Potty training 3-year old girl who does not particularly WANT to be potty trained.

Kathy - posted on 04/01/2013 ( 2 moms have responded )

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I have joined this group because I need reminding. My youngest son is 24, he has custody of his 3 yr old daughter. She does not see her mother and has not in almost two years. We are a village and she is a smart sweet little girl. Here is the dilemma, when I was potty training my kids, two boys and a girl, the boys went with their dad, and my daughter went with me. No problems in the potty training area at all. But, now with my little grandgirl, her daddy does not take her with him - of course - and I do take her with me. She was three in January and is not in any hurry to be potty trained. She is with me Tuesdays and every weekend as my son works full-time and goes to school full-time. I love having her, she is my heart. BUT, she can get VERY upset about going potty and I finally took her potty chair in to her room (yes it may be gross but it is the only way to get her to sit on the darn thing) what do I do? I did get her to go a couple of times over the weekend. One time was not pretty, the other time was easy breezy. She is going to need to start pre-school soon but can't if she is not potty trained. Any suggestions for this grandmomma?

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Rebekah - posted on 04/02/2013

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It would be great if she could be working at this every day for a stretch, not just the days she's with you. I don't know what's happening when she's not with you, but I think success would come more quickly if there would be consistency in the approach. Is she at day care, or another relative's when he's working? Can you collaborate with the other party who cares for her and come up with a coordinated approach? Anyway, if she is ready and willing, it could probably be dealt with in one stretch of time. Have her sit on the toilet (or potty chair) when she expresses a need to go, and if she doesn't say she needs to go, have her try every 2 hours. Have her drink lots of fluids so her body has something to work with! She can look at a picture book while she sits if it helps occupy her while she waits. And give her lots of praise when things go well. Use sticker charts, m&m's, big girl underwear or something that will motivate her to try. She should not be wearing diapers or pull-ups during this time, but regular underwear. That way, if she has an accident, she can experience the discomfort of wetness and will want to avoid that feeling. (nighttime dryness is something else...she may need the pull ups longer overnight.)
Don't sweat having the potty chair in her room... they are for wherever you need them! For the first day, I actually put ours in the living room in view of the TV (with a large plastic splat mat underneath) to keep it convenient...anything to get my son to use it. I didn't know when the mood was going to strike him and really didn't want any accidents in the wrong spots. He did use it once that way, but it turned out he preferred the toilet better. He got trained within a weekend. Not all kids go that fast, but if they are ready, they can. That's the other thing to keep in mind... she has to be ready. There's a wide window of when kids accomplish this, so she is still within the normal frame. While she may be physically ready (since she did it once already), she has to want to, and this can't be forced. Work with the motivators I mentioned to see if you can bring that along. Good luck.

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Kathy - posted on 04/02/2013

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Thank you Rebekah, everything you wrote sounds very doable and encouraging.

While I am at work and her dad is at work/school MY mom keeps her and she is a very active and on-top of things great-grandma. Mom asks her if she needs to go so she does hear it a lot.

I have to say that just last week while shopping she saw big girl panties and said she wanted some. I explained she would get them, HER CHOICE any kind she likes, as soon as she goes potty. She just kinda blew me off, like oh well then no big girl panties for me. But, if I get them and as you suggested allow her to feel that discomfort and not so great feeling maybe it will push her forward.

Thanks again for your input, I needed that to make it seem possible. Whew.

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