Staylistening and Playlistening: Using the Potty

My son had been through periods of using his small potty, but for some reason, he had become resistant. I tried putting him in underwear, hoping the natural consequences would help him learn, but it didn’t work. He did not want to use the potty!

One day, when I was pretty sure he needed to pee, I encouraged him towards the potty. He said “No!”

I closed the bathroom door behind us, and I Staylistened calmly while he cried, telling him warmly from time to time that he could use the potty.

After crying for about ten minutes he eased out of his upset, became relaxed and happy, and proceeded to use the potty.

The following day, we were next to the bathroom, and I was sure he needed to pee. Again, he resisted.

It seemed like a good time for Playlistening. I pretended that two of my fingers were a little walking person who got very upset at the potty chair and kept tipping it over. He laughed and laughed as I kept up the game, flipping the potty chair over and over, picking it up and throwing it down, and giving voice to the little finger person who was mad at it.

After about fifteen minutes of delighted squealing laughter, he asked me to leave the bathroom, and he promptly sat down and peed.

That was the end of his resistance to using the potty!

Susan HutchisonSusan Hutchison

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Molly Pearson

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