Why Potty Training is Way More Fun than It Appears
Get excited… it’s time to use the potty! Make it a great experience with these potty training tips.
The potty: it’s a wedge issue.
Catch any toddler on their way out of the bathroom. Look at the pride in a job well done. Using the potty is the most exciting thing in the world because I DID IT ALL BY MYSELF!!!
But parents are… decidedly less enthusiastic. Just check out these comments:
Okay, so for most of us it isn’t that bad. But there’s no reason potty training has to be a wedge issue anymore.
With the right approach, you can start potty training off right — making it a fun and enjoyable experience for you and your child. And it all starts with knowing when to start.
Know when the time is right
When should your child start potty training? There’s no one right time. Some children are ready as early as eighteen months. Others will be ready at two, and some may not start until they’re three.
Every child needs to start at the right time for them.
You’ll want to look at the child’s physical, developmental, and behavioral milestones for guidance as you decide when it’s right for your child to start. The Mayo Clinic recommends that you wait to start potty training until your child can…
- walk to the toilet and sit on it
- pull his or her pants down and back up
- stay dry for up to two hours at a time
- follow basic directions
- let you know that he or she needs to go
- show interest in using the toilet
And this last one is especially important. Nobody likes to be rushed or pressured when they’re on the toilet (even as adults!) — so don’t force the issue. Once your child is motivated, you’ll know it’s the right time to begin.
Potty training has inspired some real classics of children’s literature. Once your child starts to show interest in using the potty, you can nurture that interest by reading about it together.
It’s a great way to bond with your child, create positive memories, and lay the groundwork for a shared, lifelong love of reading.
A couple of classics you’ll want to check out are:
- Everyone Poops: Now in print for 25 years, this simple story tells you all about the different ways living things poop. If your child is showing some resistance to using the potty, it’s the perfect choice, making pooping seem light and fun.
- Potty: Potty beautifully and simply captures the joy in doing it all by myself. Your child will love the bold, colorful illustrations and the narrative that perfectly captures the child’s inner monologue. And you’ll love the subtle humor. It’s a delightful way to get your child excited about the potty.
(We’ve also put together a full list of our favorite potty training books – check it out if you want more suggestions.)
Embrace the process
Most of us are familiar with the tried-and-true potty training advice. Keep the potty chair close by. Set regular potty breaks. And when you notice signals like squirming, get your kid to the potty, stat.
You can do all those things… and still, there will be accidents. Maybe you’ll be watching a movie and your child will pee on the couch. Or perhaps you’ll be finger painting and she’ll poop right on the living room carpet.
Take a deep breath. Smile. Enjoy it. (Yes, even if it’s the fifth time today!)
Believe it or not, accidents during potty training are a good thing. Nobody learns anything without making some mistakes now and then. Learning to use the potty will be one of the biggest accomplishments of their young life, up until now — and the occasional accident is just part of that process.
Staying positive after an accident teaches your child a deeper lesson — that they can learn from their mistakes and do it better next time. You’re laying the foundations of a growth mindset, which research has shown to play a huge role in successful life outcomes.
Who knew it could all start on the potty?
Celebrate small wins
Along with those accidents, there will be plenty of small wins — maybe even more than you realize. And a great way to bond with your child and build a positive relationship is to celebrate those wins whenever you see them.
Maybe she missed the potty twice this morning, but she got there on the third try.
Maybe she almost managed to get to the potty in time, even though she had just a few drops of pee in her pants.
Maybe she finally noticed when she was feeling squirmy, and said “I have to go!”
Whenever these little wins happen, show how excited you are! Remember — doing this right is the biggest deal in the world for your child. So celebrate it right along with them!
Conclusion: See it through their eyes
See it through their eyes. This is their biggest step yet toward being independent and doing things for themselves. It’s exciting. And getting it right is a huge thrill.
That’s why they need you to be their coach and their cheerleader… helping them move past the little accidents and showing them how to do it better next time.
Working together as a team with your toddler, potty training can be a breeze. Try these potty training tips and see how it goes!
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