Thursday, October 25, 2007

Calling All Mommies...SOS!!!

Potty training - I feel like I have completely failed my son in this endeavor.

We started potty training Ian the beginning of June. This was actually our second attempt. The first attempt just never seemed to take off, so we gave it up until Ian seemed more ready.

The second attempt started out much more successful. A few weeks beforehand, we had Ian try to use the potty first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Then we dove right in and had our little guy running around the house naked. We reminded him to try and use the potty, and occasionally he was seen trotting off to the bathroom by himself. Accidents were few and far between. Amazingly, he woke up from naps and night time sleep dry during the first few weeks.

We took him to the mall in a pull up, not really expecting much, and he asked us to take him to the bathroom. The big toilet didn't bother him at all, just the noisy hand dryers. He came home dry and clean. Even at swim class, Ian asked to use the potty. We started letting him use the big toilet at home, he didn't flinch. Of course Ian's the size of most five year olds, so he has an advantage.

Yes, things seemed to be moving right along, my little man was having great success at this potty training business.

But, yes you knew a humongous BUT was coming, here we are, almost five months later, and it's like we never started the potty training process. Somewhere we've lost our way, and now it's a pink elephant nobody knows how to handle.

Ian runs away whenever we remind him to use the bathroom. He cries and struggles if we try to get him to sit on the toilet. I believe in letting him wear underwear so that he learns from his mistakes. After asking him to try and use the potty, or even after he's tried to sit a few minutes on it, five to ten minutes later he'll have an accident. I'm not talking one accident a day. We're talking at least three. I'm really tired of cleaning urine out of the carpet and chair cushions.

I've tried incentives in the form of Skittles, stickers, TV time, and special play time. It's become obvious none of this matters to him, the accidents continue to happen. I'm losing my patience with him, and I know it's become a power struggle between the two of us. Ian's 3 1/2 years old. Am I feeling pressure to train him because of his age? Absolutely, and I know I shouldn't. I know I need to put Ian's needs first and not care what others are saying.

I'm not sure why he's regressed. We haven't moved, there are no new siblings, there haven't been any changes that I can think of. I try to make sure he gets individualized attention throughout the day, whether we work on puzzles, play with trains or garbage trucks, share a snack, or attend a special class together. Ian just doesn't mind sitting in wet or soiled clothes. He doesn't want anything to interfere with his play time.

So what do I do? Right now, I'm giving up and putting him back into diapers. I think both he and I need a break from potty training and all it entails. I need advice on how to approach it for hopefully the last time. Does anyone have a book they would recommend I read? Does anyone have a tip they found particularly useful? If you've already written about this on your blog, please send me the link so I can learn some beneficial approaches. I need help, especially from those of you who have already experienced this wonderful time of preschooler potty training.



carrie said...

I've never had this happen, but if it were me, I'd make the decision to wait, because when he's ready, really ready, it'll be so much easier on both of you!

I know Laurel is probably still in diapers, and this isn't a traditional "recession" situation, but maybe he sees that she doesn't wear underwear so he shouldn't either? I dunno, it was just a thought. Kids are strange that way. If it's any consolation, my oldest was by far the most difficult to potty train of all 3 kids.

Hang in there!

Michele said...

Jacob (age 3) just went through this. We started potty training back in May, and initially had great success. Then, all of a sudden, it stopped. He would have accidents, had no interest in using the potty, and would run from the bathroom everytime we tried to get him to use it. After much frustration on both our parts, we finally (around 2 weeks ago) went back to pull-ups. We decided that he could still use the potty if he wanted to with pull-ups, but we were done cleaning pee out of our couch. So far, it's been 8 days and counting with no accidents at daycare or at home. I think he just needed us to relax about it.

Bloggy Mama said...

oh MAN! We tried with Hunter and had the same kind of experience where 5 - 10 minutes after he'd sit on the potty he'd go in his underwear. We decided that he just wasn't ready. I'm thinking of you, I hope you find a good solution!

Anonymous said...

I know that you must feel pressure because of age, but I would just take a break too. If he feels there is no pressure, he may actually decide to start going on his own. I hope it improves; sorry I am not more helpful!

Jenny said...

Hailey did the same thing. Great success then regression. She's back on track again and honestly I'm not sure why. I almost thing they need to be the ones to say it's time for them because I don't think I helped much.

Rachel said...

I wish I could help you, but I never had to deal with this (somehow, I think Alyssa will give me problems). Maybe talk to his pediatrician. Could he have a bladder infection or something?

Damselfly said...

Aw, I wish I could help. But you might be the person I turn to when it's Fly's time!

Lady M said...

Sorry, we can't give much help! SwingDaddy and I are not having a lot of luck, but Q will sit on the potty for our nanny. So he's kinda half-trained for five days a week. We need to work on it, for sure!

Anonymous said...

I can't help as Morgan's not even 2 yet. My sister went through something similar with my nephew when he was Ian's age. He would do good and then revert to accidents again. He seemed "too busy" to be bothered with the potty breaks. I think she waited a bit, too. You almost have to, unfortunately. Ease off a bit and maybe Ian will do a 180.

Good luck :)

Pendullum said...

I feel your pain...
and if he is not in daycare and there is no pressure I would wait it out...

MaryP said...

I'm late, and I have nothing new to add, but I thought you might enjoy a related story. (Like most of your other commenters, my suggestion is that you back off, let it go for a couple or three months.)

The story:

My much-younger cousin suddenly become terrified of the toilet he'd been using for weeks without a problem. His older brother shed the light for his bewildered mother: the litte one had tried one day to pee standing up, just like his big brother. Only, being just a little guy with short arms, he hadn't got the seat quite up, and partway through, it came SLAMMING back down.

Thankfully the little nubs on the bottom of the seat made a gap between toilet bowl and seat just big enough that his little penis, which was laying on the rim of the bowl, was not crushed.

But would any right-minded three-year-old boy allow his family jewels ANYWHERE near a penis-eating toilet??

I think not. It took him five or six months before he was able to overcome the trauma! But he did -- and so will Ian come round, whatever is the source of his resistance.

Be Inspired Always said...

When I was potty training both my boys, I approached it in a relaxed sort of way. If you feel tense about it, then the child will pick up on that.

When he does go, reward him with something. We always rewarded both our boys with "You're such a BIG boy!" Then give him a high-five.

Soon or later he'll catch on and keep doing it. It just takes alot of patience. I know how frustrating it can be. Just hang in there, I'll get better.

I don't think I would move back to diapers though, that's taking a step to far back. Throw the diapers away so that he knows, he can't go back there, that both of you want to move ahead.

That's my two cents, hope it helps.