potty training, toilet learning

[deleted account] ( 1 mom has responded )

(I've cross posted this to get maximum feedback)

My daughter turned three in December and this seems to be my biggest challenge. Not because I want it to be. I subscribe to toilet learning, which teaches a child to use the toilet and about the function of their body. However, I run into plenty of opposition from her day care center, other parents, and my own family.

When my daughter was in her early twos she was on her way to being completely potty trained, or toilet learned. She had met all the criteria except for one: she didn't have the developed fine motor to pull her pants and diaper down, and pull them back up. We were working on that when tragedy entered her life. I left my job at the center we both had been in since she was 6 months old. My intention wasn't to leave in the way that we had, it was to be more gradual, but when I gave my notice, they decided to just let me go at the end of the week. This was tragic for her. She lost all of her friends overnight, and had a really hard time handling it. It also meant that she regressed, and it seemed as if all our hard work on learning how to use the toilet was in vain.

Well, we're past that. We're in a new center, and we're happier than ever. Developmentally she is exactly where she needs to be for three. The center we're in now will not allow her to move up to the big classrooms, out of the young toddler class, because she isn't in underwear. I'm finding it hard to stand my ground and insist that I will not force her into underwear at the convenience of the adults her life, but I also know she is well beyond the other children in her class. She needs to move up. There are other teachers who see that, too, but it is what it is, until she's in underwear.

So I guess the reasons I'm here is to find out what worked with other parents. She will happily use the toilet at school (although it's during diapering, she doesn't ask or go on her own) but completely refuses to use the toilet at home. And the only time she asks to go is during extremely inconvenient times (e.g., we're standing in line at the grocery store, with our groceries already on the belt, or we're on the bus headed home). I don't want to force her but I also suspect she's playing a game with me. Is there anything you have tried, and it just clicked with your child? That seems to be the biggest problem. She knows what her body is doing, she can tell me that she has gone and what it was. She knows what I do on the toilet, where it is, and what it is for. I just don't know what to do to get her to associate those two things.

Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.

Thank you,


Kandi - posted on 01/04/2009




I'm a mom of two and I also directed a daycare center before so I understand both viewpoints. However, if she's 3 she understands most things. Reward her for using the toilet and staying dry at home. After 10 stickers (or other age appropriate number) tell her you'll but her a new toy. Then, take her to the Dollar Store where she can pick anything she wants. Something to work for and isn't $1 worth it? Then increase the reward for two days, then a week. She should get it pretty easily, if not, don't push or punish her for not doing so.

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