Updated: Oct 31, 2019
Inside: How to stop the power battles with your child over going pee in the potty.
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You can muscle your way through being tired (with a needed cup of coffee). You can power your way through an intense workout (with some good music). But you can’t power battle your child over peeing in the potty.
I’ve heard parents at the brink of desperation try seemingly everything to get their child to just sit on the potty and pee.
Everything that is, but this one important thing...
You can’t successfully move through potty training if everyday looks like a power of wills. You can’t clap back everytime your child resists your prompt with some version of a consequence.
Being too firm doesn’t work. And with many kids, neither do those adorable sticker charts.
What are you missing? You’re missing the right vibe.
Remember that you’re coaching your child in how to pee and poop in the potty. Your child is on your team.
You’re on the same team!
But if it FEELS like you’re playing against one another, the process falls apart.
Here’s more on how to team up with your child..
Before you started potty training, you likely talked to friends, chatted in your mom group, and read Oh Crap Potty Training (maybe even cover-to-cover with highlighted notes like this Type A mama did!).
So you set yourself up for success in your mind. You've got this, right?
And then you jump in and the first few days of potty training go by, and your child is not stacking up success. It's kind of a mess with the accidents.
All the prep work you did and those unspoken expectations are not lining up with what you're seeing.
What are you seeing?
A lot of pees on the floors.
When I'm working one-on-one with a mom, I often hear the exhaustion. And I can relate.
I was feeling drained the other week (and can assure you I was not feeling like a calm, patient, handle-the-tough-moments kind of mama). And here's the thing with potty training.
We don't potty train and the rest of our life and stresses get put on hold for that window of time.
That's why it's not just because the pee and poop aren't making it in the potty that you may be feeling like you're a 10 in terms of frustrations. Stressed out. Exhausted. Drained.
We as moms (and dads) often forget that it's impossible to help our kids, and be this calm + patient support that toddlers need, when we ourselves are running on empty. So do yourself (and your child) a favor.
Before you dive into potty training, check in with where you are.
+ Have you gotten enough sleep?
+ Do you have snacks (for you?)
+ Have you found time for that yoga class you love?
Do it. All of it. Because it will help, I promise.
The best way to go into potty training is with a calm, confident, and recharged spirit.
Because you're playing teacher, really, so your child can learn how to use the potty.
Take a step back and imagine a preschool teacher having the vibe you're feeling today.
How would that look?
Would your child have an easy time learning their letters with their preschool teacher sounding overwhelmed, frustrated, or bribing him in a desperate attempt to teach that that's a B and not a D?
Of course not.
When you put it in that prism, you know exactly what kind of mindset you need.
But somehow, when we are potty training, all the emotions surface. It's natural.
If you're tapped on the energy front, your parent brain will *explode* when the misses start. It will be SO hard to team up with your child if you're feeling completely drained.
Because when you're running on empty, everything puts you into reaction mode.
Accidents get labeled as behavior (and they often aren't).
Expectations get cranked up (and disappointment creeps in).
And your child FEELS it all. And then it unravels.
If you're potty training and it feels like you're about to skeeter out, can you turn it around?
For sure, it's possible and it happens all the time.
But first, you have to be in a solid place. First you have to take care of you.
You can't team up with your child in a real way if you're feeling agitated and overwhelmed.
Remember that learning is messy!!
And maybe you just need a nap, a smoothie, or even simply some fresh air with an outing. Often, your mom tank just needs a little bit of something to recharge.
Take care of you first.
And then you can be that calm beacon your child needs to learn this big new skill.
It's a win-win. Without the power battle.
Illustrations: Citrus and Mint Designs