Potty Training Preparation Tips
It’s finally time to give yourself a rest from changing your child’s diapers! Now you face an entirely new challenge: teaching your little boy or girl how to use the potty. But how do you know when to start and what to do to ensure success? Here are a few tips to help make the transition as smooth as possible.
Before you Begin: Choose the appropriate time to start; don’t try to potty-train your child during a potentially stressful time. Make it a stand-alone achievement to be focused on completely. Don’t let other milestones get in your way. Make sure you have the time to commit as well. Just because your child does doesn’t mean you necessarily will. Know that it takes a lot of patience. If you aren’t persistent every step of the way, potty-training will be a lot harder than it needs to be.
Encourage the Right Attitude: Make sure your child knows what the function of a toilet is early on. Teach them how to wash their hands in preparation for when they start using the potty. Then, give them their new potty chair. Make it seem like something exciting – grown-ups use the bathroom, and now your child has his or her own very own chair, too! Remember the Huggies’ jingle? Encourage your child to have that same attitude: “I’m a big kid now!”
Be Persistent: If your child sometimes has accidents, don’t scold them! This could discourage them and cause them to want to give up. Encourage good habits instead. Make using the bathroom a part of the bed-time routine. Remind your son or daughter every now and then that they may need to use the potty, especially if you all might be going out soon.
Curb Reluctance: If your child is reluctant to use the toilet just because they know you want them to, try the reward system; offer them something really great if they get better at using the potty. A reward, such as their favorite desert after dinner or a trip to their friend’s house this weekend if they made any progress that day could do the trick. If a reward for just them isn’t enough, try rewarding the other members of your family for using the bathroom. Start a tally on the refrigerator where a certain amount of checks means they get to go somewhere fun this weekend. Make it a team effort (everyone pools their checks together). This could encourage your kid to want to join in on the fun without directly forcing them to.
Reverse Psychology: If none of those ideas work simply because they know you are just trying to bribe them, try another effective alternative. Instead of saying you want them to do go potty for a reward, make it sound like if they are good about using the potty, they’ll be able to have something that you don’t want. Make it into a game. “I’ll be really sad if you are a big boy and use the potty because if you do, you’ll get to go to your grandma’s tomorrow and I’ll miss you so much…”
Sarah Danielson writes for Home Equity Line of Credit which aims to inform individuals about different loan options and what each option entails.