I'm quitting potty training - Mothering Forums
Life with a Toddler > I'm quitting potty training
sophmama's Avatar sophmama 12:36 AM 07-28-2006
I've been a grumpy pregnant mommy who has not been in the best of moods. My dd has shown signs of potty readiness for well over a year. She's always aware BEFORE she goes. She's well aware of how to remove all clothing, diapers, pullups, underwear, etc. She's used the potty whenever she felt like it for a year. She stays dry at night. She stays dry for hours at a time. She's 2 years 9 months.

The thing is - she doesn't care. I tried bribes. I had a sticker chart that she would get a tricycle once it filled up. I had rewards for using the potty. We have potty videos, books, and songs. I told her she would get to ride a pony when she's dry all the time and puts all her pee in the potty. I got mean I threatened to take stuff away when she would go whole days refusing to get up from toys and go to the potty and she peed on everything the house. She just isn't motivated and there's no amount of caring that I can do to motivate her. When she's ready - she knows how to use it. When she wants to do it, she will be done with PL overnight.

She's a very intelligent kid. She started learning to read before she turned 2. She understands the whole process including what mommy and daddy feel about it. She could tell you at length about it all. She's also the kind of kid that really stresses about feeling out of control of things. She doesn't like to be *made* to do much. She'll cooperate with shorter activities, but being put on the potty every 1-2 hours is too much for her. She doesn't want to stop playing to go. Most of the time, I can ask her to do about anything and she'll do it without question. She makes her bed in the morning, puts her dirty dishes on the counter by the sink, puts her laundry in the washing machine, puts trash in the trash can and picks up her toys without complaint. She's not the defiant type. She just doesn't like to be constantly forced to do something all day long that she doesn't want to do.

I'm giving up because forcing her to PL has deteriorated our relationship too much. I started about a month ago but really buckled down over the past week - trying to catch every poo and pee. It drove both of us crazy. I got frustrated and then I got ugly. I don't want to be the mommy who threatens to take away favorite objects. That's just not GD. It's just unkind. DD deserves to be treated with more respect than things deteriorated to.

So I'm back to being the mommy that I feel I should be. I'm forgetting potty training for now. She's been ready for a year from the text-book sense but until she decides she wants to, there's no convincing her.

AEZMama's Avatar AEZMama 01:17 AM 07-28-2006
Your dd sounds like my neice. The girl would sit in her own poop for the whole day as opposed to getting on the potty. They did bribes, everything, no poops on the pot. Know what worked-my sister had my nephew in early February. My neice realized that she got lots of attention when she went on the potty, so she did it continually and was trained by March. I think all the gearing up they did for her to be ready for the baby may have sent her a few steps backwards in the potty dept. It's sad that it had to be by her feeling like she wasn't getting the attention she did before (because she was an only), but that's how it worked for them.
sophmama's Avatar sophmama 01:44 AM 07-28-2006
Hmmm... I wish that would work. Dh and I usually go in the bathroom and sing and dance for her when she goes. And she gets *tons* of attention all the time - potty or no. Wish that would work though...
lovingmommyhood's Avatar lovingmommyhood 01:49 AM 07-28-2006
I'm sorry it's been though... we're just starting so I'm a bit scared! I think sometimes IMO it's best to just ignore potty training (if you've been trying and trying and it's not sticking) and let them decide. My friend was struggling to get her daughter potty trained and when my friend quit trying her DD decided she was going to go on the potty all the time, and that, really, was that.

Good Luck!
faithnj's Avatar faithnj 03:02 AM 07-28-2006
Hey, backing off makes sense, OP. Sometimes kids need ownership of the "process." In other words, they won't do it for you. They've got to do it for themselves. But don't give up completely. I mean, don't put her on the pot yourself if she knows how to get there herself. But you can still do what you can to help her find her own reasons to go.

Personally, I found I had to back off myself, because my daughter is similar to your own: she has to have her own internal motivation if she's going to do things. If she starts to sense she's doing something just to please you, she may very well stop doing it, even if it's enjoyable. Still, since dd was sooooo close to being trained, it was hard for me to leave well enough alone for long, LOL! So instead of putting her on the pot every 20-30 minutes or whatever was suggested-- I just played one or two of my four potty training videos for her every...single....day. And that's about the only t.v. she ever got to see for a week or so. Long story short? DD became motivated to imitate one of the girls in the video tape. Thus far, she's imitating these kids religiously, and taking the whole thing very, very seriously. This whole potty thing is no longer something Mommy wants me to do. It's part of DD's mission! LOL! If you help your daughter tap into her own internal motivation, then the potty usage choice will be her own and not yours.

