn't have started offering rewards in the first place? I'm either thinking i should do what the guy said and up the reward OR i should just wait for a few months and then try something different completely but i have no idea what...please help!

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#2 of 4 Old 06-15-2012, 07:39 PM
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It sounds like the potty thing is just kind of a general symptom of toddlerhood and wanting to say no when asked to do things. Did she ever get to a point where she would recognize that she had to go and go over to the potty by herself?  Maybe you need to take yourself out of the equation a bit more and let her make the choices.  For what it's worth, I generally only ask my daughter to sit on the potty on days that we dare to go out in undies.  I get nervous and have her pee before we leave home, when we get to the store, before we leave the store.... She almost always goes when I ask her too, but the next day when we're just at home hanging out, she has lots of accidents.  Then we have to step back and do "nakey-butt" at home, diapers for going out.  She is completely in charge of taking herself to the potty (or not).  I remind her occasionally that she is not wearing a diaper and should use the potty if she she has to go, but other than that I do nothing.  I think this REALLY helps us to avoid power struggles and rebellion.  Oh - and we DO have a reward - 1 chocolate chip.  But I never say - if you pee in your potty, you'll get a treat.  And if she forgets to ask for it, I don't remind her.  When she does ask for it, everyone in the house has one and we say it's a celebration!   So the treat doesn't really feel like it's an incentive, but just makes using the potty that much more pleasant.

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#3 of 4 Old 06-15-2012, 10:37 PM
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I've always backed off when we've hit resistance, and I haven't regretted it once.  I feel like it lets the source of DS's motivation come from within him again.  The trick is to back off long enough for them to forget they were saying "no" to it, and then make potty exciting again.


In the past, I've done that by getting new potty books, new undies, coming up with a new activity to do on his "potty table" (really a wide stool he was too short to sit on when we got it as a gift).  The activities are the best, because instead of asking him to go potty, I just set something fun up on the table and start playing myself and making it sound fun, and he'll come join me.  He loves it when we draw together, so for a long time we had a tablet of drawing paper and a container of markers that lived at the potty.  Lately, during the day I've been bringing the potty to wherever he's playing, and as long as he doesn't have to stop what he's doing he'll usually oblige.


Personally, I would take backing off as an opportunity to phase out the rewards.  I think it really helps if you can make potty training their own goal, not something they're doing to get a chocolate chip, because I think that helps them really understand what they're accomplishing by going potty.


The one reward that I do think works is getting them undies they think are AWESOME.  That's been the key to us finally being 100% potty trained.  Although it did take a couple of cycles of backing off after I bought him his Thomas undies before he was ready to go full time in them, so don't be discouraged if it doesn't work right away.  I really like the book Potty by Leslie Patricelli, and the last page in it helps build the excitement for undies.


Good luck!

Cloud, mommy to her happy little Nimbus, born 11/09!
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#4 of 4 Old 06-17-2012, 12:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks so much ladies for the replies and advice. Newmamalizzy- nope she never got to the point where she would even say that she had to go or go over on her own. She would sometimes say "i'm pooping" while she was pooping but that was it. Maybe i was just trying before she was really ready. I have been thinking on it and i think what i will do is literally put away her potty chair and start over later. I'm not sure how long exactly is a good amount of time to wait but i am thinking maybe at least maybe late fall. I do want to get rid of the idea of candy as a reward as she has such a hard time with being a picky eater already i hate giving her sweets daily. I think what i will do is wait, then have her go with me on a potty buying trip and maybe we can pick out one of those ones that make all the sounds and such. I LOVE your potty table idea so much couldbutterfly. I think i may borrow that one! And i will have her pick out undies too although she already has a bunch that she wants to wear but since she doesn't tell me when she is about to pee it ended up just resulting in a ton of laundry and a bunch of wet carpet until i gave up hah. That and potty related books which we haven't done at all.

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