Zero Tolerance – Potty Training Nightmares
I remember before I became a parent the excitement and anticipation I felt about becoming a father. Like any man, I looked forward to teaching my son about sports, cars and tools. Once I knew I was going to become a father birthdays, holidays and vacations all had new meaning to me. The problem with being overly excited about things is that we can forget the harsh realities of parenting and that, at some point, we will have to potty train a child. Parents love their children during the good and bad times, and occasionally they still have to take a zero tolerance approach.
Zero Tolerance Begins
Potty training in my family has become a nightmare. I am not saying that my son is stubborn but “My son is stubborn!” We have been working on potty training off and on now for a year. Every time we start potty training, Xander has proven he was not quite ready yet. Last week though was the topper.
Tuesday - My son sits on the couch and pees through his diaper onto the couch. I know things happen, and I clean up the mess, talk to my son and move on with my day.
Wednesday - Son sits on the couch and pees through diaper onto couch. I do not notice he has peed through until he tells me, “I think I cold now!” (it was not warm pee either.) I am still thinking things happen and talk to my son and move on with my day.
Thursday - My son lies down on the couch and pees through his diaper to the point it runs down the couch. I am a little annoyed this time. I ask my son if he knew he had to pee and he tells me, “Yep!” I am a little surprised to find out he knew that he had to pee. I asked Xander, “If you knew you had to pee how come you did not get up?” My son looked at me with awe and answered, “I too busy to get up!” and smiled!
Friday or Zero Tolerance Day - I notice that my son is about to sit on the couch. I remind him that he has peed on the couch several days in a row, and the couch would like a vacation today. I even tell him, “The potty said it would take all of the pee for the day if Xander would take the time to come visit him!” (Xan laughs.) I leave the room for five minutes and come back to find that my son has not moved an inch, but he is now sitting in a puddle of pee smiling. I probably would have been a good sport about it if he had not said he needed a diaper change, and I could clean the couch now.
The real uses for a potty!
I already knew that the reward system of stickers, prizes, charting and praise was not successful. We had already tried these things many times with no success. We have also tried the ten minute rule, only underwear and anything else we could find. My son, when asked about potty training, has told people that he would not do it and that potty training was a game that he would “win.” I felt it was time to try a different technique or zero tolerance.
Sometimes as parents we get “bright” ideas. My brilliant idea was to make my son focus on peeing by taking all distractions from him. I would take away all toys and electronics if he peed through and give them back if we had a potty success. My thought was it should not take any longer than 3 days (the only problem with my “brilliant” idea was that I was thinking again).
Zero Tolerance Day 1 - There were no electronics on, so there was crying, kicking and screaming (and that was just me). Xander decided that it was much more sensible to pee through his diaper, pee in the floor, play slip & slide in the pee and just have an enjoyable time.
Zero Tolerance Day 2 - There were no electronics on, so there was more crying, kicking and screaming (I did not think I was ever going to stop). I had moderate success with Xander today. We peed outside the potty one time. My son also informed me that he had to do #3. I am still not sure what #3 is, but if anyone can tell me, I am still wanting to know. After the first success, he informed me potty training was over now, and he was going to “win.“
Zero Tolerance Day 3 - All hell broke loose. The television and electronics were still not on, and I could not stop crying. My son, on the other hand, had a reasonably good time playing the “game” and was even kind enough to pee on me.
Zero Tolerance day 4 - No successes. There was only my shame as I thought about the reasons I should not pee in the potty anymore….sigh
It was at the end of day 4 that I decided that my son was not quite ready for potty training. As a parent, we have to understand how much suffering we will endure, and I had reached my threshold of “pain.” I knew that we could start again in a few weeks and hopefully I would win! After all as my son had informed me potty training is about winning. I feel sure he wants to become potty trained before he turns 30.
Potty training is never fun for any parent. How was potty training in your house? Did you have quick success or success over time? Did you try all the techniques you could read about or did you try to become creative? What finally worked with your child? Make sure and tell me in the comment!
Be sure to check out Andi-Roo at TheWorld4Realz who is writing about a month of controversy in the A to Z +1 August blogging challenge with me! Today is the letter “Z” for Zero Tolerance – Potty Training Nightmares
, difficult times
, harsh realities
, zero tolerance