Good luck!

Faith

Somehow,
`guest`'s Avatar `guest` 03:05 AM 07-28-2006
Hey is that my daughter? And she is about a year older than yours...I am pretty durn tired of wiping her poop, I tell her that, and she tells me, any day now mam. yeah. i hope so.
It will happen, but you have big hugs from me, changing diapers and preg, and the thought of another diaper to change is exhausting! Hopefully she will be going in the potty by the time she's as old as mine. (sorry if I depressed you, I wanted to be encouraging.)
USAmma's Avatar USAmma 04:23 AM 07-28-2006
You sound like a very wise mama. I could have written your post a few years ago including the learn to read part. My dd finally did PT at the ripe old age of 3 years 8 mos, but she did it with minimal effort on my part. It was totally worth the wait. I think she was smart in some ways but not so mature in others. She knew how to hold it and how to pee a little so she could clean it up and pee more and clean it up. It was a game to her. She just didn't understand why she had to pee in the potty. This being my former EC baby who peed on cue at 6 mos old.

With dd2 I swore I would not make much effort to train her and I never did more than the minimal exposure to information and buying a potty seat for when she was ready. She PT in just a few days at 26 mos. Just decided one day to do it.
sophmama's Avatar sophmama 09:11 AM 07-28-2006
Thanks everyone. I think one thing that got me off was this hair-brained idea to PL while I’m in my first trimester so that it would be a long way before the baby is here and she wouldn’t associate it with that and then regress as often happens with older siblings. I do feel much better about it now.

And last night she decided to sit on her potty when I was in the bathroom. That’s been somewhat normal for a long time now to have her occasionally go on her own, but since we started the mommy-coerced PL – she hasn’t done it voluntarily in a month.

Another thing – last night for the first time in 9 months – she came and slept with me in our bed. She’s been in her own room since the day I decorated it for her and set up her bed (her choice). She snuggled up hard next to me in a very needy way. DH and I were talking about it this morning. He was saying that he thinks the new baby stuff is overwhelming to her but she doesn’t have words to describe so that’s why she’s been acting out more lately and wanting our attention all day long. Potty learning on top of an emotionally stressed toddlerhood is not a good combination. I’m going to just spend a lot of time over the next week ‘filling up her love bank’ as they say. DH and I are going to try to let her get all the focus she needs from us and I may put on the potty videos but that’s it. It’s up to her.
kyartz's Avatar kyartz 09:32 AM 07-28-2006
I'm really glad to find this post and read everyone's responses. DD is the just about the same age (2 years, 8 months) and we have a new baby arriving in 3months. I've really been hoping that she'll be PT by the time the new one arrives, but we'll see.

She refuses to poop in the potty, although we talk a lot about it. At home, she's in underwear and does pretty well peeing on the potty, although there are days of many accidents and I have to remind her a lot to go. I haven't dared leave the house with her in underwear yet. Hoping that sending her to school (2 days a week, Montessori) this fall in underwear might help. I don't know. It's been getting me down, but it's always good to hear that there are others out there in the same boat and that eventually it WILL happen. Reckon I'm in the "back off" stage ya'll described.

Good luck to all of us!

Kristen
cloudswinger's Avatar cloudswinger 11:33 AM 07-28-2006
I had the same phase where I was too pushy. Then I eased up, but left the potty out(and made it easier to take off her diapers on her own) and dd started going on her own. She actually would wipe too. Now she's not so independant anymore, she has to have mom come in and entertain her again.
sophmama's Avatar sophmama 12:20 AM 07-29-2006
Lol - tonight, now that I'm done with forcing the issue, she started to poop while in the living room. I heard her little "pre-pooping" grunt that she makes and said, "If you're going to poop you can do it in the potty." And figured she wouldn't go, but she did! She ran to the bathroom and got on the potty and pooped! #2 has been the hardest part of PL overall - total resistance - breaking down sobbing whenever she's put on the potty while going or when she starts to go. So, letting up may not have made her PL completely, but she's finding her own motivation now that mommy is backing off.
`guest`'s Avatar `guest` 12:22 AM 07-29-2006
That's great, I'm really happy for you both!
~member~'s Avatar ~member~ 01:59 AM 07-29-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by sophmama
Hmmm... I wish that would work. Dh and I usually go in the bathroom and sing and dance for her when she goes. And she gets *tons* of attention all the time - potty or no. Wish that would work though...
I am in the camp that says attention should not be given. All my children potty trained by the time they were walking. All I ever did was gently remind them that people go potty in the toilet. That's it. No attention, no discipline, no punishment, no treats, no rewards.

