My Potty Resolution

Enter the New Year, full of resolutions, goals and a One Word if that’s your thing. I have a One Word, but I also have a goal. One that I need to accomplish ASAP… we need to get this little guy to use the potty.

brook2Grant does not share this excitement.

His New Year’s resolutions and goals consist more on how many episodes of Jake and the Neverland Pirates he can negotiate. His lack of potty interest could be partially my fault.

This summer when he should have been learning to use the potty, we had a nanny, and we didn’t really tell her to focus on potty training. In fact, we kind of ignored it. I just figured at some point he would wake up and ditch the diapers for a pair of Jake underpants. This delusional thinking was solely based on my previous experience with his older brother who, after trying on comfy cotton underpants with a giant Superman on them, refused to wear a diaper ever again. We also bribed him with quarters. He now has enough to start a small hedge fund, and retire before us.

But, I digress.

Our potty problem has grown to epic proportions. So much so that our stubborn little redhead refuses to sit on the toilet at all. It could be because every single time we try to use the potty there is a “surprise” from his big brother. {I told you he can use it, I never said he could flush it}.

I tried bribing Grant with quarters, to which I hear “I have quarters mama. Don’t need more.” I’ve also tried M&Ms, Skittles and any other treats that would entice him to take a seat on the throne, but he says he’s not hungry.

At one point, I even told him he could watch TV all day and still nothing. We have been resorted to a veritable battle of wills and it’s exhausting.

They say you should set realistic resolutions for the New Year, and even though we are only half a dozen days into it, I’m hopeful that we will succeed. However, it could be the sugar coma brought on by an excess of M&Ms and Skittles.

How about you?  How did you get your kids potty trained? Do you have resolutions, goals or things you’d like to accomplish this year with your children?

Brook {without the "e"} is a spunky faux redhead and former UI grad who has decided to call Iowa City her home for over 10 years. She met her husband on the internet, and they spend their days playing superheroes with their two boys, Edison (2007) and Grant (2010). She juggles mom life with a full-time job as a marketing consultant, competing in triathlons and writing her heart out on her personal blog She believes life is a journey, not a destination.


  1. Our son was also very uninterested – to the point of screaming when the words were mentioned. So finally we just gave him a 3 day warning that underwear were coming, and counted down the days. That morning, he had a tremendous fit about putting the underwear on, but once they were on, he was just fine with them. He did go through a couple periods of good and bad days – and we did a lot of laundry. Sometimes he was “just to busy” to go potty when he needed to, so there were accidents. But eventually he “got it”.

    • We are getting LOTS of screaming too, which makes it really hard. As a mom I hate to interrupt his peaceful playing to remind him to the the potty and then have him break down in a tantrum…I know it’s for the best, but it’s so hard. Thanks for the encouragement!

  2. We started by having our son tell us when he was making his diaper wet or dirty. He got rewarded with a sticker chart for telling us when it was happening. After he got really good at that we switched to underpants and never looked back . . . of course the “never looking back part” included him peeing in the pew at church (and me in tears) and him peeing on me during family pictures . . .

  3. Our daughter, is quite smart (and I’m not saying that just ’cause I’m biased – even if I am). She’s always picked up things very easily. So you could say I was lulled into a false sense of security when it came to potty train her. Given she’s my first, I had no other experience. 2013 will go down in books as a potty training nightmare followed by triumph. It took us a good 12 months to get her potty trained. There were fights and screaming, fits and starts, and it finally “clicked”. We washed A LOT of laundry. I found with her their were “windows” of opportunity. If I mentioned the potty and she threw a tantrum, she was wasn’t ready to do it yet, and we didn’t push it. But if she came into the bathroom while we were going on the potty, we made sure it was readily available for her. We tired sticker charts, toy rewards, and finally m&ms seemed to help – though they were not the golden ticket I had been promised by other moms. The ability to go to Preschool and be a big kids is really what helped it along more than anything. The furstrating thing through the whole process was I knew she understood it. She just didn’t want to take the time to go potty. But eventually it became the norm, and now we are fully on the other side, with minimal to no accidents in the night (knock on wood). Luckily for our second, he’s been brought up in the air of potty training and is showing a lot of interest. We are letting him lead for now (though I think he might need the tough love to actually get him there). Good luck! It can be a long process, but the bigger the challenge, the bigger the triumph. And he will get there!

    • Thanks so much! The first part of your experience sounds just like ours … we were told not to force it by the pediatrician, but jeez he’s going to be FOUR in May … they don’t make diapers or Pull Ups that big 🙂 So it’s time no matter how crazy it gets. It’s nice to see the success in your potty story, because it give me hope. Thanks and good luck with your second one.

  4. I have always had them spend a few days naked from the waist down (this involves being committed to not leaving the house for a few days!!). Then I go to wearing pants but no underwear (I read once that underwear actually feels like a diaper on so they don’t think about it as much). Finally we go to underwear. I also make a BIG production out of it – they get to go to the store and pick out special juice and snacks (salty are best) to have during the naked days – this helps them have to go more often so they can get more practice. I have them pick a reward for going pee and on for poop (usually something like M&M and Fruit snacks). I have had a hand in potty training a few kids, two of my own (boy and girl) and some daycare kiddos. Truthfully unless they are ready there is not any trick you can do to make them do it. My son just told me one day (while at a gas station!) that he needed to go and he actually went and then was in underwear 3 days later, just like that. So it really depends a lot on the kid. I usually try the method above for 3-5 days and if they are getting it we keep going, if not, I let it go and try again in a month or two. GOOD LUCK!

    • Absolutely LOVE this idea! I’ve been pondering the go naked thing, but it’s been so cold. However that could work to my advantage. 🙂 He does have some Jake undies that he REALLY wants to wear, so those will help. Perhaps if I do some sort of sticker reward for a bigger prize like a Jake toy it might give him some incentive. Thanks so VERY much for the encouragement and great ideas.


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