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.