I wish I could attest to a potty training technique that effectively teaches children. If only I could say that what worked for us was either the three-day, three-week, or three-step potty training program. I have no such affirmation to provide you with. I have no tales of expedient success. Potty training both my daughter and my son was a lesson in patience, humility, and well more patience.
Parenting is such a humbling process, isn’t it? And my kids like to make sure that I stay really nice and humble.
The only thing I’m proficient at when it comes to potty training toddlers is riding the waves of potty training regression. While it’s way less of a prestigious skill to put on my parenting resume, both of my children have taught me a lot in this domain.The only thing I'm good at when it comes to potty training is riding the waves of regression Click To Tweet
My daughter was three months shy of her third birthday when we were fairly sure she was ready. The first week was almost seamless; her accidents, negligible. “When they’re ready, they’re ready,” I smugly said to my husband.
Then, we had a few unexpected life events come our way… and my daughter’s incredible start turned into a series of accidents and a need to regroup and start again (and again!).
Then came my son. We were home for the holidays when he suddenly refused to wear his diaper. Knowing that life should be pretty darn routine when trying to potty train, I was reluctant to say the least. But when a toddler is adamant to take on a new skill, it’s hard to say no.
“Maybe this is a case of ‘when they’re ready, they’re ready,” I hopefully wondered. After two weeks of next-to-no-accidents, we flew back from our vacation. It is as if the landing of the airplane tipped the scales of potty training success against me and our life became filled with accidents from then on.
Sigh. Like I said, I’m very proficient at regressions. If you and your child find yourself in a similar situation, here are some potty regression tips to save your sanity.
First, when faced with a potty training regression, say these phrases to yourself:
“There’s no gold medal or place in the Guinness Book of World Records for the fastest potty trained child.” If one of my kids potty trained really quickly, I absolutely would have been proud. I may have even bragged a little (to my parents). But there’s no way on God’s green earth, I would have a plaque made, write on their kindergarten enrollment form, or make a speech at their wedding about the speed at which they learned to use the bathroom. So in terms of regressing, it isn’t monumental.
“Accidents happen. It’s just laundry and a bit of cleaning.” Yes, the accidents can be gross. Really gross. But years from now, I doubt they will be remembered. At least, most of them won’t.
“Though potty training may seem to be taking an eternity, my child won’t go to high school in diapers.” It’s amazing how when you’re in the thick of it with parenting, whatever stage you’re going through seems to be unending. Though the end may not be in sight, this too shall pass.