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My son will be 3 in July, and although he's been sitting on the potty a few times a day for over a year, it wasn't until last week that he started showing serious interest in potty learning. He wants to be in his underwear all the time, but doesn't know to tell us when he has to go, so we've been setting his timer for every half hour (during the day) and putting him on the potty then. Most of the time he is not resistant to this, and sometimes he goes, occassionally he doesn't. If he is resistant, I offer him the option of putting on a diaper instead, but he always insists that he wants to wear underwear, and then usually agrees to sit on the potty. I'm glad to see that we are making progress in this area, however, since this all started, I have noticed some really negative behaviors coming out in my once-so-sweet child. I'm not sure if this is a coincidence b/c it didn't start until a few days after the underwear, but I have to consider that the 2 could be related. My son has never been one to throw tantrums, except when he was teething. However, for the last 4-5 days I've been dealing with boundary-testing, tantrums, and out-and-out defiance, the likes of which I've never seen from him. I'm reading "Adventures in Gentle Discipline" and doing my best to use my "tool box" of gentle discipline techniques, but I am at my wit's end most of the time. Any suggestions on whether his behavior could be connected to the potty learning and if so, what do you suggest? Thanks for any and all thoughts!
 

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Learning any new thing can cause stress, so the behavior could be linked. If I had my day and activities interrupted every half an hour I'd be abit annoyed in general. We never did the whole "sit on the potty" thing with my DD. She ended up using one of those padded seat things on the toilet (she didn't like the potty) and just started using it on her own right around 3.5. If your DS can't tell when he needs to go maybe he isn't ready. I thought that was part of being ready. If it's just communicating that he needs to go to you, maybe some bottomless time could work. Also just being 3 can be difficult or emotional for some kids. At 3 they are exploring how much control they have over the world around them so boundary testing is normal. With that age there is still lack of impulse control so what looks like defiance isn't really a conscious decision to do exactly what 'mom doesn't want me to do' ...... it's more 'I can't resist doing stuff' and 'Oh, mom said something about jump on the couch , wow got to do that'. If you aren't already, it helps telling them what to do instead of using "don't" because preschoolers often just focus on the last part of what you say.
 

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I completely agree with ssh. It sounds as if there might be a bit too much focus on the potty issue. Yes, there will be some wet underwear, but in my opinion it's about the child understanding what goes on in his body, and seeing the consequences, being aware of the feeling of having to go, what happens if he does when not on the potty/toilet etc. He might not learn that by just being put on a potty at regular intervals. Buy more underwear, relax a bit! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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We EC, and my 16 month old can go an hour and a half easily without needing the potty. I'd guess you're offering way more often than necessary. I also get the impression you're focussing too hard on 'making the catch'. How will he learn when he needs to go if he's never allowed to test the limits of his bladder control? Letting him have some misses in his undies would be helpful for that. Then he will become better at telling you when he needs potty instead of the other way around. My DD also gets really grumpy sometimes when she needs to go but doesn't want to or hasn't made the connection about why she's uncomfortable. I've heard of others having tantrums as signs of needing potty too - something else to consider. Any way you look at it, three is a hard age. Give yourselves both credit for taking on something new and cut yourselves some slack while you're at it too.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/cold.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Cold">
 
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