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For all its wonders and joys, parenting does have its icky trappings moms and dads would rather not talk about; for instance potty training; which requires hard work and patience; and dollop of resignation.
Here’s what nobody talks about when it comes to potty training your toddler
You can’t force your child to do it
You can’t force your child to start training if he or she isn’t ready yet. And if you ask around, you’ll see that there is no perfect age to do this too.
Pressuring your child might only make him anxious and anxiety will not do any good for either of you.
You will need to be observant and careful in order to discern if your child is ready.
Also being considerate and sensitive to your child’s needs and concerns will let you work better as a team.
No method is fool-proof
There are countless sources of information on potty training.
You can count on blogs, books and proud parents who survived the process to give you tips and tricks on how you can successfully potty train your child.
But know and remember that none of these methods are one-size-fits-all. Each child is different and each parent-child dynamic is different.
Just because your friend successfully trained her toddler to use the toilet in 3 days doesn’t mean it will be the same for you and your child.
Don’t panic if Step 2 of the guidebook is not working out for you. This is where your creativity will come in handy.
Prepare to adjust and make up some parts of the training along the way.
You’ll make a big deal out of it
At first you’ll probably think that potty training is no big deal. You might even laugh at moms who are vocal about how proud they are of their potty training success.
But after days of negotiating with a stubborn toddler and cleaning up piles of poop, you will suddenly understand the struggle.
You can finally relate to other parents and you will feel like you achieved something monumental when you finish training.
Every parent wants to raise independent and self-reliant children and potty training is one step closer to that goal.
You and your kid worked hard so don’t be ashamed to make a big deal out of your toilet training success!
Potty training goes beyond the house
So your child has finally mastered using the potty at home. Congratulations! But this doesn’t necessarily mean they are ready to use toilets in other places like the restaurant or even school.
Keep in mind that potty training goes beyond the house. Public restrooms may seem like new and frightening territory for your kid.
The important thing is you keep being patient and flexible.
Enlist the help of other grownups like your child’s teachers and coordinate with them about your child’s potty-training progress so they can keep an eye on your child and be prepared to respond accordingly.
Accidents will happen (and will continue to happen)
So you’ve successfully potty trained your child in 7 days. You even threw a potty-themed party to celebrate the milestone.
But ‘lo and behold, you suddenly discover that your child has an accident! Don’t feel bad! Potty training doesn’t work like a contract. Remember, you are dealing with a child and it’s normal for children to regress.
Possible post-potty training accidents do not mean that your efforts were a failure.
You only need to reinforce what you already taught your child. Go over the process again and encourage your child to try again.
Creative Rewards to Keep Your Child Interested in Potty Training
One of the common concerns of first time parents who are potty training their child is how to keep their little one interested.
Potty training is a tricky process and it can get frustrating if your child becomes demotivated and loses interest in the training.
So how do you keep them engaged? One way would be to create a reward scheme to make the process fun! Here are some creative ideas to get you started and keep you moving closer to potty training success!
Track progress with a potty progress journal
Help your child become more invested in the training by tracking his progress through a potty progress journal. Make the journal more personal by creating it from scratch.
Purchase a planner or journal from a supplies store and let your child decorate it with stickers, doodles and pictures.
The potty progress journal must feature a calendar that you can use to write notes indicating your child’s progress.
For example, if he successfully went to the potty in Day 1, let him add a sticker or write a star on the corresponding day. Give a surprise prize when the calendar is filled up!
Read stories in the restroom
Some children hate going to the toilet and if your child is one of them, then you might want to make the restroom into a place he can look forward to. One way to do this is to keep books in there.
Take your child to the bookstore and choose fun children’s books together. Explain to your toddler that these books are reserved for potty breaks only, meaning you will only read a page or two of the story whenever he goes to the toilet.
This reward scheme should make going to the toilet less of a chore for your child. It is also a creative way to keep the potty in your child’s mind and to encourage him to make it to the restroom in time all the time.
Come up with a fun jar
Instead of toys or treats, why not get extra creative and thoughtful by rewarding your child with a fun and creative activity that you can do together.
Make a list of interesting things you can do like a trip to an amusement park, learning a new hobby together or making crafts.
Write these activities on a roll of paper and put it in a clean glass jar. Every time your child makes progress, let him pick out a random piece of paper from the jar and do the activity.
Throw a potty-themed party…yes, you read that right!
Potty training is hard work so it’s not a bad idea to celebrate this milestone with a party!
Throw a potty-themed get-together when your child completes the training. Invite your child’s playmates and other friends and family so you can all celebrate the success together.
The party doesn’t have to be a big elaborate one, a simple gathering at home will do. The important thing is that your child feels appreciated for the focus and effort he put into the training.
- Potty training rewards could reinforce positive or negative behavior on your child so be careful with your choice of prize.
- For example, when choosing edible treats to give as a reward, go for healthier options as candies might condition your child to believe that junk food is better than healthy food.
- Don’t stress yourself out with the rewards system or the rules.
- Like everything about potty training, use a relaxed comfortable approach. Potty training prizes should encourage learning and positivity, not the other way around.
What creative rewards would you add to this list? Share them in the comment section!
Have you completed your child’s potty training? Do you have useful tips and funny stories to share?