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Thursday, May 17, 2012

More Potty Training

Keeping him occupied
 Bubs 1's training is a roller coaster ride. One moment he seems to have grasped the concept, but another moment erases all hope that he's progressing.

I imagine his preschool teachers shaking their collective head in our (his mom's and my) attempt to potty train. They, and much of the information we're reading, cling to the position that a child will let you know when they're ready. However, I believe (and his mom does too) that he is ready. He's just hesitant, but that doesn't mean he's not ready.

The Reward System
He does resist sitting down on the potty when I tell him it's time to go visit the bathroom. He will say, "No! I'm don't want to go pee or poopy. No thank you, daddy!" He's firm in his words. I like that he'll add a "no thank you..." on at the end, but nonetheless he has to go. My next step is to say, "We have to go sit on the potty bubs. If we don't go, then I'll have to take your (insert favorite train-of-the-day here) away."

Again, all the "professionals" and books that I read (a handful, really) haven't encouraged a "negative" reward program like this. I look at it as a positive program, because if the Bubs sits down on the potty, then he gets to keep his toy. It's a spin, I know. However, it's working. Don't shake your your head either. I tried all other avenues. We tried M&M candies and Reeses Pieces, but the utility of these rewards dropped dramatically after a couple days. It is almost as if he became aware of our bribe and resisted.

When I began "threatening" to take a favorite train, or car, away until he sits on the potty he replies, "No, you don't. You don't take my Mater (or Lightening McQueen or Thomas, etc.). I then reply, "Then you better sit down on the potty." Presto. He goes right to it. Walks (with purpose), if not runs, to the potty and pulls his pants/underwear down and sits. I then give him a lollipop to keep him there. We do reward him.
In fact, every time he pees, he gets a star. When he fills each page with stars (star for every pee), he gets a car or train (pictured). I hang the car on the wall in the bathroom so that he can "keep his eye on the prize." It is in direct view from his potty. He can't miss it. Here's the bonus of this system. If Bubs 1 can poop in the potty, then he gets the prize INSTANTLY!. What an incentive!

Unfortunately, he has only pooped in the potty once.

This one-poop-moment occurred when I had him sit on the potty in front of the t.v. The goal, of course, is to get him to travel to the bathroom upon feeling a poop or pee approaching. This hasn't happened yet. I still have to bring him to the bathroom, periodically, to pee. He's been "holding" it during his naps, but that's about it for the "holding it" part. There's a lot of road ahead.
Bubs 1's Reward

Going poop in the potty is a whole other game. He just flat out refuses to go on in the potty. He will, however, do this in his underwear. I've read that this is a tougher skill to teach kids and that they will beg for their diaper back in order to poop. The Bubs doesn't even follow that story. We put a diaper on him during the night time and he doesn't even take advantage of that opportunity. This boggles my mind. It is as if he is aware of our game and is protesting the entire "number 2" process (in the potty). He'll even support his demur by relieving his number 2 in his underwear.

This kid is protesting. His mom and I need to outlast his will. He does have a stubborn side and can likely take this thing the distance. I'm not sure whether to be proud of him for standing his ground or be mad at him for not listening to us. I think that I just need to respect the prior. I need more patience at these times and less during others.

I guess that part of his potty training will require me to train myself too.

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