Ask Rebecca: my boundary-pushing toddler keeps refusing the potty

Parenting can require more patience and empathy than we ever imagined says Rebecca Mottram.  Your daughters potty refusal means she needs your help to be in control and find the solution.

Dear Rebecca,

My daughter is 17mo and normally mastering the potty well. She has become very verbal and often tells me when she has to go or goes to the potty by herself. However, there is a part I’m not proud of. I know she has to wee when 3 hours have passed without one so I gently remind her to go. I tell her we’re going to the potty, she can choose her favorite book to read or game to play with me, we will call daddy after the wee… I let her know that it needs to be done and I give her lots of motivation. This is where procrastination normally starts. She either completely refuses the potty or sits there for 20 min. and does nothing. I then give up and go to another room to give her privacy. She will follow me a moment later and within 2 min. will do a massive pee on the floor while looking straight at me. Nobody can tell me these are accidents. She is doing it on purpose to show me she decides and I have no idea why as she knows perfectly well where pee needs to go.

Tonight I lost it and yelled at her, after many incidents. I was so angry that I had spent 30 min. on the potty with her with no success and then had lots of cleaning to do too. Not my best moment. I want to understand this kind of behaviour. Is this normal toddler stubbornness or how can I make sure she understands that peeing on the floor is totally not acceptable when done on purpose? This happened 3 hours ago and I’m still raging! Continue reading

Ask Rebecca: My son keeps taking his diaper off and I can’t keep up!

Perhaps it’s time to ditch the diapers and get down to basics says Rebecca Mottram – your son might just be asking for more independence

Dear Rebecca, we started potty training a few weeks ago because my son refused to keep his diaper on (he’s 23 months now) and we wanted to go with it, but I’m struggling to keep up with all the accidents! My question is, how long should we allow him to be out of his diaper? Continue reading