Self Initiated Potty Use

So you’re a few weeks into potty training and things are going great. But suddenly you realize that you, the parent are still pretty much doing all the work. You do the prompting, you do the-bringing-to-the-potty, you deal with the clothes…you do everything except the actual peeing. And you’re getting the feeling that if you COULD do that for your kid, they’d let you.
This kid is passive to say the least.  This might be a quiet, passive resistance or more like “The Fantasy Kid” I talked about in my last post.  Just in the zone of “eh…mom’s got this”.  The first thing to know is that you haven’t done anything wrong.  But it’s definitely time to bump things up, so your child takes this on as her own. It’s important to remember that self initiation usually comes about 3 weeks into the process.

It’s also important to remember that you did indeed have all the responsibility regarding this just a short while ago. Your child didn’t have to do too much besides pee and poop. You took care of the rest. Right? So, it’s not that strange that some kids stay sort of stuck in this zone.

In my last post, I gave some tips for bumping up autonomy, in general. Today, we’ll talk about bumping up things specifically in the pottying.

First: break down the minutia of the whole deal:

  • having the feeling
  • the physical move to the potty
  • pushing the pants down
  • sitting
  • releasing
  • wiping (or shaking)
  • getting up
  • pants back up

Next:  be conscious and vocal about those steps and which ones you are doing and which ones you can hand to your child. So it goes something like this, “I can see you have to pee, go to your potty and I’ll be right there (you took on noticing the feeling but have prompted for her to get there on her own).  I’ll help you with your pants, you sit and pee.  Here’s some toilet paper, you can wipe/shake your penis (unless it’s poop and you need to wipe). You stand up and I’ll help with your pants.”

What you’ve done is effectively split up the task with your child.  Now, I know this sounds like a big song and dance but it’s really not. By separating out and vocalizing your part and her part you will undoubtedly get her toddler brain rolling. And she will naturally want to take over your jobs…cause, you know…once you say it’s yours she will instantly want to make it hers.

You are also breaking this down into do-able chunks. Sometimes I think the whole thing can look overwhelming for a kid, so this way, it’s a bite at a time. One of my favorite sayings of all time is: How do you eat a whole elephant? One bite at a time.