It sounds too good to be true, doesn't it?
Back in August, I spent hours reading, planning, and preparing to begin potty training. I set aside three straight days for us to just be at home, focused on our goal. We had treats, a sticker chart, prizes, etc. We read some books beforehand, picked out some big boy Elmo underwear to buy, and even spent some time with Jack "training" his Elmo doll in how to use the potty. But when the time came, the plan was a complete and utter failure! Jack didn't mind sitting on the potty, but he had no intention of going on the potty and he didn't mind going in his diaper, pull up, or underwear at all. In fact, the one time we did make it to the potty, he threw the biggest fit I've seen in a long time, almost as if he were simply terrified. Talk about discouraging!
Then, last Saturday, out of nowhere (we had decided to back off for an indefinite amount of time), Jack told me, "Mommy, I need to go potty." I was confused but of course we went right to the bathroom. He climbed up there, went to the potty, and said, "I did it!!" You can imagine my surprise! We made a big deal about it, broke out the chart, the treats, etc. and encouraged him to tell us again the next time. And he did. Again and again. He's stayed dry in a pull up now for a week! At home, at school, at church, at the gym, you name it! Even overnight and at naps!
I'm basically in shock. But very pleased.
The moral of the story is: there is no point in trying to potty train a child before he/she is completely ready. If we would have forced the issue in August, my guess is that he would have fought it, become even more afraid, and we would still be struggling today. Instead, we left it alone completely and just waited. When he was truly ready, potty training took almost no time/effort. Granted, we still have some things to work on. I need to become brave enough to put him in underwear full time. But, for the most part, no thanks to any books I've read on the subject, this kid has it down!