My daughter began potty training last Novemeber when she told me that she no longer wanted to wear diapers. She did very well and averaged one to no accidents a day. In March she started having multiple accidents and stopped telling her father and I (and her teachers and grandparents)when she had to go to the bathroom. She would only tell us for a bowel movement. I consulted the doctor and she said just to put her on the potty every so often and eventually she would grow out of it. Well, she hasn't grown out of it yet. She no longer tells us at all, except for the bowel movements, and if I do not make her sit on the potty she will have an accident. Often times, I see her "wiggling" and ask her if she has to go and she tells me no. I try to convince her that the peepee is coming and she still won't sit. Then a second later, she will have an accident. I have tried praise, rewards, getting mad, and taking away toys. Today, I put her back in diapers and she seems to like it. I have told her that she can't go to summer camp and school if she is not trained and she cries then promises (like always) to tell me the next time but, of course, she doesn't. I am desparate for advice. She was trained for months. I don't get it. She has a younger sister (14 months) and I am sure there is some jealousy but this is ridiculous. I have tried to tell her to listen to her body and feel the feeling but I don't know if that is the problem or if she just doesn't want to stop what she is doing. If she does have an accident and gets herself all wet, she also won't tell me. I am scared that being back in diapers means I will have to start all over again, even with the bowel movements. I am also scared that she will not be able to go back to school if she is not trained. My one friend tells me to not remind her and to tell her to change herself if she wets but it is hard going out somewhere or to a friend's house knowing that she'll have an accident if I don't make her sit on potty. It is also unrealsitic to just be able to leave some places and go home if she does have an accident.
It's important not to become too emotionally invested in your child's achievement of toilet training - this will only serve to upset you and, most of the time, actually gets in the way of helping children achieve this developmental task. Another suggestion re: your own 'frame of mind', try to look at today and tomorrow, take things a day at a time, and avoid looking too far into the future or wondering 'What if...'. Why? Because you'll only cause anxiety and worry for yourself, and you won't be furthering the cause. Now, from a practical mamagement point of view, what you are encountering is not that unusual in a three-year-old. There often are ups and downs, rather than an 'over and done' type of progress. Definitely have her sit on the potty - don't ask about this, do it. It will help, and the inconvenience at times will actually help motivate your daughter to make progress. Now, even when she uses the potty at your instruction, give her some small reward, and record her successes on some form of wall chart that she can help to design.You might use stickers (which she can select) to signify each successful use of the potty (at either her initiative or yours). And remember that there are many three-year-olds, girls and boys, who have not yet achieved mastery over toilet training. It's wise to maintain perspective on this issue.
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