Toilet Training, Part 3: REVERT.
May 16, 2011

I had a completely different post planned for part-three and that post pretty much said BOW BEFORE ME, FOR MY DAUGHTER CAN USE A TOILET, but it turns out that the universe is basically good for one thing and that one thing is knocking me down a peg or two periodically.

A little unrelated upside-down backwards cute-ness for you.

The first several weeks of toilet-training went smoothly.  Nobody promises us Skittles or gives us high-fives or tailors the amenities to our preferences when we need to poop, so Donald and I decided not to accustom Charlotte to these things either.  We did not bribe her.  We did not praise her.  We did not use potty-chairs or seats of any kind.  And it worked.  In her first week of toilet-training, my daughter had only one accident – and that was entirely my fault because I was distracted.

You would think that after nearly two years of parenting, the word POOP combined with fifteen exclamation points would have immediately grabbed my attention, but alas, there are times when even squirrels have more brainpower than I do.

Right around the time that our lives were thrown into chaos a couple weeks ago, though, everything changed.  Charlotte stopped telling us when she needed to use the bathroom, so we found ourselves dealing with more frequent accidents – and more frequently pestering her about using the toilet.  We even started bribing her: poop in the toilet, we told her, and you can have One! Chocolate! Chip!  It’s like winning the lottery, but better because it’s sugar!  That first one is unsavory at best, but those last two?

That is a road that I am completely unwilling to travel down.  I refuse to be a potty-training slave.

Some people have told us that the chaos in our lives WAS the problem, that our daughter reverted because she was stressed out.  I disagree.  I think that our lack of fuss over toilet-training gave Charlotte the idea that using the toilet was not a big deal.  There are plenty of skills in her daily life that Charlotte becomes obsessed with, masters temporarily and then loses interest in altogether, only to pick up again at her leisure at a much later date.  Building block towers comes to mind.  Saying words.  Crawling.  Mastering a puzzle.  Climbing playground rock walls.

In each of those cases, Donald and I never cared that Charlotte lost interest temporarily because things like climbing playground rock walls simply do not seem particularly important in the grand scheme of things.  I think that her loss of interest happened at the same time as our family busy-ness was a coincidence.  There were many very busy, very foreign situations wherein Charlotte never had an accident and never needed prompting to use the bathroom.  There were other completely ordinary days at home when she pooped in her underpants.  It was entirely unpredictable.

I would be lying if I said that it was easy to let toilet-training go the way of playground rock walls.  It is hard to come to terms with the fact that although those two things seem to us to be worlds apart, in Charlotte’s mind they’re similar in that they are just things she does.  One is not more important than the other to her.  So we’ve made our peace with it and found a system that seems to work for us.  It’s the same system that we implemented with the rock walls: we put the choice in her hands.  Every morning, I ask Charlotte whether she would like to wear a diaper or underpants.  Most of the time she chooses underpants and when she does, she almost never has an accident.  Sometimes, though, she picks the diaper.  When she is in a diaper, she spends about half of the time actually using it and the other half of the time she comes to me to tell me that she needs the toilet.

I suppose that this means that my daughter has reverted and that we have compromised, but I’m increasingly confident that giving her some autonomy over her bodily functions is the right choice for Charlotte.  She might not be 100% toilet-trained like I thought she would be right now, but somehow that feels okay to me.  Somehow, listening to her govern her body seems like a much bigger milestone, anyway.

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  1. By Tabitha (From Single to Married) on May 16, 2011

    oh man… just the thought of toilet training makes me feel overwhelmed!  :)  I think Charlotte’s doing a great job as is her mommy!

  2. By on May 16, 2011

    For MONTHS we have been very casual with the toilet. We let Jude run around the house without a diaper and sometimes he pees on the floor and other times he pees in the toilet. When I first mentioned to family that Jude was using the toilet - very irregularly - they swooned. six months later he’s not potty trained and we’re not pushing it. He uses the toilet with as much irregularity as before and some days he’s start to finish in a diaper and we’re fine with that. But those family members? They keep pressing. I have to remind him he JUST turned two (Charolette’s not even two, right?) the average kid gets toilet trained somewhere between 2 and 3 (and from what I hear, boys are on the later side) so, we’ve got plenty of time.

