Four mistakes I made during potty training

Four mistakes I made during potty training

Potty training. Ugh. I feel as if this aspect of parenting is feared by many.

If I'm being honest, it wasn't that bad. I thought it would try my patience, but really, it just tried my ability to dart up the stairs, bicep curl my child, and feign excitement 26 times per day.

The first day and first week of potty training were exhausting, but I was proud of my not even two-and-a-half year old. I experienced little frustration.

Then, Month Five started. Aaaand it all went down the shitter. Or, rather, it didn't. That was the problem.

Here are four mistakes I made during potty training regression: 

1) I believed my kid. In the month of March (month five), we did a lot of fun stuff: hosted a party, visited cousins, etc. At these events, my kid turned into a liar. And, I can't really blame him. Who wants to stop running after chickens (yes, seriously, his cousins raise chickens) or wait for dessert to run to the potty?

  • Me: Do you have to go potty?
  • Kid: No.
  • Me: Okay.

Not. Okay. He loves you, but he's lying. Just take him to the bathroom, or suffer the dirty consequences.

2) I became overconfident. This goes hand in hand with #1. Just because he's gone two weeks with zero accidents, and it's been four months, and "he always tells you" does NOT mean that he won't have an accident. Or four in a 12 hour time frame. 

3) I displayed frustration. Keeping a potty poker face is no easy task, especially if your spouse is out of town and you've been doing all bathroom trips solo. Your best arsenal is a stoic face and monotone voice saying, "Accidents happen. We'll do better next time." And wine. Wine is good arsenal.

4) I, myself, regressed. We used screen time as a potty training reward. By the time this regression hit, we would watch 10 minutes after an accident-free day. I started going back to our old routine of watching every few times he peed in the potty, before nap, after nap, etc. Wonder of wonders: the accidents ceased. Huh. He was clearly outsmarting us: with screen time back in the equation, it was much more appealing to use the potty. Determined not to have a schedule run by the toilet and T.V., we settled on two screen times per day: 10 minutes for an accident-free morning, and 10 minutes for an accident-free afternoon.

What failures or successes did you experience while potty training?

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