The past three months of potty training have been emotionally taxing. We've had a few glimpses of a light at the end of the tunnel, but the biggest lingering issue is getting our son to do #2 on the toilet. We know what his warning signs are, but convincing him that he needs to go is challenging.
When he needs to go (and we know it) my wife has started to take all of his clothes off until he goes to the bathroom. This works, mainly because he gets to put his clothes back on (he hates being naked). However, sometimes he'll be naked for an hour or more before he goes. Add to that the fact that he will play with himself during that time, and it feels a little awkward juxtaposed against our Christian background.
If we do nothing, he usually just poops himself without regard for his underwear or how it feels. This morning, for example, he locked himself in a room to poop his underwear alone.
Another time I saw some of the warning signs and asked him "do you need to go potty?" He said, "no," and then proceeded to squat and poop his underwear without breaking eye contact with me.
Even if we catch him and get him to go in the toilet, there's no guarantee that he's done. Sometimes he'll poop his pants 5 minutes after he 'finished.'
Reading through the other posts (this one was particularly influential), I've determined that our reward system might be wrong. When he poops his underwear, we turn it into a cleaning marathon. We involve him heavily because we want it to take him away from the stuff he wants to do. I worry that it is backfiring.
So my questions are this:
- Am I on the right track?
- If so, how can we change our reaction when poops his underwear? Should we involve him heavily in the clean-up process as we have so far?
- What are some other reward systems we could implement?