What to Do When Potty Training Isn’t Working
You've read the books, printed the charts, and bought the prizes. You've got your game plan, and you're ready to get your child potty trained!
But it doesn't work. Your game plan is a total failure, and consequently you feel like a failure as a mom.
The questions swirl in your mind:
Did I read the wrong book? Maybe I should have taken a more gradual approach instead of trying to do this all in one weekend? Did I not give him enough to drink? Maybe I gave him too much? Should I have tried the “run around naked” technique? Maybe the designs on her Pull-up weren't fun enough. Maybe she'd rather earn pennies for going potty instead of m&m's. Maybe I'm switching up techniques too much. I need to be more consistent, but what if I pick the wrong technique and I'm consistent at something that's never going to work?
In frustration, you wonder what the “magic key” to getting your child potty trained is. Every book and blog post seems to offer it, but none of them seem to work for you.
Moms, I have been there. I have thought those thoughts. I have wondered what in the world was wrong with me that I was too dumb to figure out how to potty train a kid.
Can I tell you something? Relax.
When that kid is ready, they will go. If they sense that you are uptight about the whole thing, they will be uptight about it too. If they feel like you are trying to “make” them do it, I can guarantee you their rebellious side will rear its ugly head and you will have created an even bigger problem.
I'm giving you permission to keep changing those diapers. Don't stress out and beat yourself over the head for not doing things right.
If you want to take the diapers off and let them make messes, go ahead. (By the way, that really did make a big difference in motivating my kids to go on the potty.) But if that's going to stress you out, don't do it just because the book said that's how to do it. Go buy those Pull-ups and don't worry about it one little bit.
If you want to print the potty charts and give them prizes when they go, that's great. But don't get frustrated if that's not what works for your child. I promise, when they are ready, it will be easy.
The most stress-free strategy for potty-training is the simple strategy of patience.
If you're a mom who has potty-trained her child in a weekend, I applaud you. I really do. I'm not saying it doesn't come easy for some moms. (Here's a great book that teaches you the Potty Train in a Weekend method. Can't hurt to try if you're up for it!)
But I know there are plenty of moms where that's not the case. And if you're one of them, I want to let you know it's okay. You're not a failure. You will get your child potty trained. Relax, don't worry about it, and one day you'll realize your child is potty trained almost without your realizing it.
Have you ever had a child who was hard to potty train? What did you do about it? Share your experiences in the comments below!