Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Potty Training

I have received so many inquiries lately about potty training, I thought I would blog about it briefly. Potty training can be one of the most frustrating experiences or one of the easiest. You, the parents get to choose. Truly, if you just leave it alone and provide the space and opportunity, most kids will simply do it on their own. They may need your support, but the less emotional investment you have, the smoother it is likely to go.

If your child thinks he can please or displease you by using or not using the potty, you begin to add layer upon layer on top of the challenge that potty training already presents. The fewer the layers, the easier and smoother the transition is likely to be.

Here are a few thoughts to ponder that might make the whole process easier to tolerate:
1. All kids are physically capable of going on the potty long before they are emotionally capable of the responsiblity of staying clean and dry.
2. Kids are often scared of the prospect of dropping a part of their body (it came out of them, therefore, it is a part of them) into a bowl of water and flushing it away. It's a big and very scary concept when you don't have the broader perspective of an adult.
3. Because of the enormity of the developmental leap that goes with being potty trained, kids are watching us for cues to see how they are doing. We can let them know that it's great when they do it, but with very little pomp and circumstance. Don't start screaming, dancing and calling the grandparents. Give them a high five and ask them if they are proud of themselves!

Good luck and happy toileting!!


Joe Bruzzese said...

So happy to be past that time in my kids' lives. Yes, there were wonderful moments, but potty training was not one of them. The two weeks prior to preschool were tense as we waited to see if my daughter would be able to "go" on her own, a prerequisite for preschool admission. Now 8 and 10, I'm happy to say they both made thet transition from toddler to near teen with minor bumps along the way. Thanks for sharing your ideas with the world of parenting at large. I would love to guest post on your site if you think your readership would appreciate an author's perspective on the challenges connected to the middle school years.

Best to you,
Joe Bruzzese

Terry Gibson said...

I have 4 grown birth children, 3 boys and one girl. Never had a battle with potty training. Please listen to Bette's advice. This is a battle you cannot win. I promise you, your child will not walk down the aisle wearing a diaper, mine didn't.