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Potty training - should I give up this time round ?

  1. #1
    Biggie is offline Registered User
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    Potty training - should I give up this time round ?

    I have been following all the recent threads on potty training and thought I would give it a go with my 26 mth boy. After 6 days, I am about to give up and conclude he I not ready. This is the story:
    I use all tricks, including positive enforcment like sticker charts, reward, praise, cool undies; and negative enforcement like thumbs down, making him clean up the mess. He has been on undies for the last 6 days except nap and night. He can speak full sentences an perfectly able to express himself.
    He was able to pee and poo on the toilet in the morning when we make him sit on it for like 10-20min. I ask him all the time if he wanted to pee and he always said no. So I get him to air on the toilet every half hour when he hasn't go for a couple hours. Most of the times he has no "output" and I'd say let's try again next time.
    Today, he wet his undies just 5min after we sat him on the toilet. He looked upset and ran to the toilet after he fact. And then, it happened again. So I started to think maybe he understand what he's supposed to do but simply isn't aware that he has to pee until after he peed? Or he was just too involved with what he wa doing to pay attention (he gets really focus when he is doing sth). Either way, do you think I should give up now and try again in a few weeks?
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  2. #2
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    If I were you, I would keep with the potty training by asking your child if he needs to go potty but I wouldn't be as intense and focused about it as you are now. Just keep giving him opportunities but don't take it so seriously and don't get upset if he doesn't potty train quickly. Some children do it in a few days but others take months and months to really potty train. If you feel pressure yourself to make him perform well and he senses that pressure it can REALLY backfire on you and actually make the process a lot longer and much, much more frustrating.

    It takes a LONG time for some children to potty train--especially boys. So, it's important to not set any type of time schedule like "My child will be potty trained in ____ amount of days/months." I think we started potty training with my son in earnest before he was 2-years-old (because he was going to nursery school at 2-years-old and we wanted him to be at least a little able to use the toilette there) but I would say he was finally truly potty trained during the daytime (he still wears pull-ups at night in case he has an accident) when he was about 2.5 or almost 3-years-old. He's almost 3.5 now. His grandparents had already been putting him on the potty and somewhat having him use the potty at their house since he was 3 months-old so he had A LOT of exposure to using the potty for a very long time before he really was ready to do it on his own on a consistent basis.

    So, I think you can just relax and keep asking him as a normal part of the day "Do you need to go potty?" and then don't focus at all on the mistakes. (At this point, as you are just beginning with him--or at least that's how it seems from your post--I think it is actually inappropriate to really use any type of negative reinforcement--that puts way too much pressure on a child to perform. I really think the only time it's really appropriate to start doing this is if the child has been potty training for a LONG time--like 6 months-1 year and has shown that they are completely willing and able to use the toilette but then they choose not to do so--that is when you really start using small punishments. Punishment can be a recipe for disaster when potty training in the beginning, though.) But make sure that if he in any way does something positive toward potty training that you reward him with praise, stickers, snacks or anything else that he will enjoy. (Even willingness to sit on the toilette should be rewarded, I think as I know children who will scream and run away in terror at having to even SIT on the toilette).

    It's also important to make potty training fun--so you need to associated it with a good time--not something he MUST do or he has failed. Some of the suggestions I have are decorating his potty with his favorite cartoon character or having an afternoon where you put the potty in the middle of the living room, strip him bare from the waist down and spend the day coloring, watching cartoons, singing songs, having snacks and doing fun things in the house. Have him drink lots of fluids--maybe his favorite fruit juice, milk or water so that he will have the urge to use the toilette and then just really focus on how "cool" it is to use the potty.

    Keep asking him regularly (every 15-20 minutes--but don't ask too much) if he needs to go and if he does successfully give lots of praise and rewards and get really excited about it--celebrate his accomplishment--the look of excitement on your face is probably worth more than a lot of stickers! Eventually he will have the urge to go pee and because there are no underwear to get wet if he accidentally goes on the floor he can see the effects of what happens when you don't get to the potty in time. Then you can give him a towel, and in a non-condemning or punishing tone just say, "That's okay, you didn't make it to the potty in time. Next time you will. Now, we need to clean your pee up so you can help mommy do that."

    We did this sort of activity with my son a couple of times and it really helped him get excited about potty training and made him much more eager to go on the potty. It takes patience and time but I think it's a good investment.

