Thursday, April 15, 2010

One Step Back

As far as I've experienced it, there are two varieties of potty training set-backs.  The first kind is not as much set-back as it is failure to start forward.  When I began potty training Gavin, I knew nothing about the process and we started several times with no luck.  We would put him in underwear and then find him playing in a puddle, unbothered by the mess.  We'd change him and remind him to use the potty and then find him wet again.  Instead of stressing, we took this as a sign that he was just not ready to make the potty training plunge and so we reverted back to diapers and waited. 

The second kind of set-back is a bit more perturbing, but as it has happened with each of my children, I consider it normal.  We begin with the intense week of potty training.  We make the switch to underwear full-time.  The child learns to follow body cues.  We take the trip to the bathroom multiple times a day.  We reward successes.  And then potty training is complete.  The hoop-la is over and the treats are put away.  The child is confident in their ability to make it to the potty on time, every time. 

And then the child gets too confident.  He waits awhile after he feels the urge to pee.  He keeps playing with his trains until the feeling reaches desperation.  He runs to the potty and he is too late.  I hear a little call of,  "Mama, I need help,"  and then I enter a puddle-y, wet bathroom. 

Or she realizes she needs to go, but doesn't want to stop eating lunch.  She finishes her sandwich before running to the bathroom.  She makes it onto the toilet, but damp underwear must be changed.  And it happens in the afternoon and before bed, too. 

Thankfully, this type of set-back is more frustrating than anything.  It doesn't usually mean the child is un-training.  It just means they need a little reminding to be consistent.   

To start at the beginning of my potty training series, click here
Up next: Potty Trainer Personalities

1 comment:

  1. I really do appreciate your willingness to write on this subject!


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