  3. By Momiss on May 16, 2011

    It’s going fine.  Try not to obsess.  You don’t see any kids starting school in diapers, do you?  lol

  4. By Alicia Stucky on May 16, 2011

    Literally, I don’t know a single child who hasn’t reverted. Some people say all boys do it, some say all girls do it, some say it’s because something big disrupts their routine (a sibling is born, they switch daycares…) I truly believe it’s just a normal part of the process. Matthew caught on like a pro at first, then gave it up almost completely, then got it again and used it completely independently for a good four months - even wiping and washing his hands sufficiently. Then his sister was born, and he refused to use it unless I dropped everything (ESPECIALLY that damn baby!) and literally helped him take down his pants, set him on the potty and watched him the entire time.

    Later my friend became pregnant and realized very quickly that her family’s move and the birth of the new baby will both happen right in the middle of her son making his second go-round with potty-training. She was petrified that he was doomed to revert over and over again because of all the big “disruptions” in his life. He, like every other kid I know, reverted once and then never let it go again.

  5. By Dawn on May 16, 2011

    She’s so young.  She’s just not ready yet.  Believe me, no matter what, when it’s time, she’ll just start going and that will be that.  Sometimes I believe that the parents are the ones trained, not the children.  ;)

    Someone once told me re:my son:  ‘don’t worry, he’s not going to start kindergarten in diapers.‘  :)

  6. By on May 16, 2011

    Want to hear something funny. My little guy yells at the top of is lungs
    This usually means he already gone but some rare instances he does use the potty.

  7. By on May 16, 2011

    This is one incidence that I think a child needs to be praised and rewarded with something, ANYTHING, it doesn’t need to be candy or sweets, maybe even just a high-five or a sticker. Just something that lets them know that they have done a great job and that you look forward to praising them again ... which will KEEP THEM CONTINUING, but that’s just my opinion :)

  8. By Catherine on May 16, 2011

    We never did the reward thing with our son, Ronan and it took maybe three days to make him toilet independent, but I didn’t even start until he was 2.5, but we had just had a new baby, and were moving from Wisconsin to Florida, so I was fearful of it all being just too much.  But he was totally ready, and it was easy.  I was kind of hard core though, because if he had an accident, I didn’t freak or anything, but he was responsible for clean up.  Very soon, there were no more accidents.  My daughter will be two this week.  She’s only mildly interested in using the potty.  But I totally agree with not making it a big deal or using rewards because, like you said, no one rewards me for doing what needs to be done!  :)  She’ll get there.

  9. By The Mommy Therapy on May 16, 2011

    I’m 100% in agreement that letting her making the choice is probably the way to go.  Using the toilet seems to work best when the kids get to pick, at least a little.  The entire thing can be rough though, with lots of ups and donws.  She’s be consistent eventually though…sounds like you’re doing a great job!

  10. By Tracy Roberts on May 16, 2011

    So Jen, then what happens when the high five and sticker get boring?  What happens when the one candy piece isnt enough?  What happens when you need her to do something at 3, 4, 5, 10, 15.  What happens when $20 isnt enough?

    Rewarding is a VERY slippery slope, left for better use with pets.  I also believe it is very disrespectful to manipulate people that way, even small people.

    She will one day use the toilet exclusively, she will not go to college in diapers.

    Praise and Rewards are the same as punishments, used solely for manipulation and control so that children poop (or whatever we want them to do) on our schedule.

  11. By on May 16, 2011

    Reward should come in the form of self praise. A child should be proud of them self not because an adult told them they were proud. When “praising” a child its always best to turn it back on them, ask them how they feel about it. “Tell me about the picture you drew. Do you want to hang it up somewhere?“ Instead of “Thats a beautiful picture.“ Build confidence in what they are doing. Praise is not a horrible thing. Even as adults we crave it from our peers. Praise and punishment are used in corporate business everywhere.  But it always means more to me when I can feel proud of what I have accomplished. And if a child feels happy and proud that they went to the bathroom on their own, then I see no reason why an adult can’t say I’m proud of you too.

