I am having problems potty with potty training. My daughter will be 3 in November and is completely trained at daycare. She uses underwear and asks to use the potty when she has to go. At home, it's a different story. She refuses to even sit on the potty and won't even wear pull-ups, it's diapers only. I've tried setting a timer for 30 minutes and that works until about lunch time and then she will refuse to try anymore. I've done stickers and m&m's and prizes from the dollar store and nothing seems to help. Her brother is 1 month old and everyone seems to say it's because of him, but the problem was even before he came home. I will admit now that he is here the problem is worse because she seems to purposely hold it. An example of this is the other day we sat on the potty (after a bribe) for a good 15 minutes and then when we walked into the living room she went in her pants and looked at me and said " I tell you I only go on da potty at Ms. Annie's house". My thoughts now is to totally back off. My question is do I still send her to daycare in her undies? Do I try pull-ups or just use diapers at home? Is backing off really what I should do? Any help will be appreciated. Thanks!!
From: Rachael, Marshfield, MA
This sounds like it's 100% a control issue. Somewhere along the line (and her developmental stage has a lot to do with this; don't just blame it on the pregnancy and baby), she recognized that the potty was the way for her to be in control of -- you!
So, yes, back off. When she's home, give her the choice: does she want to wear underpants, diapers or pull-ups? Tell her, "It's your body, and it's your decision." And here's what may sound like an off-the-wall suggestion: apologize to her for pushing her to use the potty when she wasn't ready. In their book, "Toilet Training the Brazelton Way," pediatricians T. Berry Brazelton and Joshua D. Sparrow say that can work magic.
You can still offer the potty (esp if you can see that she needs to go) but stop with the long sit-downs. If she does agree to try it, instead of bribes, read a story -- one -- while she's sitting there. Book is finished and no action? Ok, try again another time.
If you think she's holding it, there's the risk of constipation which can develop into a problem, so ask the pediatrician for a stool softener. That can head off constipation and also head off holding it.
If she has an accident, be matter-of-fact but include her in the clean up (!). Ask her to fetch the clean underwear from her drawer. Or to flush the toilet.
While you're struggling through this, keep in mind that it's normal to have regression. Sometimes, kids need to go full throttle into the regression before they can move forward. At some point, she will get tired of this because she knows she isn't a baby anymore. That will sooner rather than later if she feels she's in control.
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