We did have it pretty easy with the two boys, but The Girl was even easier. It pretty much happened in a weekend. The thing is, I'm not sure what we did. And if they didn't want to go if we'd have any way of changing that. We did bribe a ton though. With the boys it was a small treat every time they went and then as they moved along, we got them a slightly bigger bribe if they went a whole day without having an accident (I remember it was a toy car for the oldest son). Then, when they were all potty trained (not sure how we decided that) they got something else.
I had The Girl go pee in the woods this weekend. It was at about 4am, so I don't remember if she liked it or not.
My son went from total potty refusal to wearing underwear within a month--right before his 3rd birthday. We just had to wait for him to want to use the potty. He's still in a diaper for naps and at night.
We have other friends with kids his age (of both genders), and about half of them are still in diapers. Some use the potty some of the time, and others not at all.
My boys were both pretty easy, but I don't know what we did. Mostly, I think it was the daycare that did it--at about 2.5 the preschool teacher asked if we were okay with them being trained there with the other kids and we absolutely were. So we brought in underwear instead of pull-ups and diapers and they pretty much took care of the whole thing. N was still in pull-ups at night until around 3.5, but when A was 3 he decided that he was a "big boy" and would wear underwear all the time, even at night. He was *very* adamant about it, we decided to let him try, and he never had an accident.
But both my kids are pretty easy going about that sort of thing. I'm with Diggy--I think we just got lucky and if they'd had different personalities or had chosen that particular thing to be stubborn about then it would have probably been pretty unpleasant. We have some very close friends whose son was 4 in February and he's only just decided that he'll go to the toilet and he's still pretty hit or miss about it. But he's also a *very* difficult child in lots of other ways too.
We have just made it to the other side of this! Despite months of bribes with treats, sticker charts, threats...it didn't really work. We'd get a few trys, but then he'd put up a lot of resistance and I'd back off.
3rd bday came and went and I was getting anxious to get the ball moving again.
With the warm weather, going commando/nekkid was an option finally, so one weekend I put all my chips in. I said "We're out of diapers, so today you'll have to use the potty". Just a statement, no choice or options. He definitely understood, and spent most of the weekend with just a tshirt on (except for bed). Hardly any resistance- finally! One pee accident in the car that weekend. I put undies on him for daycare on Monday (and had given her a heads up), but he went poop in them. We figured it felt too much like a diaper and he was still used to that feeling. Back to commando and we've only had one nap accident since then.
Most girls I know have trained earlier, not sure about easier though. I'd try the naked thing. And just keep telling him to tell you when he has to go, rather than asking him if he has to go.
Ahhh, toilet training....our household shame. He's a little over 3.5. Wait, no, our household shame is the fact that my son bit off the tops of his nipples at 18 months old and still wants to drink from the bottles. The dentist said it wasn't affecting his teeth so fine, it's one less battle. THAT is our greatest shame.
As for the potty training, I don't know what to do. There are 10 children under 4 on the street and he is the only one other than the babies under 14 months old who isn't potty trained. It's a nightmare. I get asked about it ALL the time. Recently they've begun asking him about it as well. This sets him back to no end. We're even further from training now then we were a year ago. He angrily destroyed the baby potty in a fit of rage, that set us back. My husband got mad at him, took his pants off and forced him down on the adult potty. The boy freaked out in a rage and basically went catatonic and wouldn't even go in the bathroom to wash his hands for weeks. The neighbor got in his face and happily asked, "DOn't you want to be a BIG BOY!?" at a birthday party. He ran home (so...he craps and pees in his pants, but understands the complexities of our neighborhood? WTF).
I gave up. Yes, I'm a lazy parent. It's not worth the fall down tantrums. Here's the kicker. THey ask him to sit on the potty at pre-school and he does. Sometimes he pees, they give him a marshmallow. We tried that at home, he chewed up the mallow then spit it out and said, "I pee in my pants." and his behavior got worse. Now he pees sometimes and then brings them a diaper to put on him. They want us to hurry the process along. They want us to bring in underwear for him. I just foresee a lot of laundry and a lot of accidents. His naptime and overnight diapers are SOAKED.
Sometimes this makes me mad, especially since he's not bad in any one area to get a diagnosis of anything. This is ridiculous and no other parent I've met goes through this type of resistance. Yes, he will be crapping his pants in kindergarten. Part of me worries he will have to go to special ed, or that I will have to quit my job and homeschool him. We're already contemplating getting a nanny next year and pulling him out of any formal pre-schooling or any other social interactions (or finding another pre-school and lying and saying he's 2 instead of 3--he'd pass:)).