There seems to be a stigma around potty training, that if your child isn’t potty trained by a certain age, then they are behind or if they are potty trained by an earlier age then they’re a genius. Nope.
All children eat boogers. So, take a deep breath and relax because potty training STINKS.
I write this after a frustrating day of potty training. My daughter is two, but nearing three-years-old. She is smart — she knows her alphabet, can sing countless songs, knows her shapes and colors, even the planets, and counts past 20. My daughter is not potty trained.
My daughter decided she was ready to start using the potty two weeks after I gave birth to her brother. Sure, I’m sleep deprived, but while having my husband home on paternity leave, we figured we might as well let her try! Jump forward a month later, we’re still at it, off and on. She has the steps down. She loves to wash her hands. She knows how to sign all the motions. But when she has to go, she cries “diaper.”
As you may have figured out by now, this is not a resourceful potty training article. Instead, it’s a “I’m here in the sinking boat” with you (*high five*). As a parent, it can be quite frustrating not understanding why your toddler is refusing to use the potty or not ready yet.
While there are countless books and articles you can read including The Only Advice You Really Need About Potty Training (I totally recommend checking that one out; your sanity will thank you), it all can be overwhelming, especially if you are like me, who tried those “quick” methods and they didn’t work. So, at my daughter’s yearly check-up, I pleaded with my pediatrician to share his potty training secrets and expertise on this horrid nightmare. He calmly explained there is no such thing as potty training. When your child is ready, she will start using the potty. He explained to keep the routine of trying to use the potty, but if she screams “diaper” or refuses to sit on the potty, then give her a diaper. In return, it would be her responsibility to throw her diapers away.
So, we stuck to that advice.
We didn’t push or plead with her. We continued to go about the process while remaining cool, calm, and collected, all while in my head I was wondering why my daughter was so strong willed and what amazing achievements she is bound to have one day. After a month of sticking to this plan, my daughter decided she was ready and started to use the potty.
It’s true; there’s no such thing as potty training; just lots and LOTS of patience.
Sometimes, I wonder when we will finally be done with potty training (you know, no more accidents or being scared of going #2). You may be wondering the same thing. Well, I leave you with the wise words of my friend and fellow Chattanooga Moms contributor, Ashleigh, “Just in time to train the next kid.”