View Full Version : Potty Training during every other weekend Visitation?

Amanda L
02-10-2010, 04:28 PM
I posted this over in the Potty Training forum and received some advice from a couple of great members, but thought I would try here since there is a lot more traffic . . .

My step son is 18 months old. The last time his mom came to pick him up she said that they are going to start potty training him. I said okay, he'll need consistency so we should probably start now, too. She agreed, but communicating with her and getting a straight answer is very difficult if not impossible.

When I asked her if she was using the big commode or a potty chair she said "Oh, we have both." But when I asked her what method she was planning on using she says "He will go when you have to go." and looked at me like I was crazy for asking.

Um, okay. :banghead:

Anyone have any tips? His mother parents the exact opposite of how I parent so I am trying not to let that influence this situation. Since I won't know how he is going to be trained as far as rewards systems, negative or positive consequences, etc, should I just wing it and go with his flow (pun intended!) as I want to do?

I don't want him to end up traumatized, since I don't think he is ready and I have suspicions they are going to make him sit on the potty until he goes and expects us to do the same. Since we only have him part time I am assuming that she sees something we don't. But when he is with us he doesn't signal or seem to notice when he has to go, pay attention to when we go, seem distressed about diapers, etc . . . so I don't think he is ready.

Sorry to write a novel, but I need some been there done that advice, please!

02-10-2010, 04:48 PM
Well I worked in daycare before I had my kids and I worked with the potty training age group. So I had a dozen or so kids in my class and I potty trained one way while I'm sure every parent in the class trained a different way so just look at it like that. We had a regular potty schedule. It was like 9, 11, 12:30, 3 or whenever they woke from their nap, and 5ish or so. Once they were wearing underwear we'd take them more frequently every half our or so, then every hour etc. until they had the hang of it. There was never any pressure, we'd have them sit for a few minutes at least and then move on in life. So that's what I recommend. No pressure, I would never make a child sit on the toilet until he/she actually went - at least not in the beginning stages of potty training.

02-11-2010, 12:46 AM
Do your own thing and let the biomom do hers. That's from my personal experience anyway. Biomom said that DSD was "almost there" for months before I would have said that!! (and she startted the process before I thought DSD was ready too) Maybe she saw something we didn't (we only get every other weekend, too) but who knows? We were not about to force DSD to go or to sit there, etc. We were ECing DD at the time, so we took an EC approach to DSD as well. But because we were ECing, going in the potty/toilet was normal and DSD's PT/L just fit right into that.

From my experience, kids are VERY adaptable. DSD is so good at figuring out who does what, etc. depending on who she's with. She knew that her mom would throw away her undies if she wet them over there - at our house, she knew accidents were ok and that I'd wash her clothes, not pitch them. We stressed that going on the toilet was something she was doing to benefit herself, that we wouldn't be "mad" at her if she didn't use the toilet, etc.

All that said, I don't think there's any way to avoid biomom blaming you guys for regressions or "adjustment times" - that's just a fact of life when living at two different homes. But you can't be expected to uphold a certain style of PT if she won't communicate it to you! Or if it doesn't fit with the way you want to live your life. (No amount of yelling would have convinced me to throw away DSD's undies just because she wet them!!)

GL! :hugs:

Amanda L
02-11-2010, 05:27 AM
I have tried to get the "daycare" let parents do their thing attitude, but I just can't. I can't help but worry about what they do to "teach him" at home. He went from being perfectly happy playing with the toys on my toy shelf to being so afraid to touch them he would stand across the room holding out his hand and grunting (not really verbal yet). He would do this and then it would escalate to tears unless we figured out what he wanted. This was in between visits so within a two week span.

He will also stay put where ever you place him. As in if you sit him on the couch or lay him in the pack n play he will stay there miserable until you move him. I have to remind my husband to "let Cam up" because he doesn't signal or cry loudly - my husband sometimes won't notice that he has big tears rolling down his face. :cry:

I have never seen positive reinforcement have that effect on a child . . . So I worry . . .

Also, there is absolutely no way am I throwing out his undies! I even hate throwing out disposables! (His mother thinks cloth is gross and so he starts and ends his visits in sposies - She would probably have a cow if she knew he wore cloth while here!).

I would love to start ECing my son (almost 12 months) and just turn it into a family affair. The only problem with that is that Cameron is afraid of people his size because he has two (twins) cousins that are three months older than him that bully him (bruises and scratches). Maybe the distraction of the bathroom would help him get over that, but I don't want anything that I already know he sees as negative going into this experience.

I think the more relaxed EC approach may actually work though . . . I'm off to do some research!

Thank you both for the advice. :goodvibes:

02-11-2010, 06:12 AM
I highly doubt anything you could do would traumatize him...lol. We have dealt with this situation, except in our case, he was 4 years old before DH was told he had a son. He was not potty trained, even though he wore underwear, he would wet/soil himself. Biomom said he just had "accidents" but they were pretty much all the time. After working with him for a while, the result was that he was punished if he soiled himself (not saying you should do this with an 18 month old, just sharing our experience). The end result was he would use the potty at our house (even in the middle of the night) and soil himself at hers. Do your own thing, set your own rules, he will learn to abide with them! GL!

02-11-2010, 06:57 AM
18 months is on the younger side, but I have PT a few kids that young or younger in my DC days.
Parents sometimes get caught up in the numbers thing(my kid is almost 2, so PT we go!) but don't watch for the signs, ending up making it take longer.
I would also go with an EC approach, as if he isn't really ready himself, it's you who will do the caring more than he will for a while(until he is ready).
Watch him for "going cues", make it postive, reward if necessary, use whatever he feels most comfortable with.
You can scar a child, so really do watch what you do. I had parents turn off all the lights in their house(kid was afraid of the dark) so they could get him in the bathroom, then hold him on there screaming. Mom even told me she was at a loss for what to do other than that. I PT a girl who would basicaly tantrum on the potty but mom wouldn't allow me to do anything else besides MAKE her go every 30 minutes. It was awful! And both these kids took so long to PT because they had such awful experiences.
If a kid isn't ready, it's more EC than PT. You are gonna care more than them. But you are doing some good because you are fostering their natural wanting to be clean & dry. So it's still a good thing:) But I certainly would stay away from punishing.

02-11-2010, 06:57 AM
Must be finger happy. Dbl posting!

02-11-2010, 09:41 AM
Jamie - what a terrible story!!! Those poor kids! :cry:

Amanda - I think you'll know how to handle it - I know how much it hurts to hear and see what you do (and will) as a stepmom :hugs: :cry: :hugs: I really really do. Just do what you think is best for him and your family, if biomom wants to talk about it - she will. If you need/want to pm me anytime - go ahead! (about EC, PTing, anything!)

oh, yeah, it was horrible - DSD would have an accident and start crying and get all worried - and DSS (who's older) was the one who clued me in that she was afraid we were going to throw away her favorite underwear! (DH said X just didn't want to have to wash them) :(

02-11-2010, 09:46 AM
I agree 18 mo is just super young esp for a boy. My oldest didn't even start working on training until he was 2.5 and my 2nd son is just now working on it at just over 2.5 and while I want him to be trained before baby arrives I'm not holding him to some ridiculous standard or anything. Good luck with this situation. The description you gave just breaks my heart. Something super not right is going on there for that child to act that way.

Amanda L
02-11-2010, 03:37 PM
We get him tomorrow morning . . . :thumbsup:

Since my husband picks him up from his grandmothers house (who is very negative about us being in Cameron's life at all) we probably won't get an update on the potty training situation. Thank you everyone for your advice. I guess I'll see how it goes! :goodvibes: