After months of potty training regression after regression with Lily, I was ready to throw in the towel. Seriously, I was close to putting a diaper back on the kid and pulling her out of school. I couldn’t stand it anymore. I couldn’t stand having to wash a load of her pants a day. I couldn’t stand her not telling me she was wet even if I asked and only finding out if I checked her pants (which resulted in her saying “Don’t feel me!” when she was wet and didn’t want me to find out; a statement which could cause a myriad of other problems if someone heard it out of context.).
I had asked friends, teachers, my mom and my pediatric resident sister what to do and nobody had a good answer. Finally I asked my dad what to do. I had THOUGHT I’d asked him before because that would be the smart thing to do. He’s a psychologist who does family therapy, so obviously he has some professional experience with potty training. When I asked him what to do, he apparently hadn’t even heard we were having a problem. So I guess I didn’t ask him before. Oops.
My dad said to put the jelly beans and stickers back out and not say anything about them.
Believe it or not, I hadn’t tried this before. I’d tried offering coins or big rewards at the end of each dry day, but I hadn’t put out jelly beans or stickers just for peeing in the potty since about 3 months after she potty trained. I mean, I would think just staying dry and not having my mom get exasperated and disappointed would be motivation enough to stay dry. And really, eating a jelly bean every waking hour couldn’t be good for her teeth. So jelly beans hadn’t been available in a long, long time.
Taking away the jelly beans was apparently the biggest mistake I’ve ever made. When we brought them back, she immediately started staying dry all the time.
Was that all it took? Nine months of on again off again misery and all I needed to do was put out some jelly beans?
I really thought that once she was potty trained she would WANT to stay dry, especially considering how upset we all get when she has a ton of accidents.
But apparently all that matters is getting a jelly bean.
So she’ll get jelly beans every time she pees for the rest of her life. Her teeth will fall out, but at least she’ll stay dry!