  12. By on May 16, 2011

    Samantha - I should clarify.  I tell her when I’m proud of her, I just don’t say ‘wow, good job using the toilet.‘  I say ‘thank you for using the toilet, I appreciate it and I’m proud of you for remembering to tell me in time for us to make it without an accident’ or something along those lines.  There’s always gratitude, sometimes there’s just acknowledgement ‘you used the toilet again, didn’t you?‘ and other times there’s pride, just not so much on the ‘good job, well done, you’re the coolest kid in the universe because you pooped where it counts.‘

    Tracy - I think that Jen was saying that this is one circumstance where she feels that praise is appropriate, not that she always feels that praise is appropriate.  We all have different areas of child rearing where we feel that conditioning behavior through positive or negative reinforcement is warranted.  I also don’t think that manipulation through positive or negative reinforcement is always disrespectful or wrong.  After all, both of those are common practices in the workforce, in academia, in personal relationships, etc.  I think the key is not overdoing it beyond what a child ordinarily will come in contact with in the adult world they’re meant to one day become a part of.

  13. By on May 16, 2011

    My heart is smiling to see these photos of your little bug.  I love it.  Thanks for sharing :)

  14. By Tracy Roberts on May 16, 2011

    Sarah… I disagree.  Spent a LONG time studying positive reinforcement and I just disagree with everything you jusyt said. 
    It may a part of our society, but we need to ask ourselves, “do we want our children to take a job because they love doing it or because they are paid well?“

    “do we want our children to not speed their cars simply because they are worried the will get a ticket or because the generally are concerned they might kill someone?“

    Simple as that in my mind.  I heard Jen say this is one area she agrees with it.  I think it is one of the areas that is most disrespectful to do it in.  It is manipulation at its core and over the only thing a child has utter control over, their elimination.

  15. By Tracy Roberts on May 16, 2011

    oh and… we dont all do it.

  16. By Sarah Christensen on May 17, 2011

    Here’s the thing, though.  Not killing someone when they’re driving, arriving safely at their destination, IS positive reinforcement.  That is the definition of positive reinforcement - they executed a behavior that turned out positively (how they wanted it to), which gives them incentive to execute that behavior in the same manner in the future.  Positive feelings about a job are also positive reinforcement - whether those positive feelings stem from pride at a job well done, enjoyment of the job performance, excitement at the job’s future potential, etc.

    We do all do it.  For example, here Charlotte and I are sitting at a park having lunch and two things occur.  She runs into the street.  And later she attempts to climb a tree.

    When she runs into the street, I run after her.  I grab her hand and I say ‘sweetheart, let’s play over here.  The street can be dangerous because of all the cars - sometimes the drivers can’t see us and if they hit us with their cars we will be hurt.  Instead, let’s play over here in the grass.‘  Every time she runs toward the street, this situation repeats itself (in my daughter’s case, this usually won’t continue more than three or four times) and when it stops, we can say that her behavior is effectively conditioned.  This could be because she genuinely understands my concern and is heeding my advice to not run near the road, and at a certain age this is likely the case, but when she’s younger chances are it has more to do with the fact that when she runs the opposite way, I don’t restrain her the way that I do when she runs toward the street.  My response has, whether I like it or not, negatively reinforced her decision to run near the road and positively reinforced her decision to run away from the road.  On the flip side, a less abstract example, she tries to climb a tree.  I do not interfere at all, unless she looks to me excitedly and then I say to her ‘I see you, you’re climbing a tree, are you having fun?‘ - by not having an undesirable reaction, I’ve basically positively reinforced her tree-climbing.  Praise and bribery are only two of many, many means of positive reinforcement.

    I realize that this is enormously narrowing down the study of human behavior, but my own take on this has been that all (non-instinctive) behavior is conditioned and that there is no such thing as completely objective conditioning.