    Just one more note--when my son really got involved in his own potty training was when he went to school (nursery school and kindergarten) and started to see other children using the toilette. Also, his grandparents have a good influence on this--encouraging him to be a "big boy" and go potty. Then my son made friends with a boy about 2 years older than him and noticed the boy used the toilette by himself at our house and after that he would say, "Mama, I don't need your help. Close the door. I can use the potty." So, peer pressure was very positive in this sense. But, notice, I never said to him, "Look, why can't you be like THOSE kids who use the potty by themselves?" He just noticed it by himself which I thought was really cool.

    Good luck. Don't give up but also don't stress about it.
    Last edited by thanka2; 04-13-2011 at 06:14 AM.

  3. #3
    Sazzy is offline Registered User
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    Definitely keep going. Just leave the potty out and about so he can see it. And a good tip is to take them to the toilet every 90 minutes instead of asking every 5 minutes. Accidents will happen and boys tend to take longer than girls. Keep going.

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    Biggie is offline Registered User
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    Thanks for the suggestions. Keep trying as in keep putting him in undies (and expect to clean up a few times a day) or leave him in pull ups but keep asking him to go?
    He has been put in potty every morning since like 8 mth and we have been "soft core" training as in telling him he should poo in toilet for over a year.
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    nicolejoy is offline Registered User
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    I agree with most of what Thanka had to say. I think that potty training time should (like most everything else in life) include LOTS of mistakes before they finally really get the hang of it. With my daughter, we mostly just let her run around the house at first for 2 hours every morning with just undies on. Of course she peed all over the house, but hey - that's what we were expecting. It did allow her to really learn the sensation of when she needed to pee and all that. I don't think that any kid really LIKES wetting themselves... It was about a week before she got her FIRST pee in the potty - and we were all so proud of her. It wasn't long before most of the time in those two hours, she went in the potty 95% of the time. We then stretched the "no nappy time" a bit longer and a bit longer - then we started trying to take her to her nursery school with no undies (they do potty time there so she was already having "practice" there anyway, even though she was wearing a nappy) - then when she had gotten really good at that, we began taking her to other places without a nappy on. Now we take her almost everywhere with no nappy and she only wears the nappy for sleeping. It was all about her reaching each particular "milestone" in her own time. For her, it wasn't too long and it was probably even easier than I expected. But I would do exactly the same method even if I had to do it over a year instead of over a month. Step by step... :) (Like Sazzy said, I didn't ask every 5 minutes, I figure if I was asking that frequently, it would lose its "meaning"... I asked about every hour or so I think. Now I never ask, except if we're out and we happen to pass a toilet and I don't know when/where the next toilet will be)

  6. #6
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    nicolejoy is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Biggie View Post
    Thanks for the suggestions. Keep trying as in keep putting him in undies (and expect to clean up a few times a day) or leave him in pull ups but keep asking him to go?
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    I would DEFINITELY put him in undies, at least at home for a couple of hours a day - because if he's anything like my daughter, he might not even care/notice that he's going in his pull ups!! I tried to potty train my girl without doing it the "messy way" but I eventually realised that she HAD to pee all over the house in order to learn ;)

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    e-Maternity is offline Registered User
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    I totally agree with all other mommies.

    When I trained my son at 2 years old, I basically didn't even bother to put him in undies. So, he just went around the house 1/2 naked. It was totally gross and alot of cleaning was required. But, he didn't like the feeling of getting wet etc with pee running down his legs, so he sort of made the effort of telling me he needed to go. Most of the time, he was a little late in telling me.

    I did this for a week and it worked. But, by weekend, I decided to put him in pull-ups (since I was going out for a while). He must have realized the difference and decided to pee in his pull-ups. Since that weekend, I was back in square 1 for another week. I think it took my son at least 3-6 months to get it. Now he's 3 and we haven't had an accident for a couple of weeks (fingers crossed!).

    Basically, I would NOT recommend pull-ups - at least during the day!

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    Shenzhennifer is offline Registered User
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    When you all started potty training your kid, were they actually willing to sit on the potty? My son always says a big NO whenever I ask him and refuses to sit on it. Aside from that, he's displaying all the other signs of potty training readiness. Am I doomed with this big NO?

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