“I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by
the way (s)he handles the following 3 things:
a rainy day, lost luggage, and
tangled Christmas tree lights potty training.”
~ Maya Angelou
(Admittedly, the quote is slightly altered to better fit my current life situation.)
I detest potty training even MORE than my never ending piles of laundry.
(And that is saying a lot.)
Potty Training Approach + Increased Laundry
= 1 Very Cranky Momma
Time and time again I have been unable to change this above mathematical equation.
For the record, potty training (at least in my book) will never be fun. I’d be happy if I could just make is less unbearable.
Adjusting the Equation
One might think that having “prior experience” training my two other children, I wouldn’t dread my third child’s experience as much. But rest assured…
I. Did. Dread it.
Enough so, that this time around I attempted to adjust the aforementioned equation – primarily due to the resulting sum of its calculation. I was determined NOT to be consumed with crankiness.
After some strategic thinking, I came to the conclusion that my efforts should lie in changing my approach. (Since I figured there was no way I was going to change my laundry load.)
Adjusting Potty Training Approach + Increased Laundry
very Much Less Cranky Momma
This modification seemed the most obvious to me, because in the past I’ve never really had much of an “approach” to potty training. The only thing I recall most from my previous potty training experiences was my own increased levels of FRUSTRATION.
Following a little bit of research, I made up my mind to undertake a 3-day method that a friend had recommended to me. I reminded myself that if all else failed, at the very least I could manage three days of crankiness.
Over our three day potty training time period I will admit that I did more loads of laundry than I thought humanly possible.
I wiped the same part of the bathroom floor down over and over multiple times. The skin on my hands became chapped and wrinkled from excessive hand washing. And, no matter how many times I accessed the Clorox Wipes, air freshener and Febreze, ultimately it took days before I could somewhat erase the soiled stench that lingered around my home.
Regardless, at the end of our three days, we were
mostly successful. And in hindsight I think it was as a result of something that I had previously never taken into consideration.
I had in fact, completely missed an important potty training factor.
The Missing Factor
The potty training approach we used was dependent upon a lot of components*, however the one element I never paid much attention to prior was the ME factor. And (in my case) this detail turned out to be just as important (if not more) then the actual toddler training aspect.
The method I utilized strongly relied on eliminating the frustrations that parents often exhibit throughout the training process. It inadvertently focused on increasing my own parental patience by encouraging positive reinforcement and discouraging negativity.
There were no endless hours of obligatory sitting on the potty, under no circumstances were you to punish or yell at your child for having “an accident,” and at no point were you to force your child on the potty. (All slightly unthinkable and/or difficult suggestions for me to implement in the past.)
This method was just as much a training for the parents, as it was for the child.
Through the experience what I discovered what a missing factor in my past potty training equation. The secret to potty training lied not only in the approach, but also in the parents’ patience.
So I’ve adjusted my equation:
Potty Training Approach + Increased Laundry + Parental Patience
= 1 Bearable Potty Training Experience for Momma
Potty training will never be categorized under “fun” in my book, making it “bearable” is enough for me. This time it was miraculously a win-win situation – undeniably a milestone for my toddler, but also a BIG victory for me.
My only regret is that I didn’t adjust my equation earlier.
Leave a Comment: Have you been successful at potty training? What helped you feel victorious? (It has been my experience that oftentimes we successfully reach the desired end result yet still feel somewhat defeated.) If you have yet to potty train your own child, what do you think your plan of attack will be?
*NOTE: this post is not meant to be a potty training tutorial (obviously) but to offer a possible component to potty training that I think many parents (myself included) often miss. Different potty training methods work for different people. However, in case you are interested, I used this potty training guide and method. (This link is not an affiliate link)