Potty training might be one of my most dreaded parenting jobs. We are in the midst of potty training kid #3 and I had a major AHA moment. I’m here to share five potty training mistakes you are making to hopefully help you.
There are many of you who this will not apply to, not one bit. It didn’t apply to me with kid #2 at all! But there are some of you who NEED to hear this.
1- You turned to the internet for help
Our parents managed to potty train us without the help of the internet. In this day and age the internet is where we turn for help. If you are like me, you did a lot of googling about how to potty train your child and signs of readiness.
You probably read a ton about parents with 18 month olds who were potty trained in 3 days using some form of potty bootcamp. You felt like a major failure because your kid is almost three and has been peeing on your floor for three days straight and screaming and crying if you try to put them on the toilet.
So you shift your focus to search for, “potty training a stubborn child” and that isn’t much more help. By the time it is all said and done, you feel like the only person in the world with a nearly 3 year-old in diapers who cannot be potty trained in three days.
You- 0, Internet- 1
2- You are placing way too much importance on this one thing
You made up your mind you are potty training your toddler, you said goodbye to diapers and there is no going back. If you give in, if your child “wins” this one–your child will walk all over you for life (or something like that).
You try playing it cool, because you don’t want to let them see you sweat, and you almost do it for the whole day. Then, five changes of clothes in after cleaning poop out of underwear and pee off the floor several times your toddler insists they don’t have to go and then proceed to pee while washing their hands and you lose it. Then you feel awful for losing it.
3- You have lost perspective
You happen to catch a story about a just-turned 3 year old who was hit by a car and killed. You immediately think of your nearly-3-year-old and you have a hard time catching your breath.
Then the last few days flash through your head and you think of the frustrations and stress and loss of tempers on both sides and you realize that it didn’t matter one bit if that little boy was in diapers or big boy undies.
You immediately promise yourself you will shift your focus and the potty training struggle just isn’t worth it. Which leads to number four.
4- You think you cannot go back to diapers
You were so sure they were ready, that they would “get it” and after going through 1-3 you realize that it just isn’t worth it.
Potty training has stressed you out, it has stressed your kid out, nobody is happy and your newborn is being neglected while you clean up one accident after another and attempt to negotiate with a toddler to sit on the toilet.
You literally cried over how the last 3 days have turned into something you dread when time is one of the most precious gifts we ever get.
You can put your child back in diapers. You can take a deep breath. You can reconnect with your child. You can stop beating yourself up, because you didn’t master potty training bootcamp. You are doing great.
5- You think your child will be in diapers forever
The old comparison game–it starts to feel like you have the only kid in diapers. You start to feel like you are going to send a kid off to college in diapers. But you won’t!
If you are fortunate enough to have done this before you are reminded that while one kid declared she was going on the potty and did at two, the other wasn’t remotely interested until three and half. Take a deep breath and try again in a few months.
Ok, fine–so these were my potty training mistakes. That is right, I’m a mom of four, potty training my third kid and still making mistakes. It literally took reading about another 3-year-old dying to snap me out of my potty-training-funk and give me some much needed perspective.
I’m happy to report that my toddler and I are back to enjoying snuggles, outings and that the pressure for both of us is off for now.
Can you relate to these potty training mistakes?
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