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The Pursuit of Potty Training

Potty Training can be one of the most stressful times in the life of a parent, not to mention the early life of a child.  However, it truly does not have to be that way!  I have compiled some of the tips that I used with my own son who is now 8 years old.  These tips were lifesavers for me!
  1. The most important recommendation I can make when it comes to potty training is to make sure that there are no really big events going on in your life, such as a move or a new baby coming into the home.  These events are stressful enough without adding potty training to the mix!

  2. Make sure to explain the “potty process” in kid-friendly terms.  My son thought it was really cool to hear that our bodies make garbage.  This really helped him to understand what was going on and took away some of the fear and uncertainty.

  3. Silliness makes the process much more fun and helps to make the process a little less stressful for you and your child.  Praise ensures that they will want to go again.  Silliness and praise can both be great motivators for those stubborn little tots who just do not want to go!

  4. Bribe them!  Offer smaller bribes for when they go to the bathroom and larger ones for when they wipe.  The wiping part can be the most difficult to get them to do.  I offered mini M & M’s for bribes.  You could also use pennies in a piggy bank or small toys, etc.  Just make sure your bribes are something they really want so they will be motivated.

  5. Get your partner, a grandparent or close family friend involved!  Sometimes just getting a new face in the picture will make all the difference.

  6. Make sure that you take them to the bathroom and consistent and frequent intervals.  This was so important for my son.  It keeps their minds on the task at hand and often heads off a would-be accident.  Consistency may be the more important of the two because this is what gets their bodies used to going.

  7. Sometimes children are afraid to go.  My son was one of them.  It took me forever to find out what was causing him not to want to go!  I solved this problem by using a large stuffed Diego doll to demonstrate the “potty process.”  This was great practice for him and my son felt like a big boy because he could teach Diego how to go.  It was very effective.

  8. I implemented target practice for my son.  Now this may seem a little bizarre, but it worked better than anything else I had tried.  I floated Cheerios in the toilet and gave him a sticker for everyone he could “hit.”  This was a great way to teach him how to stand up while using the restroom.

  9. Above all else, do not turn potty training into a battle.  A struggle of wills can only result in failure and stress.  Make sure your child is ready and then make sure that you are ready to let them learn at their own pace.

  10. Patience! Patience! Patience!  More than anything, be patient.  Remember that potty training is a process that we all have to learn and some of us learn it more quickly than others.  Your child will learn how to go!  It is a normal process that takes time.  Do not get frustrated and quit.  Be patient!
I truly hope this will help you in your pursuit to potty train!