Potty-Training Woes: A Word of Encouragement


potty trainingPotty training. Two words that, well, let’s face it, mean things are either going well or going nowhere. Our three-year-old is meticulous, organized, likes routine, and clean. The kid cannot handle sticky hands. All habits and personality traits that I thought would make potty training a breeze. We bought the books, the stickers, the cool underwear and the bribes. He understands the concept of where you make, and we aren’t shy about leaving the bathroom door open to expose him to healthy potty habits. Yet, we are dealing with wet pants or wet pull-ups. We celebrated his third birthday with cake and presents, but as a parent watching him blow out his candles, I silently wished upon those candles that three was a magical number and he would outgrow his current bathroom habits and wake up at three years and 1 day a brand new potty-trained boy. Not all wishes do come true, however. If they did, I would have a million puppies, and my school age boyfriend list would be reaching double digits.

For the sake of sharing, here is a list of attempts and things we’ve tried in the off chance you might find a thing or two you’d like to try on your little:

  • 30 minutes off, five minutes on the potty.
  • Watching potty cartoons involving panda bears. It did not in fact work miracles, reasoning with my child that big kids sit on the commode through song and dance.
  • Naked time around the house. We have had success with our boy peeing on the floor, however.
  • Stickers. This child isn’t really into them unless they come from a banana peel or go on a sticker scene – meticulous kid once again.
  • Buying multiple toilets to try – we literally have more toilets than beds in this house.
  • Prizes like popsicles for sitting on the potty. We personally aren’t fans of eating on the john ourselves, but we have allowed our tot to munch on some frozen deliciousness while sitting on the potty. Otherwise, we are deep in whine town – our kryptonite.
  • Begging and pleading. Tip: Save your dignity.

Just because the book offers up a thousand suggestions, tips, and things to try, as long as you’re keeping your kids’ best interest at heart, you’re doing everything right. So really, this note is more of a reminder that the potty struggles you are experiencing is completely normal. If you find yourself in the same boat as us, know you’re not alone. Hang in there, you’ll find the flow.

I wish this post was chock-full of solutions; “Potty train your child in five easy steps!” But the truth is, kids are going to do it when they are ready. I didn’t think three years would be in our cards, but hey. You roll with the punches. Our little dude would rather spend time perfecting his ninja skills than learning self-care at this moment. Silver lining – he is having a blast being a kid and he’s comfortable with his game plan. He will let us know when he’s ready. Until then, we are proud of him for showing vague interest in doing the rain dance.


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