What’s the Deal with Potty Training?

I have always wondered why there are so many resources for new parents but so few for parents of young children and teens. For example, there are classes on breastfeeding, carseats, infant hygiene, introducing siblings, etc… But very little information on things like how to respond to disobedience in your toddler, or behavioral management that isn’t either spanking, or letting the child have complete control. Let alone potty training.

Ugh. Potty training… I’m so done with the gimmicky products and “tips and tricks” online. Half of the information is merely bait to get you to buy some be all end all book or product, and the rest is so vague and generic, you could apply it to everything from potty training to driving a car! “Wait until your child shows signs of being ready… Make sure both you and your child remain calm and be prepared… There has to be an interest… You don’t want to pressure the child or punish him for having accidents…”

Really though, I’ve potty trained 2 puppies. With each of them, they had it down in less than a week. I figured a human being with a greater capacity for intellectual concepts would be just as easy if not easier!

So why is potty training my son so difficult? He’s shown sufficient interest in the toilet- loves flushing it and will even ask to sit on it at bath time. He’s aware of when he poops in his pants and dislikes that feeling, yet he insists upon diapers to the point of tantrums. He is absolutely opposed to naked time saying, “No I don’t like it!” Fair enough. I tried having him go pee outside, but that was an injustice to the trees. I keep him in elastic waisted shorts so that he can pull them up and down by himself. I even let him pick out and buy his own big boy underpants. We’ve tried positive reinforcement with treats, stickers, charts to no avail. Even breaking it up in to potty sessions where we go sit on the toilet every 15 minutes. Heck, I’ve watched for his physiological cues and even tried going along with him, which is more out of necessity with baby #3 squishing my bladder than for potty time solidarity. None of it has worked!

And it’s not as if we’re inconsistent with methodology either! Each thing we tried we stuck with for at least 2 weeks. Nothing!

I’ve been trying to potty train him since he turned 24 months old. He’s now 28 months old, and it doesn’t appear that he’s any closer to being out of diapers than I am to winning the Nobel Prize for parental ingenuity and adaptability.

I’m at a loss. I’m frustrated and exhausted, and my resources are spent. In the end, I know that it needs to be done before #3 arrives, but for today, it’s not a hill I’m willing to die on. Congratulations, Pampers. You win again… Take my money and my dignity; we’ll do battle another day.

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