    Furthermore, I think that something very important to take from this exchange is that Jen was not attacking me or my parenting perspective or you or your parenting perspectives - she was simply pointing out that in this case, she feels differently or she would act differently.  This makes good sense to me: every parent and every child and every family is different, has different goals, has different needs, etc.  There is no one-size-fits-all in parenthood.  I’ve seen you make choices that I don’t feel fit my family and I’m sure you have seen me make choices that wouldn’t fit for yours, but we still respect one another as parents who are doing their best and who we trust as parents, are we not?  Jen was very respectful of my choices in her comment and I would appreciate it if further discussion of our differences remained as considerate.

  17. By on May 17, 2011

    Tracy, all I’m saying is that I believe in a little reward once in awhile, especially for a 2 year old who may not know what a good job going to the bathroom in the toilet really is. Yes, obviously they’ll get there at some point and of course they will not go to school in diapers, but what is wrong with a “High five or Good Job, I’m so proud of you?“ What is wrong with rewarding your child for a job well done? If you cant even say that you appreciate their efforts, how are they supposed to know either TO do it again or NOT to? A 2-year old can’t (and shouldn’t) have to figure things like that out on their own - THEY’RE TWO!

    And Sarah, I understand where you’re coming from too. I absolutely love reading your stories and watching Charlotte grow up through posts and pictures, but this is just one thing that I disagree with, that’s it, no big deal. Every parent and every child is different, and I plan on using reward for a job well done with mine.

  18. By on May 17, 2011

    “It is manipulation at its core and over the only thing a child has utter control over, their elimination.“

    I’ve been thinking about this and would just like to say that I think children have control over much more than their elimination. I used a rewards with my older boy when he was potty training, When it was clear that he was good to “go” so to speak, I stopped giving the reward. He asked why and I told him that he was a big boy now and big boys don’t get a reward for using the potty. Neither do moms and dads. Just the kids who are learning. And he was OK with that.  His brother on the other hand wanted no part of rewards or toilet training. He decided that the reward was not enough. When he started at pre-school though, the potty trained boys who wore cool underpants got to go to the bathroom by themselves and diaper kids had to lay down and let a stranger change their diapers. That was enough to get him to the toilet. So children will eliminate no matter what or they will explode. They get to chose where and how and for what reward. A tangible thing like a sticker or for their own autonomy. Younger son wanted to control his “coolness factor “  and his wardrobe more than he wanted to control where he eliminated waste.

  19. By Tracy Roberts on May 17, 2011

    Jen-  Obviously you have every right to disagree, that is exactly what I was doing. 
    The statement:
    If you cant even say that you appreciate their efforts, how are they supposed to know either TO do it again or NOT to? A 2-year old can’t (and shouldn’t) have to figure things like that out on their own - THEY’RE TWO!

    Saying you appreciate something is NOT the same thing as praising. and children will figure this out on their own, they dont need us to tell them how to grow, they are guided by nature.  Do they need us to reward and praise them for walking or talking?  I will leave it at that.

    To answer the question what is wrong with a little praise and reward would take me forever and you would either have to read my thesis or better yet the book Punished By Rewards by Alfie Kohn to get a thorough review of the extensive research that exists on this topic, literally thousands of studies that show that our rewards based society pretty much created single handily by BF Skinner is the opposite of what we need to grow the kind of human beings we say we want our children to be.  So I will stop there with the debating.

    Sarah- there in lies the very important difference, extrinsic versus intrinsic motivation.  I simply think that we want so badly for our children to be intrinsically motivated towards things in life as adults, but we start from a very young age with extrinsic motivation as our only tool.  Public school and most private schools are FULL of it.
    I am not talking about helping a child before the have impulse control and keeping them safe from a street.  This goes without saying.  But when you pull out the if you stay away from the street, we will put a sticker on your chart or give you a gummy bear, then we have a problem. 

