Q: I have a 2-year-old who was showing every sign of potty training readiness (taking the diaper off when she had to go, staying dry all day, and going potty, etc.), but a week has passed since she's been in undies and she's regressing. She had two accidents on the first few days, but now she spreads her legs and watches herself go on the floor while saying, "Uh oh." I'm so frustrated, but I don't want to backtrack! She has the potential. What should I do?!
A: Wearing underwear is a right, not a privilege. In other words, you don't get to wear underwear until you prove you are ready to wear underwear. And the only way you prove it is to care if you have an accident.
If your daughter knowingly feels the urge to go and then does it on your kitchen floor--instead of heading to the bathroom--she is telling you that she is not developmentally ready for this task. Go back to diapers for a little while and try potty training again on a weekend down the road. If she is clearly ready, then great! But if she has accidents again, put her back in diapers. Many parents have several false starts before their child is really ready. No worries.