Saturday, November 16, 2013

But You Don't Go That Way! Toilet Training: A Battle of Wills

It's amazing what we celebrate. We have had our ups and downs with toilet training, but with no man in the house, I found myself in a power struggle with my son in the quest to get him to take his rightful place in front of the bowl. My niece gave me some suggestions on what worked with my nephew. My son stood firm in his position. He even claimed he had to poo poo to get his way, but what that did was let me know he understood what I meant when I said "boys stand to pee pee and sit to poo poo".
The man in his life, his Godfather gave him a pep talk and offered to take this on for me, but told me I could not give in when he asked to sit. This was a test. I had been able to demonstrate to my son anything I wanted him to do until this. He really had to trust me telling him this was what he was supposed to do. And it didn't look good. He didn't have the words to say it, but I was sure from the look on his face that he thought I was off my rocker. Every parent knows that look when they see it.

I started to wonder if I was just trying to get him to do this too early, but while he understood he shouldn't wet himself he would because he tended to want to avoid sitting on toilets away from home unless he had to poop. I couldn't take his pull-ups away at school until he went to to the toilet consistently. So the urgency of this is that it was actually holding up potty training. He was wearing undies with me and pull-ups at school.

Finally one night we found ourselves in another battle of wills. I again offered him a sticker if he went. I had some left over from his birthday party. He told me he was tired of standing there and I said, "Me too. Go pee pee so we can get out of here." We had talked, I had given him a bath (hoping the warm water would loosen him up), taken a break and gone back, but he still stood there. Every other time I had given in and let him sit. I promised him it was okay to let the pee pee out.

Finally the tiny little stream appeared. The boy hit the toilet better on his first try than...well, better than I expected. Maybe all those times standing there thinking about it were worth it. I held my excitement in check until I was sure he was done. Then we celebrated. He was so happy. And as promised, he got to pick out a sticker. He decided to put it on the side of his train table.
Eventually there was a string of stickers on the side of that train table. He began to notice how the toilet water changed color when he went and it became a game to spread that slight yellow tint around to practice his aim. It is amazing what we celebrate. Soon enough, it was "Mom, I got to go potty!" And the answer to my question, "Do you need help?" was "No". Now, he's earned time in his big boy pants at school. He's grown from my baby to my little boy. So I'm sure we've only seen the first of many times he'll think I've lost it.

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