Tuesday, June 26, 2012

June is Potty Training Awareness Month

photo via
I saw this headline the other day and I had to laugh out loud. Good thing I discovered that June was Potty Training Awareness Month at the end of June! There might have been a lot more mocking informational posts this month!

Potty Training. UGH. I've been there. And with a 26-month-old the time is almost upon me again. Is is terrible that I'm putting it off? I hated loathed potty training my oldest. She simply refused! I am not joking. We began the process about the time she was 20 months old. She was showing all the typical signs. We bought a little potty and some stickers and a chart. I went to the library and checked out about 30 (literally!) library books. When everything the books said to do failed, I tried other methods. I got new books, I talked to every mother I knew. I threatened, I punished, I rewarded, I bribed. I stopped for a few months and tried again. Over and over and over...NOTHING WORKED. She was simply not interested.

Just when I had declared I didn't care if she was 10 years old and not potty-trained because it would be her problem then and not mine, I got some excellent advice. Advice I'd wished someone had told me from the very beginning. Advice I got from the pediatrician, no less. It was like the Heavens parted.

Relax. She'll do it when she's ready. 

You mean, I'm not a terrible mother because she isn't potty trained yet? Wow. We mothers can be so hard on ourselves. But that's what I thought. I was the failure. The pediatrician helped me to see that it wasn't about me. My daughter had to be the one leading if we were to be successful.

I didn't give up necessarily. I let her tell me when she was ready. And all it took was one afternoon at a friend's house and seeing her friend's little sister go potty. She came home telling me "See, Mom? She does it. Maybe I should try it." And we never looked back. I, for one, have never been so happy for peer pressure before in my life! Victory! She was finally potty-trained at 42 months. It took us 22 months-almost 2 years. True story. All I can really say is this. Potty Training truly earns you the badge of patience. 

*Side note: My husband is quick to point out if potty training was this hard we need to seriously prepare for adolescence. YIKES! 

But seriously, for those whose child IS ready to potty train, here are some useful links:

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