My wife and I are on day 3 of our potty-training bootcamp with our 2 1/2 year old daughter, and things are not going well. Our daughter, who can generally gives us pushback any time we ask anything of her, is fighting us on every step of the potty training effort. We have had her in underwear only the past 3 days (with pull-ups for sleeping), taking her to the bathroom every 30 minutes or so to try sitting on the potty. We have encouraged her to let us know whenever she has to potty, and have plied her with stickers, candy, and toys for successfully going to the bathroom on the potty. We have been nothing but encouraging to her, even when she has had accidents, and have tried not to force her to sit down on the potty.
Three days later, and she has not gone to the bathroom on the potty a single time. She will sit on the potty for anywhere between a minute and a half-hour, and we will never get more than a drop out of her. Within a minute of getting off the toilet, she will pee or poop on the floor. We rush her back to the potty and put her back on as soon as this happens, letting her know that she had an accident that should have happened on the toilet, but not reprimanding her.
We are at our wits end. She knows how to use the toilet, and has done so successfully several times a week for the past few months, but she seems determined to thwart us now. She shows no interest in any of the bribes we have tried and shows little interest in using the potty without or insistence. How can we better motivate her?
This afternoon we decided to get more strict with our daughter: shortening the time between potty trips, fewer distractions, keeping her near the potty until she used it successfully. We went from six accidents in the morning to only a single accident in the afternoon/evening, and many successful potty uses. I am a little worried about her getting enough attention at daycare tomorrow, but the ball is rolling now.