Tuesday, February 14, 2012

How to train a stubborn and strong willed 2.5 year old.

If this were the title of a book, and it probably is , the pages should be blank. In fact I have come to the conclusion that potty training books are like any of the newest diet fad books you see in the bookstore. They may work for a few people but most likely they will end up on the bookshelves at the nearest Goodwill.

If I have learned anything in the last few months and especially in the last few weeks, it is that I am not potty training my kid. I have only an ounce of control over this situation AND, the most important thing I've learned is to be ok with that. We have had a lot of success in the last few days. Or he has rather. But it is because he gets to decide just how much he cares about using the toilet. Some days he tolerates using the potty because of the cool underwear with his favorite Disney characters on them and the candy he knows he will be rewarded with but then there are days that he's just over it and could care less what the reward will be.

It's a hassle for him to potty train. It takes more time out of his play to sit and use the toilet than it does for me to change him. Even though he didn't pee his pants yesterday, he only peed once on the toilet and that was after a major melt down and a lot of bribery. He held his pee for hours out of sheer stubbornness.

 It just didn't feel quite right to pressure my son to use the toilet to the point that he was so irritated that he threw a fit. If my son is anything like my husband and I, he will resent with a passion anything that anyone pushes on him, including potty training. This morning when we woke up I brought Henry a pair of his favorite underwear and a diaper and asked him what he wanted to wear. I asked twice. Both times he decided on his diaper. So I've accepted that today, or at least this morning, we will not be doing much other than talking about sitting on the toilet.

At this point I realize that my job is to gently remind him about all of the rewards of potty training, to often ask him if he would like to use the potty and to cheer him on in any success.

With all of the ways to connect with other parents via facebook, pregnancy and parenting forums, play groups, etc., it becomes easy to compare yourselves to other mothers and compare your child to other kids. There are days where I worry that I am letting Henry down by allowing him to have his binky and continue to be in diaper. Worse than that, there are days that I worry what other's think of Henry and I because I allow him to continue to do those things. Ultimately it doesn't matter because the chances that my son will become a 25 year old binky sucking, diaper wearing member of society are extremely slim.


  1. I"m glad its not just me and my son! He's a couple months older than Henry, and still won't pee in the toilet, wear underwear or have any desire to sit on the toilet unless bribed with Cars 2 drink boxes and his spider man hand soap - but he still won't pee. I give up! Ugh! My biggest worry has been that they don't make Size 7 diapers. Ha - Depends?

  2. It's not just you! Boys are just harder to potty train. I got to the point too where I was looking at the candy he was being rewarded with and the juice he got to drink all day and wondering if he was going to become diabetic before he became potty trained. Out of all of the suggested ways to intice your toddler to go potty, Henry responded best to sweets. I actually checked diaper sizes the other day. It looks like they go to an 8.LOL!