Just the same as teaching them that people eat at the table, not the floor, not the bed, not the couch, etc.

If they go potty on the floor, I just remind them, "honey, we go potty in the toilet." And then I bring them and show them the toilet and repeat.

I NEVER make them clean up an accident.

Children are human beings, and no human being really wants to 'go' where they eat, play, sleep. Since time began, humans have gone away from their food/sleeping/living area to defecate/urinate.

HTH
~member~'s Avatar ~member~ 02:00 AM 07-29-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by sophmama
Lol - tonight, now that I'm done with forcing the issue, she started to poop while in the living room. I heard her little "pre-pooping" grunt that she makes and said, "If you're going to poop you can do it in the potty." And figured she wouldn't go, but she did! She ran to the bathroom and got on the potty and pooped! #2 has been the hardest part of PL overall - total resistance - breaking down sobbing whenever she's put on the potty while going or when she starts to go. So, letting up may not have made her PL completely, but she's finding her own motivation now that mommy is backing off.
Totally missed this post!
nichole's Avatar nichole 03:11 AM 07-29-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaInTheBoonies

Just the same as teaching them that people eat at the table, not the floor, not the bed, not the couch, etc.
wow i can't imagine this! don't come to our house!
Flor's Avatar Flor 04:17 AM 07-29-2006
We had the some situation, so I just stopped. He didn't mind diapers at all. He'd tell me, "I LIKE diapers," so how could I argue with that. He didn't care about stickers, little toys, prizes, etc. He is now potty learned due to the fact that I started bribing him with candy. Magic chocolate kisses. I thought he was too cool to be bought, but guess I just hadn't found the right currency.

Just wait, it will happen.
faithnj's Avatar faithnj 12:39 AM 07-30-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by sophmama
Lol - tonight, now that I'm done with forcing the issue, she started to poop while in the living room. I heard her little "pre-pooping" grunt that she makes and said, "If you're going to poop you can do it in the potty." And figured she wouldn't go, but she did! She ran to the bathroom and got on the potty and pooped! #2 has been the hardest part of PL overall - total resistance - breaking down sobbing whenever she's put on the potty while going or when she starts to go. So, letting up may not have made her PL completely, but she's finding her own motivation now that mommy is backing off.
Yippeee! I'm so happy for you!
I hope she keeps it up. I know that when I backed off, it took a little while, but my DD has been nicely consistant with telling people she has to go, and then going. If she's naked, she'll go potty even if I'm not in the room. I've got my fingers crossed for you! This whole thing is just sooooo emotional. If you want a laugh, you can read my post in the potty training tribe thread about how I became a PT Whore! LOL!

Faith
faithnj's Avatar faithnj 12:49 AM 07-30-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaInTheBoonies
.......I NEVER make them clean up an accident.
HTH
I think there are two ways of thinking on this subject:
I dunno. I've read some people never make their kids clean up accidents. I almost always ask my dd to clean up an accident with me, (except for a poopy one. She would smear it and she might be tempted to use her poop like finger paint! LOL!) I think parents should go with what works for them on having kids clean. My daughter likes to clean. She's obsessed with cleaning herself, cleaning her hands. She has her own broom and dust pan and won't let me sweep without her "help." She isn't crazy about her vacuum cleaner, but soon, I'll get her a child's mop just to see what she does with it. Cleaning things up is not drudgery to her-- it's what the big people do, and she wants to do anything that the big people are doing. On top of that, she has taken some of this on as a normal, ritualistic "responsibility." After she wipes herself, I don't have to tell her to put the tissue in the toilet. After she uses her potty, she fights me to carry her waste to the big toilet, dump it and flush it away. Yesterday, she even tried to clean her potty bowl herself! But I dunno. Maybe once they are 2 1/2 or something, they start to find cleaning drudgery????? I sure hope that's not it. Because I really like that my DD spends time cleaning herself or things every day. It just gives her one more thing to do, other than play with toys. And I also like that cleaning things up is becoming a normal part of her day so early. I think it will be less likely that I'll have to tell her to clean up after herself when she's older, considering it's child's play to her now.

