Why Potty Training Toddlers Is The Worst
Let’s face it — being a parent is OVERWHELMING. You work, you cook, you clean and you’re raising a child. Just when you feeling like you’re going to fall apart, its time to start potty training. As a parent, you put so much energy and focus on your children that you often forget to take care of yourselves. So what happens when potty training makes you emotional?
It’s no surprise that potty training can create an absurd amount of emotions, not only in toddlers but in you as well. From anger to sadness and everything in between, its time you create a little space for yourself to heal during the stress of potty training.
Today, I’m going to focus on the three main emotions that bubble to the surface when you are potty training your toddler. It is normal to cycle through many emotions, so read on to see the best way to deal with the potty training blues.
The Three Emotions of Potty Training
Emotion 1: Anger
You have been potty training your toddler for what feels like an eternity. Every time they soil their brand new undies, you feel your chest tighten and you begin to steam from the ears. Welcome to one of the most common emotions parents feel during potty training, anger.
Anger is an extremely natural human response to a situation that seems out of our control. When controlled, anger can be an excellent catalyzed for us to try harder. When uncontrolled, anger often leads to disruptions in not only your life but others around you.
It is okay to feel anger when your child is having difficulty potty training. It is not okay to take that anger out on that child. Toddlers are growing at such an immense rate both physically and emotionally. Punishing or using harsh methods on your toddler usually can cause a decline or stand still in this growth.
It is important to remember during this time that the potty is an entirely new concept for your toddler. Maybe you are dealing with a stubborn child or maybe they are afraid to let go into the toilet. Whatever the cause for the potty training anger is, it is time to withdraw yourself from the situation in order to gain back control. Below, use the four steps to take a moment to cool off and get to the bottom of your anger.
- Journal. Writing down your emotions is a great way to sort out what is going on in your head. Don’t worry, you don’t need to show this to anyone so write your worst thoughts. By the end of a good journaling session, you should feel a bit of relief.
- Yoga and Meditation. Take a moment totally just for you. Even if you’re not a yogi, sitting in certain yoga pose have been proven to release built-up tensions. Follow this by a few minutes of meditation to clear your head.
- Screaming. This one seems a little funny, but trust me you’ll feel better after. If you don’t want anyone hearing, bury your head into a pillow and scream your heart out.
- Working out. Head to the gym, or grab your running shoes. A solid 30-minute workout can have us feeling much calmer.
Once you have taken some personal time to get your anger under control, take another five minutes to reflect on what it is about potty training that makes you feel so angry. If you can target these emotions, you can start to break them down and get your anger under control.
Emotion 2: Hopelessness
If your child is fighting you every step of the potty training way, you may be filled with our next emotion, hopelessness. This emotion is an easy one to get stuck in. Often parents feel that with every step forward they take three giant leaps backward. Do not feel like you are doing a bad job. Potty training can be very difficult and at some point, every parent has struggled with this emotion.
Parents often find themselves feeling hopeless potty training when in reality their child is just not ready to start potty training. I highly recommend taking some time to evaluate if your child is ready for potty training. Once you have determined if you are potty training at the right time, take some time to really research potty training.
Once you feel like you have all the knowledge and skills needed to potty train, know that it can take anywhere from three days to a year. I know that that is a HUGE time difference, but every child is unique and will need unique training. In order to keep yourself from feeling hopeless once more, I highly suggest utilizing these four steps.
- Read Blogs. There is an overwhelming amount of blogs written by parents for parents. Type potty training and your emotion into Google and I promise you, you will be able to find a first-hand account of another parent’s experience. Reading other’s experiences can help you feel not so lonely.
- Self Care. When we feel hopeless we often forget to keep up with our own self-care. Take a moment for yourself and run a hot bath. Even enjoying a nice glass of wine in front of your favorite TV show can help you get that extra boost you need.
- Relish in the positive. When your child does have that moment of success feel free to be over the top about it. This will not only excite your child but it will create a truly happy family moment. Going out for a fun dinner or getting ice cream is a great way to really enjoy the good times.
- Ask for help. If you have lost sight of the light at the end of the tunnel ask for help. Do not feel like you are a bad parent if you need to reach out for help. Let me help you stay positive through potty plans and text support.
Emotion 3: Sadness
Diapers, blowouts, and changing tables. What parent wouldn’t be excited to ditch the dirty, expensive baby habits? For some reason though, when your child starts to show interest in the potty, you feel sad. You are not alone. As a parent, it is totally normal to have feelings of sadness surface when your toddler is ready to potty train.
Potty training truly confirms that your toddler is growing up. It is okay to start missing the baby stage, but like anger, this is an emotion that you need to work out on your own. If your toddler believes that potty training is making you sad, they may develop their own uneasiness and anxiety of the potty.
It is important to remain confident in front of your toddler during potty training. This will help them to feel relaxed and supported. That being said, it is equally as important to work out your emotions behind the potty training scene. I highly recommend letting your partner or babysitter watch the children while you take some much needed time for yourself. Try out these four steps to help ease these potty training blues.
- A good cry. Sometimes snuggling up in your comfiest blanket, watching The Notebook and bawling your eyes out is all you need to help work out some sadness. Crying is not a sign of weakness. It is a natural part of being human that helps us feel a sense of relief.
- Scrap Booking. Even though it is time to start moving on from the baby stage, never forget it. Putting all of your wonderful baby memories down is a great way to have quick access to all the best memories.
- Yoga and meditation. Parenting is a roller coaster ride filled with emotions. Yoga and meditation are a great way to sit with these emotions. If you feel too vulnerable letting your tears flow in a class, take your mat to a quiet room and allow yourself to work through the sadness.
- Talking to someone. Relating to your partner or another parent is a great way to not feel so alone in your feelings. Trust me, every parent has picked up an old baby shoe and felt overcome by sadness. While your emotions are unique to you, I promise many other parents have dealt with similar feelings.
All The Emotions Of Potty Training
In order to successfully potty train your toddler, it is important to make sure you are emotionally prepared. Your toddler looks to you for confidence and comfort. Making sure that you do not crack under the stresses of a child who is reluctant to potty training may be the difference between success or failure.
It is never too late to be the best version of yourself possible. Tomorrow is a brand new day to get your emotions under control and become your child’s potty training superhero.
Looking for extra support along the way? I’ve got you covered. Check out my website for all the potty training support I offer, including text support. I have even developed a Potty Training Plan specifically for busy parents!
Good luck and may the potty training gods smile upon you!