The other day we got an e-mail through our contact form with a plea for help… Here’s the deal:
My wife and I are at our wit’s end with our 4 year old boy. He’s been potty trained for 2 years, yet he will urinate on the living room carpet if no one is watching him. We’ve tried almost everything to stop this. He is stubborn and has a bad temper, yet can be nice as pie. ANY advice would be welcome advice.
While we’re not parenting experts, and none of our kids have ever done this, a few things come to mind…
First off, it sounds like this is a bit of a power struggle. And when it comes to potty, kids have all the power. So as hard as it seems, don’t escalate the situation, and don’t make a big deal out of it when he does it. Just keep your cool, clean it up, and try not to give him any extra attention. If you rant and rave he’s likely to keep doing it just to get a rise out of you.
Second, we’ve found that rewarding appropriate behavior, as opposed to trying to punish bad behavior, can work wonders. Maybe consider rewarding him with something like a Hot Wheels car whenever he makes it through a day without peeing on the floor. Better yet, reward him with something small (like a few M&Ms) whenever he uses the potty. If you can get him focused on earning his potty reward, he won’t have anything left in his bladder for the living room floor. And like pretty much every other annoying behavior, it’s important to keep in mind that this will eventually pass.
So those were our thoughts. Does anyone else have any other suggestions? Please leave a comment if you do.