Faith
darwinphish's Avatar darwinphish 01:52 AM 07-30-2006
Faith - your DD was born 12/20 and your doing PT? WOW. My DD is around the same age and we haven't even started trying. DD is very interested in *us* going "peepee eentee" (peeing in the toilet ) but has shown no motivation to do so herself. I always tell her she'll be going in the toilet herself soon, but I never have attempted any kind of PT!

OP - sorry for the thread hijack - hope your success with your DD continues!
TheDivineMissE's Avatar TheDivineMissE 03:11 AM 07-30-2006
Hey Sophmama! You just totally described my kiddo! LOL I gave up on potty training too. I figure she'll do it when she's ready. She goes on her own now - but still has accidents. I let her decide if she wants diapers or panties. She almost always picks diapers to go out of the house and also when she's had one or two accidents and is overwhelmed at trying to make it to the potty in time at home. She completely gets the idea though - she's just too busy to go to the bathroom most of the time. She's definitely the type of kid that needs something to be her idea before she'll do it.

Good luck to all of us!
sophmama's Avatar sophmama 08:05 AM 07-31-2006
It's really funny because since I posted this, she's gotten all her poops on the potty - on her own. She looks over at me and says, "I need to run to the potty!" and she takes off running and I go after her to make sure she gets her clothes off ok. She's not motivated on pee yet and I'm leaving that alone.

So funny how I thought I could just deviate from strick GD this one time and it would be ok. Ha ha ha. Getting back on track sped up the process.
faithnj's Avatar faithnj 06:21 PM 07-31-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by darwinphish
Faith - your DD was born 12/20 and your doing PT? WOW. My DD is around the same age and we haven't even started trying. DD is very interested in *us* going "peepee eentee" (peeing in the toilet ) but has shown no motivation to do so herself. I always tell her she'll be going in the toilet herself soon, but I never have attempted any kind of PT!

OP - sorry for the thread hijack - hope your success with your DD continues!
You got it girl! And I'm not the only one who has potty trained (or potty learned) this early. Lots of people do some sort of potty training at 18 months or even earlier. You see, before I had DD, I was very interested in EC, and spent $25 bucks on a book and endless hours researching it, asking a friend from India to help me, etc. But DD had severe reflux, and I felt it was too much pressure on her to have a inexperienced mama fiddling around with her bottom, making her uncomfortable, while she was puking her brains out and crying 24 hours a day. So I dropped it.

Still-- I read there was a window for potty training that opened up at about 18 months. Sure enough, 16-17 months comes around and DD is saying "potty" and "poo poo". 17 months comes along, and DD pulled the potty out of the bathroom and into the hall-- sat down and started "reading" a book. At that point I said to myself, "I think this kid is ready." The only problem is that at 17 months-- she always said she had to potty AFTER she moved her bowels or urinated. I decided to grab the window of interest, and we spent most of the 18th month with me trying to catch poops, teach her using dolls, and sitting her on the pot every 20 minutes or so. It was too much pressure on her and she started to say she didn't want to use the potty. I backed off, but got her a few video tapes, and within a week, her interest reappeared, and she had figured out how to go BEFORE she pooped and peed, rather than after. The day she turned 19 months, she went to the potty 6 times completely on her own-- for both poop AND urine. After that, if she was bare bottomed, she'd go potty even if I wasn't in the room. Then she'd come get me and show me what she did. In fact, she always looks at what she did in the potty and applauds herself! LOL! It's really her own little project. She even wipes her privates! LOL!

The only problem I have is that she is so independent, she has to do everything by herself, and getting pants on and off is too hard, so she needs to be bare-bottomed. Now, she tries to get pants and panties off, just like the kids in the video. But at 17-18 pds, she just doesn't have the strength and the coordination to pull down her pants. I like to keep her in dresses or t-shirts around the house. But during naps, nighttime and when we go out, I put her back in a diaper. Still, she will use the toilet outside of our home if I bring a potty or put her on a big toilet.

Since this is my only potty training experience, I don't know for sure, but I've heard from someone that the next window of opportunity opens at 2 years. If you've already missed the "18 month" window, try again at 2, or 2.5. But whatever the case, based on this experience, I'd say the success of "non-coercive" potty training at any age can hing on a child having his or her own motivation to o the job himself. There was one positive effect of having tried to coerce-- DD learned to hold her pee for as long as she could until our backs were turned (then she'd go pee in a corner!) But otherwise, it's really a do-it-yourself project for the kid. And expect it to take at least 3 months or more of demonstrations and accidents before they pull the whole thing together.

