I hate potty training! Believe me, I’ve read all the books. Twice. All the magazine articles. All the blogs. It has not gone well.
We first started training Finn at 18 months. Within a day, it was clear that he wasn’t ready and didn’t get it. (It was also really clear that apple juice gives Finn diarrhea. Naked + diarrhea + 18 month old = no fun!) So we stopped.
Several months later when he was over 2 1/2, we did it again. It went well initially, but not for long. Lots of accidents and he just didn’t care. He knew how to go potty. He could tell that he had to go potty. He’d go potty if you took him there. He just didn’t care if he had an accident. The promise of being a big boy didn’t matter. Promise of preschool and going to the beach didn’t faze him. Getting M&Ms or smarties wasn’t enough to make him go. Having him go to the bathroom every hour didn’t help. Accidents would still happen 10 minutes later.
Then this past summer, we really focused on it. Helped, but didn’t get much more progress. In addition to potty training not going well, Finn was not very obedient. He’d be mean (in ways that 3 year olds are mean). He’d disobey. He’d ignore. Sometimes because he just had a different idea than you did. But sometimes, he’d disobey just for the sake of disobeying.
Enough we said. Jeff & I started seeing a counselor with Finn. She gave us some things to try and they seem to be working! We focused on some things that I had been doing. Some different things that Jeff had been doing. Things that our babysitter had been doing. But we weren’t all consistent. I did things just a little differently than Jeff did who did things just a little differently than our babysitter did.
Nothing new we’ve done is rocket science. We’re focusing on the positive. We’re being very verbal with our praise so that he knows when he’s done well. We’re downplaying the misbehavior as much as possible (addressing it without giving it lots of attention). We’re spending concentrated one on one time with him. We’ve made sure that all of us are consistent.
And it’s working! Accidents are now few and far between. In fact, he went 7 days without an accident and earned a trip to the Ferris Wheel at Scheels (he had seen a picture on Grammy’s phone). This was from the kid who would have multiple accidents each day. We only met with the counselor 3 times over the course of 2 months, but it was time and money well spent!