Toddler putting on training pants

My Preschooler Isn’t Fully Potty Trained and I’m Okay with That

by Lauren Jimeson

I watch at preschool pick-up as the teacher gives her the good news. “He used the potty today with no accidents,” she tells a parent next to me. “Yay!” the parent squeals with excitement as she high-fives her son. The look of genuine joy and relief falls on her face as she hears the news. I smile at her with excitement. I know the feeling. The feeling of being so close to the finish line you can taste it. And yet, I’m still not there yet with my youngest.

One Mom Explains Why She's Letting Her Son Potty Train in His Own Time

My son walks out of the classroom still wearing his Easy-Ups. I get a report from his teacher that he tried using the potty a couple of times, yet nothing came of it. I still get a huge smile on my face and show my excitement for him. He tried to use the potty, and in our current stage of potty training, trying is a huge accomplishment. We leave his school hand-in-hand as I tell him how happy I am he’s attempting to use the potty. He laughs with joy as he asks me, “Are you proud of me mommy?” “Of course,” I answer with a smile.

He’s the only one in his class not fully potty trained. At nearly 3 1/2, I really thought we’d be there by now. My older daughters were potty trained just after 2 years old and they made the process simple. We used training pants to help them, and within a few weeks, they were in big-girl underwear. It was a seamless transition for my daughters but my son is having a harder time understanding the process.

At my son’s 3 year check-up, his doctor asked me if he was potty trained. I hung my head as I told him he wasn’t. He saw the worry on my face and assured me right away that it was okay and he would get it, but it will be on his time. I smiled as he said that. Throughout our three years together, my son has taught me that many of the things he does, he will do on his time. I’ve learned I need to be patient and understand that many times in parenting things don’t always happen the way we want them to or when we want them to. And that’s okay.

He will get it, I told myself as I walked out of the doctor’s office. I’m confident he will. My son is showing me he needs a little bit more practice with potty training and that’s okay. We will get through the process together, as a team. There are many things I’ve been doing to help so he doesn’t get overwhelmed or feel pressured. He’s helped me throw away all of his diapers and we now have a drawer for his Thomas the Train Easy-Ups. He loves them and calls them his big-boy underwear. We bought a big-boy potty to put in the bathroom so he can go whenever he feels the need. And he gets a reward sticker to put on his sticker chart when he succeeds. He’s getting there. He’s just not quite there yet.

The next morning at school, I wave good-bye to him as he heads into his classroom. “Bye mommy!” he squeals without a worry in the world. “Bye sweetheart,” I tell him. He might not be quite ready to ditch the diapers just yet, but he’s ready to take on so much more. And as his mom, that’s all I could ever ask for.

About Lauren Jimeson

Mom of three Harlan (8), Avery (5) and Macks (3), experienced Freelance Writer, Publicist, and Social Media Consultant. Her work has been featured nationally in online, print, and television media. Lauren is passionate about sharing her experiences as a mom and everything in between.

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