Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Potty: The Win Column

Caution: this is one of those posts in which a parent is talking about child toilet habits.

End of day 3 of potty training. I'll say that the amount of fighting that The Boy does hasn't decreased, and he has not often taken himself to the potty but instead was taken by me. But he has stayed dry/clean for most of the time, and we have even left the house. I want him to get used to the idea of having underpants on instead of a diaper, at least during the day. He had one full accident today and one partial accident. Oh, and one super-fun incident where he didn't really get the directional issues of sitting on the toilet and there ended up being a puddle 3 feet in front of him.

He doesn't want to do it. Why should he interrupt his playtime? Of course, when he is trying to throw a tantrum, his body doesn't allow him to go. Once he relaxes, he goes. And even if he doesn't go, I can now see what he is doing when he is actually trying to go and legitimately doesn't have a need. So I tell that he stays on the potty until he gives it a good try.

We are teaching him new habits. Instead of diaper changes before leaving the house, it's potty visits. When we go somewhere new, we find the potty right away and use it. We come home and go to the potty. We try before lunch. And after lunch. It seemed as though he would have a lot of accidents at the table, simply from not paying attention, so we focus on that. If he hasn't gone in awhile, we try.

We are still at the point where he could throw fits and insist on diapers. But I don't want that, because I have committed to getting us all in the mindset of, "He's too big for that." It will be a LONG time before we have to stop bugging him to go as frequently as we do. I don't know exactly when he will be considered "fully trained." I never thought about it this way until recently, but most children are not independent in their toilet habits in an instant. We have to think a lot about our children's pottying until at least age 4 even though they take care of most of it themselves, and even after that, we have to check and double check with them to make sure that they have appropriate bathroom breaks. It's a process. One day I'll realize that The Boy is taking himself to the bathroom rather than having me suggest it. I'll know that I can take him places and know that he'll tell me when he needs to go with enough time for us to find the bathroom. It will just happen that way. But it is a process, not a singular event.