Potty Training Discipline
My 2-year-old son has realized that if he says he needs to go potty right before nap time or bed time, he doesn't have to go to bed immediately. The catch is, as soon as he's on the toilet, he says "all done" because there's nothing he needs to do. Should we refuse to put him on the toilet at these times? —jengd
Looks like you need some tips for taming a potty bully!
Socrates said, "Children today are tyrants. They contradict their parent, gobble their food, and tyrannize their teachers." The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Very few children will use the threat of wetting or soiling their pants to manipulate their parents or caregivers, but some will. Even though your son isn't threatening to have accidents per se, he's definitely manipulating you.
The secret here is to unequivocally refuse to give in to any threats that your child issues. If he goes into "toilet tyrant" mode, in a very calm voice, simply state, "You know you're a big boy now and that you can use the potty. So, since you're a big boy, if you go in your pants, you will have to wash your clothes and clean the floor where it gets wet. That will mean extra work for both of us and it won't make either of us happy."
If your little angel carries out the threat, complete whatever you were doing (if at all possible) before helping him to remove his wet or soiled clothes, or cleaning him up. If you drop everything and give him your immediate attention, he will feel that his threats were successful and may repeat the act again and again. Establish a clear policy that "In this family, we don't negotiate with terrorists!"
Please check out my tips for reinforcing potty training habits for more ideas and suggestions. Consistency is key when dealing with mini manipulators!
For more potty training advice, check out:
Potty Training Tips from the Potty Pro, Teri Crane
Figure Out Your Kid's Potty Training Schedule
The Sleep Lady on Potty Training and Sleep
Talk to other potty training parents who are also in the pee-pee & poo-poo trenches on our Toddlers & Preschoolers Message Board!