Tag Archives: toddler power struggles

Potty Training for Dummies

It started out so well.  Emily would run to her potty, do her business, and exclaim “I went pee-pee Mommy!”  Within the first week, she went number two without any urgings from me.  Her diapers were completely dry in the morning and accidents were very, very rare.

And then something happened.  I’m not sure what, but she started freaking out whenever she needed to go number two.  I thought this was a power struggle so I refused to cave into her demands.  Soon, she started having accidents galore.

Yesterday, when I was on my knees cleaning up another mess–this of the icky variety–I kind of lost it.  As I was cleaning, she went to the toilet and peed.  She came out and very excitedly announced that she had gone pee-pee and asked for a treat.  Since I was not very happy with her, I did not give her a treat and begrudgingly told her I was glad she went pee on the toilet.  At the same time, I wasn’t happy with myself for obviously overlooking something.

After she went to bed, and I cooled down significantly, I reflected on her recent regression and how I played into it.  Within in a few moments I had a prompting in the form of two questions: Are you listening to what your daughter is trying to communicate? Or are you pushing your own will on her? I hung my head in shame–good shame–and decided to take a step back and let her progress on her own time.

She can now request a diaper anytime she wants and I am back to giving her treats whenever she pees on the toilet.  Really, I am so proud of her for asking to potty train on her own and not rewarding something that she is obviously pleased with herself is like denying her a kiss when she really needs it.

As a mother, I am often the “dummy” when it comes to listening to my kids.  Thankfully, there is room to change. I hope I can take this lesson and use it continuously as Emily and Andrew grow older.

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