Lane’s been potty trained for awhile, about a year. She has trouble with changes and new situations… when she feels unsafe to react, she’ll just be really quiet. When she feels safe to react (i.e. when I or Frank are around) she freaks out and melts down. She *can* handle new situations well, as long as she has a decent preparation of what to expect. So, when it came to potty training, we started talking about it and reading books about potty training well before we had her try sitting on a potty.
Lane has a couple of different books about potty training. Both address the issues of accidents similarly, as in “You might have an accident. That’s OK.”
So, as (what I assume is) a pretty normal four year-old, Lane occasionally gets wrapped up in playing and doesn’t stop in time to make it to the bathroom. And she insists that it’s OK to have an accident – not in the “it’s OK, I’m not mad” sort of way the books imply, but more “it’s perfectly acceptable to have an accident”. Oh, the talking I’ve done to try to eliminate that notion… trying to explain the difference between “It’s fine and dandy to pee your pants” vs. “I’m not mad but it’s not good to have accidents”. Unfortunately I think the nuance is a bit lost on her, much to my chagrin.
I think once we’re firmly moved in to the new house and settled in, I’ll be better about natural consequences — making her rinse out her undies, stuff like that. I probably bail her out a little more than I should.