Subject: Potty training disaster
Question: I am completely out of ideas. My daughter is 2 years, 7 months old. We started working with her right around 2 years, 4 months old; introducing the potty, explaining about going in the potty, showing her the process when mommy goes potty, and working with her on “let’s visit the potty” to get her used to using it.
She was doing pretty well and would go when it was suggested, and we gave her stickers when she used the potty. She still used her diapers too, but we were more concerned with easing her into the whole process and then finding what motivated her to move to the next level.
About a month ago, I started showing her the “big girl” panties at the store and explained that is what you wear when you go in the potty all the time. 2 weeks ago, she said she wanted some. We explained again and asked her if she understood what wearing them meant. She said yes, so we bought her a package and started her in them that day. She did great, only one poopy incident, which we had expected, for 3-4 days; then she had an accident. We cleaned it up, talked a little about it and went on with the panties.
Then, she did it again, and again every day since. Nothing seems to help. She has never told us when she pees or poops in her diaper, and still doesn’t tell us she needs to go to the bathroom; it’s all on our suggestion. We are beyond frustrated and have no idea what to do now.
Is she simply not ready and we just got lucky for a few days? I hate to go back to diapers, but my husband (who is the stay at home parent) is ready to give up until she shows us she’s really ready for this step. I am torn between his frustration, my frustration and my daughter’s frustration and simply do not know what to do now.
I think she is clearly indicating she is not ready. I would let go this sounds very intense to me. Try reading her some books on going to the potty and the waiting until she initiates it herself. I get these questions from parents all the time and often the issue is the expectations by parents that a child will be potty trained during the 2nd year of life. I promise you she will not be going to kindergarten in her diapers!
Relax and have some fun with her now while she is little. Don’t let this be such a big deal that you are all feeling frustrated and upset. These are some of the most precious years of her life and you want to have lots of fun with her now.
M Kay Keller