    And I was not defending you, you can do that yourself.  I do not think Jen attacked you or my parenting and I do not think I was inconsiderate to anyone.
    I was stating my opinion that I believe praise and rewards are manipulative, achieve only short term compliance, create a need for bigger and better rewards, and destroy intrinsic motivation at its core.  Maybe this one time of rewarding for the potty will not destroy a child forever, but I guarantee you they will face more and more temptation from this extrinsic world and I our jobs as parents is to refrain from doing so IF we want intrinsically motivated kids.

    and basically doing it surrounding their bodies is simply insulting IN MY OPINION.

    If stating my opinions is not OK here, that is your right to ask me to stop. Just let me know.

  20. By on May 17, 2011

    Tracy - You are welcome to share your opinions, everyone is, but when it comes to my comment field nobody is welcome to say, for example, that someone else’s parenting choices are better left for pets.

    I agree with you about intrinsic v. extrinsic and I see where you’re coming from, although I’m not a huge fan of Kohn’s book (I love that man’s ideas, but his voice really irritates me).

  21. By Tracy Roberts on May 17, 2011

    so i can say some of my opinions, but only the ones you deem appropriate?  This is a serious question.

  22. By on May 17, 2011

    Yes.  I am the website moderator and being that I am human, I am subjective.

    I have outlined policies on this blog that begin with courtesy.  I try to be lenient because I recognize that people have trouble reigning in their tempers when they feel passionately about something - myself included - so I allow people to fire off at will about me and I allow dissenting opinions to flourish so long as they are done in tactful and respectful ways.  But the people who comment here are a different story.  They are not opening themselves up for criticism the way I am; they are coming into what I have claimed is a hospitable environment where people can have open, tolerant, and considerate conversations.  When someone violates that atmosphere by saying something insulting to another commenter, it is my job to step in and say no.

  23. By Tracy Roberts on May 18, 2011

    Okey dokey Sarah,you do have that right, but I dont regret what I said and I do not think I was inconsiderate.
    It isnt about passion as much as respect.  I believe it is all of our jobs to stand up for children when we think they are being done a disservice, a well meaning, well intentioned one or not.  They cannot speak for themselves. 
    We as a society really need to ask ourselves if the practices we use with children are really respectful.  Would we use them with another adult?  If it seems rude to do to an adult or at the very least humiliating, something is wrong.  I feel like what you are saying is that it is OK to promote the disrespectful treatment of children, but not to hurt anyone’s feelings about their parenting by standing up and saying, “hey guys, children are not pets?“
    I realize this does not make me popular, but I am not interested in that.

  24. By Sarah Christensen on May 18, 2011

    In many circumstances your argument holds weight with me, but not this one, Tracy.

    You cannot say you’re fighting for the respect of children while simultaneously disrespecting fellow adults.  You equated someone’s parenting perspective to pet ownership - and not in a good way - in a public forum.  If we were all standing in a room and you had a microphone and you said that to the crowd, people would be horrified.  It’s a hurtful and inconsiderate statement.

    I am not saying, never have said, and never will say that it is okay to disrespect children at all.  I am saying that it is not okay to disrespect anyone - their age doesn’t matter.

  25. By Amber on May 18, 2011

    I think this is an incredibly interesting topic and series of comments. We’ve just started down the potty training road (at 20 months) and I’ve never studied praise/rewards so I don’t know how much I can really add to the conversation.

    I did want to share that even though I know very little about potty training, I have heard from practically everyone that periods of regression after periods of interest are extremely common. I picked up Pantley’s No Cry Potty Training Solution yesterday and there is an entire chapter on Regression. The number one explanation the book gives for regression is, “a life change is causing stress.“ I saw that and thought of you. But you absolutely know Charlotte best and what techniques are/are not working. And not that you are worried, but for what it is worth 98% of kids are daytime independent by age 4 (according to the book).

    With respect to praise, I also want to add that I don’t think it’s disrespectful or manipulative to praise a person for their efforts in a skill they are trying to master.  I think it feels good to get high fives and hear that others think you are doing a good job.  I think that is true of a child learning to walk, talk or use the potty. And I think that is true of an adult friend learning a new language or musical instrument.

