We have 3 1/2 year old twin boys. One is potty trained completely except for overnight. The other is much more resistant and taking much longer to potty train during the day. The main scenario I need help with right now is that we are having a hard time getting them to potty before bed. Basically they resist going to bed as most kids do and they don't particularly like doing anything we want them to do either right now, including going to potty when we say. It is the beginning of our bedtime routine and what we do before we go back to their bedroom to change clothes and read stories, etc. Once they get in their bedroom it's pretty much okay but getting them pottied and back there is impossible now! When they know it's time for bed they just start doing silly stuff to procrastinate and they love the fact that we obviously don't have any control over the situation and know how to get them to do what we want. Any ideas?
Things that can help:
- Always take them to the potty at the same part of the routine. For us it's Potty->Brush Teeth->Read->Bed
- Don't get angry or raise your voice, calmly take them in and have them sit on the potty. Don't worry about them going, just get them in the habit of doing it.
- Praise them when they go, and give them a sticker. My son announces that he needs a sticker before he even sits down.
- Don't break the routine for anything, once you have it established you want them to think that routine is part of life.
Your biggest problem is your statement "We don't have any control." You are the parents. You have to take the control. Parenting is a test of wills, and you have to win.
The first time, you tell them nicely to go to the bathroom and get ready for bed. You can add a fun element by making it a game "Whose going to go potty first?"
Next time, tell them firmly, reminding them of consequences. Make sure your tone of voice is stern and grave. "
If they don't comply, you physically move them to the bathroom and wait for them to go. It is crucial for you to enforce what you said. They have to know that disobedience will always result in consequences they don't like. I would suggest that they get no story.
You can never give in. If they whine or cry and you give in, you teach them that whining and crying gets them what they want. Be consistent and you'll see positive results. The first few battles will be the hardest, and will leave you wore out and frustrated. It gets much easier.