If the child is ready, it happens very easily. If not, a power struggle often ensues — and we all know that no one wins a parent-child power struggle. Fights with your child about his or her body are fights you will never win.
Luckily, there is a never a reason to fight with your child about this. Moving from diapers to being self-sufficiently able to use the toilet is a natural process. Your goal is to make it as easy and effortless as possible.
1. Begin by reading books about toileting with your child.
A few of my favorites are. A potty for me by Karen Katz; No more diapers for ducky by Bernette Ford and Dinosaur vs. Potty.
2. Remember that most of what kids learn is through our modeling.
Start talking about what you’re doing in the bathroom. Let your child watch. Boys will benefit by watching other boys or their father use the toilet.
3. Kids love to copy other kids;
Slightly older cousins or friends who are willing to use the bathroom in front of your toddler can be invaluable in modeling. For boys, you might make a game of it by putting a small bulls-eye in the toilet for them to aim at. (Like cheerios)
4. I strongly recommend having a potty in each bathroom of the house..
5. Don’t be in a hurry to start.
6. After he’s used to sitting on the potty clothed…
7. Once she’s totally used to sitting on her potty…
8. When he does pee or poop in the potty…
9. Don’t make the move into underwear until your child insists.
10. Notice when she gives signs that she is about to defecate:
11. Be open if she requests a toilet seat.
12. If you’re buying a seat to go on the potty, find one they love.
13. Institute regular times when you both use the potty:
14. Every time your child actually uses the potty…
15. Expect accidents.
16. Accidents are a step in the right direction…
17. Be enthusiastic but never pushy.
18. If your child poops in her pullup or pants…
19. Make it a habit.
22. If your child is afraid to use the potty…
23. Don’t begin toilet learning under pressure.
24. Watch for constipation.
25. Potty training is a partnership, and you’re the junior partner.
Punishing your child for potty accidents will NOT hasten potty learning. In fact, it will lengthen the process, and it will damage your relationship with your child. Just don’t do it.
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