Potty Training: I think we cracked the code!


If you’re new here, I should tell you that my little man has been on potty training since October 2010. Yes, it has been that long!

We tried taking him to the loo every hour or so, but this proved to be inefficient especially when you’re on the go. Consistency is hard to achieve in this method.

We tried using a potty training chart. The stars lost their novelty value after a week.

We tried rewarding him with treats that we would not give him on a regular basis, like gummy bears. This didn’t last either because it’s not in our parenting principle to give our child unhealthy sugar.

We tried telling him to tell us when he’s about to go. This barely worked because he would tell us when it’s convenient for him, which is mostly when he’s not busy playing or not doing something that can’t wait. But for some unexplained reason, we held on to this method for so long hoping he would express himself to us someday. We believed in his ability to communicate because he converses well and tells stories and runs his scooter downhill. What’s so hard about telling your parents that you have to poo? He is a big boy in some ways. Surely he will someday want to poop in the toilet just like the rest of us.

Image from allaboutparasites.com

I read many an article and they all seem good and worth a try, but we work full time and we can’t really ask his pre-K teachers to help us. Though we did, luckily we didn’t depend on it. I talked to my mom about it and she suggested elimination communication, which she did with us. Of course I knew about that. I’ve seen my younger cousins trained that way. I knew from when my son was barely 1 that the EC method may be a challenge because we can’t tell if he’s going or not.

You know how some kids make funny faces as they push poo out? I have a cousin whose face would go red. That was my aunt’s cue to sit him on the potty. My son’s face is blank. He can actually work for the CIA or the FBI. We can never tell when he’s going but we can smell the outcome. He also liked to go somewhere alone to poo his pants, but he also did that without pooing his pants.

I posted previously that we decided to take away his scooter rights for the entire day if he soiled his pants. We were getting desperate. At the same time, I introduced EC in the morning and before bedtime because we work full time. And, to be honest, I read a book that the best time to poo is in the morning. So I feel good about my child pooping in the morning, although the night ones prove to be much needed evacuation as well.

My technique is to make grunt sounds (the sound most people make when they go) followed by an object in mind, and we take turns in doing it.

Mama: *grunt* *grunt* Toilet paper!

Kiddo: *grunt* *grunt* Toothbrush!

In the first minute, it’s all about play as he sat on the toilet. Then I heard a whistle of fart, and his face made a worried look. And with that, his poo decided to cooperate and it has been cooperating since. Is it the environment that we create? Do we make it fun for him? We don’t know. All we know is that it works and my husband and I are happy and proud of him. I think the kiddo is proud of himself too. He looks forward to riding his scooter after school. I think we also taught him a bit about delayed gratification in the process.

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