July: Also known as the unofficial potty-training month for any soon-to-be 3 year olds starting preschool in the fall. If you remember a blog I did here a few months ago: I really wasn’t into potty-training. Frankly, I didn’t care if it happened or not (neither did our girl). But thanks to the impending start of preschool, I’m now forced into making friends with potty-training real quick.

I’ll let you in on what’s been happening at our house since I [passively] introduced the potty a few months back: My girl has screamed, cried, thrown herself on the floor (limbs kicking and flinging), pointed her little pointy finger at me and hollered “Get away from me / Leave me alone!” and flat-out would tell me everyday while sitting at breakfast together, “I’m not going to use the potty mommy” at the mere suggestion of trying to sit on our little white chair in her bathroom. (Besides doing this every night, potty training has been my most unfavorite thing to do with little ones.)


Like an over-informed mom of the internet, I let my toddler rule the roost in this bathroom department for fear that she’d develop some sort of negative complex about using the mini-potty we bought oh-so-long ago. “Don’t force her,” people would tell me. Meanwhile, my own mom asserted that She’s smart enough and ready! and would tell me You were already potty-trained at her age! which didn’t make me doubt my authority at all (yeah right). But with our preschool-deadline getting closer and closer I figured I’d better get on this before it’s too late. So I got tough. TOUGH.

It went like this the other day: I caught her at an ‘opportune’ moment in the corner of her room and sweetly suggested we go sit on our potty. As expected, a FIT followed. With her violently screaming and kicking her legs on the ground (in a way that made my husband run in the room to see what was wrong), I managed to wrangle the wild limbs, scoop her up and carry her to her mini-potty. Yes, I forced her to sit on it. The whole thing was very non-zen. I’d reached my limit. (She’s old enough. She’s smart enough. And we’re on a deadline here.) Firmly, I told her (as I held her legs down sitting on the potty): I know this is different, I know this is weird, but you’re old enough and smart enough and a good girl… and they won’t let us in school unless we know how to sit on the potty. She calmed down. I then got her fave stuffed animal to hold. I even pulled down my own pants and sat on the ‘mommy-potty’ for moral support. That seemed to make her feel better. Waiting. Quiet. ??? Then suddenly, I’m doing it!!! she squealed, all giggly and practically jumping up and down on the potty. (And she did do it!) SCORE. She was elated, thrilled, happy, giddy and everything else that’s the opposite of wanting to get rid of me just 5 minutes prior. Tough-talk worked. We were all so happy (I don’t remember being so happy like that ever before in my life, actually.) A few days later, we are having a ball – A BALL – running to the potty and doing our business just like a big girl.

Turns out I did exactly what you’re not supposed to do (I forced it). But it worked for us. (Let’s just hope it continues, right?)



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One Response to Preschool potty-training deadline: What’s working for us.

  1. Potty training should be fun, easy, and really not a big deal/hassle. Do not do the pull up thing, that delays and confuses them. Just go straight to underwear right away, and get rid of all diapers as soon as you can. Diapers become a crutch and delay potty training. Check out the three day potty training method that worked for my daughter at 2 years old. the older you wait the harder it is, because they are more resistant. Good luck 🙂

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