Tuesday, November 22, 2011

What about you? Parenting Advice, You Didnt Ask For :0) Potty Training

Let's start with toddlers.

In my experience as a preschool teacher, daycare provider, foster parent and biological parent. I have potty trained  A LOT of different kids from  vastly different backgrounds.  I have been lucky enough to test out some theories. I will share what I have learned.

It is easier to praise a child for their good choices, and will ultimately encourage them to make more good choices.

For example: Taking the time to praise a toddler for keeping their underwear dry every 15 to 30 minutes goes a long way to encourage potty training and their own recognition of when they need to go. Conversely, disciplining a child for potty accidents associates bad feelings around using the potty.

I recommend keeping some kind of tiny reward in your pocket and routinely walking up to the child and saying: "Hey buddy, looks like your diaper/pull up/pants(whatever you choose to use) are dry! Way to go." Then give the child a sticker or smarty or other such reward. "This is for clean undies! Let's sit on the potty and see if you can go! Remember you get another sticker when you potty in the toilet!" 

As silly as it sounds, I recommend avoiding asking the child if they have to go or want to go, but rather ask them to try. "How about you sit on the potty and see if the pee pee comes out?" vs "Do you need to go potty?" In my experience most kids who are potty training are not reliably aware if they have to go, at least not at first. Regular intervals on the toilet will help them to learn the feeling of needing to go.

I also recommend NOT engaging with the child when they have an accident. Ask the child to remove soiled diaper/pull up/underpants, and put them in the tub with a cloth and say "Let me know when you are clean" Don't appear happy, sad, disappointed, just simply "You need to wash your toosh." or whatever and repeat the same phrase without emotion until the child has cleaned himself. Then ask him to clean any other area he may have soiled, bathtub, floor etc. Make sure he is responsible for ALL of the clean up. Then repeat the process of checking and rewarding for clean and dry underwear.

When the child successfully goes in the toilet, make a big deal out of it! I sing the potty song:

To the tune of "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow"

"child first name" went pee pee/poop in the potty
"child first name" went pee pee/poop in the potty
"child first name" went pee pee/poop in the potty
Cuz' He's/she's a really big boy/girl!

Kids love it when a song has their name in it!

Remember consistence/patience are key, and your child will not likely go to college in a diaper! :0)

What about you, How do you potty train a child?

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