  26. By Amber on May 18, 2011

    Oh, and Charlotte is absolutely adorable with her backwards jacket. Do you focus a lot on teaching her how to put her clothes on or is this something that she has just showed an interest in on her own? I ask because Nate has very little interest in dressing himself and I’ve just started to put more effort into encouraging it.

  27. By tara pollard pakosta on May 18, 2011

    ahhhh yes the joys of parenting.
    she won’t go to college in diapers, that’s for sure!

    my daughter potty trained brilliantly all on her own before age 2, but then she became constipated one time and was afraid to go on the toilet after that and spent the next 6 months asking me for a diaper every time she needed to poop….fun times!!!

    she’s such a CUTIE!


  28. By Sarah Christensen on May 18, 2011

    Tara, thanks =)

    Amber - She just showed an interest on her own.  She’s obsessed with mimicking us and doing everyday things.  She slips on her own shoes, for example, and then pretends to tie them up just like Donald and I tie ours.  Hers don’t have laces, though, so she just pretends.  It’s ridiculously cute and when we leave the house with her jacket on backwards or her underpants on like a backpack other parents are always stopping to compliment her on her style lol - which I think makes her want to keep trying!

  29. By on May 19, 2011

    I’m still having a hard time seeing how honestly praising your child is manipulative. Or why positive re-inforcement is bad. And to those who say no one rewards you for doing that which needs to be done: no one has ever said thank you for that great dinner, thank you for paying the bills, you are such a patient and kind mom????  I do understand that you want your child to do the right thing just because it is the right thing to do but it seems to me that praising them will help them identify that behaviour and as they mature, they will get self satisfaction from doing the right thing instead of relying on praise from someone else. Though I have to tell you, being a caretaker for someone who never says thank you no matter how much you go out of your way to help is a very wearing chore. I imagine it would be the same to be the child of a parent who never praises.

  30. By Sarah Christensen on May 19, 2011

    Mitzie - Donald and I try to show pride, gratitude, appreciation, and other positive emotions in spades.  We tell her when we are proud of her, we thank her for helping us clean the floor, etc.  The ways in which we try to refrain from positive reinforcement are for things she is expected to do as a human being and as a family member.  For example, when she started crawling we didn’t tell her she was doing a good job and when she falls down we don’t ask her if she needs kisses.  Instead, we said ‘wow, you’re crawling, how do you like that? is it fun? I’m so amazed at how fast you’re growing up!  Look at you go!‘ and when she falls down we say ‘whoops! Did that surprise you?  Oh well, we all fall down sometimes.  Can you get back up and brush the dirt off your hands?‘ that sort of thing.  We both believe in positive reinforcement up to a point, but don’t want to go overboard to the point where she can lose all sense of self-motivation.  For example, if a kid goes down a slide and we say ‘good job!,‘ what have we taught them?  That succombing to gravity is praise-worthy?  What if we say ‘hey, you did it, did you enjoy that?  It looked like fun!  I’m proud of how hard you worked climbing the stairs to get to the top of the slide - would you like to try that again?‘ - does that possibly align more with what we have in mind, demonstrating that we are glad they had fun, which reinforces their desire to select activities they enjoy, while simultaneously emphasizing that we think the part that was a job well done was the effort involved in climbing, when the kid could have easily given up?

    I know that there are hard-core no-praise-no-reward people out there.  I’m not as hard line about it as others because I have yet to meet a person who does not respond to extrinsic motivation and who does not incorporate it into their daily life.  I don’t believe that praising a kid is the end of the world, in this situation I just don’t want praise to be part of Charlotte’s bathroom routine.

    I think a way of putting it might be more like this: I try to express positive and negative emotions equally thoughtfully.  So I would say that I generally agree with you.

