Potty Training Power Struggle Woes

Jenni - posted on 09/19/2015 ( 2 moms have responded )

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My son just turned 3 years old. He definitely knows how to use the potty --- he gets on and off no problem, plus he knows when he has to use it and does so right away so he never has accidents on the floor or anything. Great, right? Here's the catch, he can only do this when he spends his whole day bottomless and it's only #1's. He insists on doing #2 in a pull-up (and complete privacy) even though he used to do those in the potty too. So if he has a pull-up on he will just use that and he has NO interest in wearing his new Thomas the Tank Engine underwear. In fact, he has no desire to dress or undress himself whatsoever. So when he randomly begs for a pull-up, he refuses to put it on himself or even let us do it together. He just wants me to do it. Same goes for getting dressed. He won't even try to do it by himself or even together. It's definitely a power struggle. It's frustrating because this has been going on for over a month and I know he can physically do it. It's also frustrating because he is at the stage where he insists on doing everything himself (from opening the door to pouring the milk in his cereal) so I don't understand why he doesn't insist on dressing himself. Any advice for motivating him to complete his potty training by actually wear underwear and using the potty for every #2? Thank you so much for listening and offering to help if you can!

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Dove - posted on 09/19/2015

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Just be patient. There's nothing wrong w/ him being bottomless at home. He's probably in an emotional struggle himself... wanting to be grown (doing so many things himself), but still wanting to be a baby too (making you dress/undress him). Keep encouraging him to do his part... maybe turn it into a game... but I wouldn't push him into it. 2-3-4 year olds LOVE power struggles... so take the struggle out of it by not fighting w/ him. If he doesn't need to get dressed (like if you are just staying home) let him be and if he needs to get dressed try a game or just get it done for him. He'll get there soon enough.

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Jenni - posted on 09/19/2015

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I really like the way you put that. I will definitely take your advice. Thank you!

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