Tuesday, October 26, 2010

"I'll be a big boy when I'm in Kindergarten"

So I have been working on potty training Guy for almost a year now, off and on.  I started putting more effort into it once I found out I was expecting but have really not gotten the kind of results I have been hoping for.

At first, he just didn't get it.  He didn't understand what his body's cues were.  We would sit him on the potty, and if he went he went if he didn't he didn't.  I know that is a normal starting place, but for him it seemed to last a really long time.  He finally got to the point where I think he knows the cues, and he can hold it, but he just doesn't care.  If I put him on the potty, he can and does usually go.  But if I don't make the effort to put him on the potty, he doesn't care to use the potty.  He will just go where ever he is, what ever he is doing, what ever he is wearing.  It is so frustrating at times.

I don't know how to make him care.  I know it needs to be his choice, but I don't know how to incorporate it.  I have tried giving him a treat if he puts something in the potty.  He likes the treat, he likes to get it, but not enough for him to go to get the treat.  I've tried reading books to him on the potty.  All that seems to do however if make it so that when we are in the bathroom we are in there for a really long time, even if he goes right up front.  He won't ask to use the potty so that he can read the book.  I have tried giving him stickers for every time he sits on the potty.  Just like the treat, he likes the stickers, but not enough to go to the potty on his own initiative.

I have tried giving him rewards for staying clean and dry for a predetermined amount of time.  It worked for a little while, but then lost it's intrinsic value.  I have tried having him wear a pull-up, I have tried having him wear underwear, I have tried having him wear nothing.  He just doesn't care.  He doesn't care if he is a mess, he doesn't care if he makes a mess.  I'm kind of at a loss as what to try.

A few weeks ago when we were dropping Cinderella off at her school for Kindergarten, he told me he wanted to go to preschool.  I told him he can go when he can stay clean and dry, because they don't let kids who still make messes in their pants go.  Later that same day we needed to go to Cinderella's school and visit her class.  As we were walking up to the school, Guy told me that they didn't like him at this school, because he still makes messes in his pants.  I told him that they would let him come in the school, but he can't go to school, like a big boy, until he doesn't make messes in his pants.

Then a few days ago, he told me he will be a big boy when he is in Kindergarten.  I asked what he meant.  He told me, that he won't make messes in his pants anymore when he is in Kindergarten.  I asked him if he could be a big boy before he goes to Kindergarten, to which he said "no".  I told him he had to learn how to be a big boy so they would let him go to Kindergarten.  He said, that he would.  I asked him if he could be a big boy that day and keep his pants clean and dry.  He said, "No, I already put stinks in my pants."

On the other hand, Aurora loves to use the potty.  She will grab onto her diaper and if I ask her if she wants to sit on the potty, she will nod her head.  She is still in the stage, where she doesn't actually put anything in the potty, but she loves to sit on it.  I keep telling myself that I should just forget about trying to get Guy to use the potty and work on Aurora, but I have been trying to get Guy to use the bathroom for so long, it has become a habit, and one that is dying hard, while trying to get Aurora to use the potty, and I find that I still put most of the effort into Guy.

Oh well, I guess we will see what happens in 2 months when the baby comes.  I might have 3 in diapers, 2 in diapers, or just 1 in diapers.  But as to who, other than the baby, that will be still waits to be seen.


Rose said...

I know the trouble you're seeing! I remember trying to hurry up and potty train my oldest two children before the third came, and I had three in diapers when the third came (and for awhile afterwards). We had tried everything for awhile.

Is he big enough to change his own diaper? If he has to clean up his own mess, that might give him incentive to not make messes anymore. And if it doesn't... then at least he's cleaning it up and not you! :) We did that with our older two children. They cleaned up their own messes for awhile, and it wasn't incentive enough for them to use the potty, but it made less work for me.

After that, the only thing left to do is wait until he decides to do it himself. I didn't like that idea when potty training my oldest two children, and my oldest didn't train until after he was 4, but it's all I could do. Eventually, he'll decide to do it. It might not be until it's time to go to Kindergarten, but if he knows what to do already, then it will only take a couple of days once he decides to do it.

Melissa said...

you are so good and patient. I would be pulling my hair out if Rachel was still using pullups. my suggestion would be to give guy a break and focus on his little sister. Maybe if she is potty trained and he isn't it will be the wake up call he needs. I've worked in a preschool/daycare and every kid has been potty trained by sometime in their 4th year because by then they realize all their friends are using underwear and when they have accidents it is embarrasing for them. I hope you find the trick. everyones experience is so different so its hard to give someone advice.

Phillip and Kirsten said...

my friend went through a similar situation with her son: he was the only one in sunbeams who was still in a pull-up and he absolutely did not care! but he did learn and it worked out just fine. it will for you and guy, too.