    My understanding of the respect argument goes like this: when you praise a child (or positively reinforce their behaviors), you make them dependent upon that praise/reinforcement for motivation and you manipulate them, and it is disrespectful to subtract from a child’s potential or to exert control over them in order to fulfill your needs (the premise being that if you catered to your child’s timeline and needs first, there would be no need to manipulate them because your needs would be secondary).  The second part of the respect argument (again, by my understanding) is that when you positively or negatively reinforce behavior, you give the impression that your pride/love/affection/gratitude/etc. are conditional, that they depend upon specific behaviors and that they are extinguished by other behaviors (for example, by sending a child into time-out, you isolate them from your affection when they might be most emotionally vulnerable) - and the premise here is that it is disrespectful, even irresponsible, to parent conditionally because it again subtracts from a child’s potential and harms the parent-child bond to which every child is entitled.

  31. By on May 19, 2011

    That succombing to gravity is praise-worthy?  Too funny and I totally get that. I made it a point to say “good job” not good boy because the boy was intrinsically good: effort did not confer goodness. Humans are social animals so I believe that children welcome our guidance, it can make the world easier for them to understand and navigate. That said, I like to praise them for appropriate behavior at least some of the time or life can become a long list of correction. Thanks for the explanation of the the respect/manipulation issue. It never occurred to me to manipulate my child to get my timeline/needs taken care of so I missed the whole argument.  I only used time out when my kid was totally out of control. I told them it wasn’t a punishment, they just needed some quiet time to regroup and they were welcome to rejoin me whenever they were back in control. I guess you could say I should have let them stay with me when they were so upset but I never felt like I was removing them from my affection, I was just giving them a chance to scream and yell all they needed to in the privacy of their own rooms, kind of like a grown up saying “I’m going for a walk, I’ll be back when I am calm”.  Anyway, Thanks for helping me understand.

  32. By on May 19, 2011

    I didn’t even read all the words written here…sorry, too many words for my little brain. To me it is soooo simple…but then I’m light-years out of the toilet-training years so I can afford the luxury of ignoring the subject. Relax. Now there’s the best advice I can give all of you. Just relax. He or she is going to watch you using the toilet, their little friends using the toilet, their relatives using it. Relax. And before you know it, the idea will appeal to your child and you’ll be standing where I am….with grown children who have used the potty for years and years. :-)  Relax. Enjoy the ride. It’s over with way too soon anyway.

  33. By Dawn on May 22, 2011

    I didn’t read all of the comments, just enough.  I left one of the earlier comments.  I hope I didn’t offend anyone, because it wasn’t my intention.  Sometimes I believe that moms are too hard on one another.  We are all women and we all parent in different ways, but our one common bond is that we love our children unconditionally.

    My son is 20.  When we were potty training him (when he was 2 1/2, which turned out was too young for HIM), we had a bowl of M&Ms;in the bathrooms.  He could care less.  He just wasn’t ready.  So, yeah, we tried bribery, but it didn’t work.

    Fast forward a few years.  We never paid him for grades, but we did praise him for all of his accomplishments, while guiding him to become the man that he is becoming.  He had to work part time in high school to pay for his car, gas, insurance, dances.  While he’s in college, he also has to work to help pay for his tuition. 

    He has never ‘suffered’ from us ‘bribing’ him with M&Ms;for toilet training.  That is just hilarious to think that he would. 

    What I’m trying to say is that I believe (no, I KNOW) that he doesn’t remember the bowl of M&Ms;on the shelf in the bathroom when he was 2, but what he does remember and does know is the love that his dad and I have for him and the fact that we will always have his back, no matter what.

  34. By Elle on May 22, 2011

    These pictures of Charlotte are adorable! My daughter is a few months older than her and loves to dress herself. That usually means her shoes get put on the wrong feet and when I try to change them around, she’s insistant that they stay the way she put them on. More times than not it’s also just one shoe :)

  35. By Elle on May 22, 2011

    *insistent. I swear I can spell. ;)

  36. By Laura Bishop on August 21, 2011

    Why don’t you use potty seats or a little potty her size? Just curious :)

  37. By 南商所大宗商品 on April 11, 2016

    黄金走势分析: 黄金在昨日晚间呈震荡回落走势,从4小时的图上来看,均线系统的下跌排列出现掉头向上的情况.





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