Faith
faithnj's Avatar faithnj 06:37 PM 07-31-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by sophmama
It's really funny because since I posted this, she's gotten all her poops on the potty - on her own. She looks over at me and says, "I need to run to the potty!" and she takes off running and I go after her to make sure she gets her clothes off ok. She's not motivated on pee yet and I'm leaving that alone.

So funny how I thought I could just deviate from strick GD this one time and it would be ok. Ha ha ha. Getting back on track sped up the process.
Oh I'm so happy for you! (This was such a hard project, wasn't it? I sympathize with anyone working on this right now. OR not working on it-- as the case may be!)

Don't worry, I'm sure putting the urine in the potty can't be far behind! The concept just has to "click" for her. DD used to only refer to poo poo, and she didn't even realize there was a word for the liquid that came out. Urinating on herself when she was bare bottomed got her used to the idea that liquid was coming out. The pressure she got while I was actively potty training her taught her how to hold her urine until we left her alone! LOL! That kid could not urinate for 3 hours. (Then she'd go pee in a corner when we took our eyes off of her.) But after she started pooping in the pot, she got it one day when the urine and the poop came at roughly the same time. You could see the lightbulb click on for her. (Plus, I kept modeling urinating in the potty for her at least once a day.) When she realized that both her own poop and pee were supposed to go in the potty, she started using both words for her elimination, as well. I'd say the urine started coming in the potty about a week and a half after the poops started going in the potty.

Once again, don't worry. You're well on your way!

Faith
blsilva's Avatar blsilva 06:52 PM 07-31-2006
I pretty much agree with the moms who said don't force it. We tried all that stuff with my son, and it didn't work. We even left him naked in the house to try to get him to understand the process, but soon realized that he knew all about it when he ran over & diapered himself to poop! We kinda gave up at this point.
What did work was when he was at a playdate, with his friends who also used the potty, and he went in his pull-up. I took him to the bathroom, cleaned him up, but did not have another pull-up to put on him, so he had to go commando, pants only.
Desperate, I told him that if he had to go, he really needed to go in the potty, because otherwise everyone would see. I know, guilt is not the best option, but from that point on, he has gone in the potty. He always has done things only when they are his idea. I guess this just made him decide that going on the potty was a priority for him.
Starlitlexy's Avatar Starlitlexy 07:40 PM 07-31-2006
I so feel all of your pains with potty training. My Son showed interest on and off for months. I found forcing it backfired on us. Now if he is naked he uses it all day with no accidents. We can't seem to figure out that underwear are for pulling down and going to the potty. He likes to sit on the potty and pee and poop in his underwear. I don't think he can quite pull down his underwear yet. He's 2 years and almost 8 months by the way. Whenever we leave the house or nap I put a diaper on him because he doesn't quite wake up dry yet. I'm waiting for that moment. I figure if he is trained by 3 we did awesome. :-P
faithnj's Avatar faithnj 08:01 PM 07-31-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by Starlitlexy
.....We can't seem to figure out that underwear are for pulling down and going to the potty. He likes to sit on the potty and pee and poop in his underwear. I don't think he can quite pull down his underwear yet.....
The video "It's Potty Time" (my daughter's favorite) has three examples of boys pushing down their pants, then pushing down their underware before they go potty. On top of that, they have a song for the kids about pushing off their pants. I swear it's why my tiny DD is trying to push off her pants. I imagine your son is bigger and stronger than my dd, so perhaps a pair of loose underpants will be perfect for helping him practice, if you decide to go that route.

Faith
sophmama's Avatar sophmama 08:21 PM 07-31-2006
We have that Potty Time video. I think that one's pretty good. We also have another one that is ok. We have 3 or 4 potty books. I've had potty parties with other kids who are trained. All those things sparked some interest over a short period of time. Nothing stuck though. I did try to go with her initial interest when she was 18 months but she just didn't want to be trained. It was just a novelty to her. I've done the naked butt. I've done plastic training pants. I've done regular underwear. I've tried pullups. I've tried going nowhere for days at a time so we could do nothing but potty train. Like I mentioned in the OP, we tried a lot of things. I guess my kid just has her own schedule and once she decided it was time, she's into it.
Starlitlexy's Avatar Starlitlexy 08:32 PM 07-31-2006
We have three or four potty books which talk about it and teaches how to pull down pants and he loves those books but I will definately check out the video, maybe at the library. Thanks. Yea I just bought him boxers and so far they seem to work seeing how they're loose and easier to yank down in time. I figure we will just deal with the accidents and get him use to pulling his underwear down. Thanks for the tips
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