Potty Training-A Simple 4 Step Formula for Initiating Toilet Training by: Elena Neitlich
Potty Training-A Simple 4 Step Formula for Initiating Toilet Training.
“I’m so done with diapers!” groans a mother as she looks at the high price tag on the jumbo pack of diapers. “Is it time for my child to start potty training?”
Potty training is a big milestone for children. But how do parents know when to start? Intuition, expectations, common sense and observation play key roles in initiating potty training.
Step #1-Create a Parent/Child Team
Potty training is a combined effort between parent and child. Some parents may assume that they are in charge, while other parents place the child at the helm. In actuality, potty training is a partnership. Parents provide support, potty training tools, books, and dry clothing; children do the “going.”
Grasping the concept that potty training is a team effort between parent and child, and not a command and control situation, is critical to success. Strict, impatient pursuit of the goal puts undo pressure on the child, resulting in stress, anxiety and in some cases delayed potty training.
Step#2-Starting early doesn’t ensure quick results
In depth research on intensive potty training has proven that initiating the process early is in fact correlated to extended duration of potty training. Those parents who start training prematurely find that the potty training process lasts longer.
Children must develop bladder and muscle control before they are able to control toileting. Parents may adhere to this rough timeline of readiness: 15-18 months the child senses that his or her clothes are wet; 18 months the child may urinate on the potty if placed on it; 2- 2 1/2 years the child might alert the parent that he has to go; and 3-4 years the child may have the ability to “hold it” and visit the bathroom alone.
Step#3-Determine readiness by child’s development
When deciding to begin the potty training process, chronological age may not be the correct indicator for readiness. The parent should look for signs that the child is developmentally ready. This is especially true for babies who were born prematurely and children who are developmentally delayed.
Some good signs of readiness are: child can sit and walk well, child can stay dry for 2 hours or more, child is interested in doing what big kids or grownups do, child is able to follow and execute simple instructions, and child seems to understand what the potty is for and uses words relating to using the toilet.
Parents should assess the temperament of the child. Important questions to ask are: is the child able to focus, what is her attention span, does the child frustrate easily, is the child easily angered or discouraged.
For most children potty training occurs between 2 and 3 years, with the majority of children potty trained by 4.
Step#4-Go on now, go!
Today is the day! Parents should make sure that the child is in good health, and that the household is calm with no impending turmoil such as a move coming up, a new baby being brought home, or a parent going away on a trip.
Dress the child in easy to remove clothing like sweat pants with an elastic waist. Snaps, buttons and zippers are difficult for little hands and time consuming to manipulate when the urge arises. To reduce the pressure on the child, allow him to stay in diapers during the early days of potty training. Gradually transition him into underwear for short amounts of time as his dry times become more and more extended.
After a meal, nap, or when coming in from outdoors are good times to encourage the child to hop on the potty. Parents should be on the look out for indicators of when the child may have the urge to go.
Accompany the child to the potty and stay with him. The visit to the bathroom should be short and sweet; five minutes is plenty of time. Offer reading material, or use a fun potty training tool or toy to make the five minutes engaging. Important: if the child wants to get off of the potty before five minutes, don’t force him to stay.
Praise, praise, praise! Little milestones deserve lots of hugs and kisses. It is really something for a little tyke to hop on the potty by herself, pull up her own pants, or make it into the bathroom (even if only to be a little late.) Be kind, patient, sensitive and proud. Don’t scold the child for having accidents, ever.Whining And Dining by: Lynn Powers
Have you ever gone to a restaurant to relax after a hard day’s work only to have a child at the next table screaming, crying, or throwing temper tantrums throughout your entire meal?
It’s not easy, if not impossible, to enjoy yourself, let alone carry on a nice conversation with whomever you’re dining with while listening to a screaming child. Although we can sympathize with the parents, who are usually red-faced and greatly embarrassed by their child’s behavior, frankly, it’s distracting and annoying.
I will confess I’ve been that embarrassed parent. I am ashamed to say our family’s presence has annoyed our share of fellow diners. When my kids were younger, there were more than a few times when they threw fits in the middle of a dining-out experience. Almost enough to boycott dining out until they were in their teens. Or, at least limit eating out to fast food restaurants where whining children are the norm, rather than the exception.
If you’re daring enough to admit you’ve been there, if your child has screamed, cried or temper tantrumed and annoyed his or her way through dinner, read on. Here are some tips for making your dining out experience more peaceful for everyone.
1. Choose the restaurant wisely. There is truly no need to eliminate sit down restaurants from your life for the next ten years (fine dining, maybe). If a restaurant provides high chairs, it means that children are welcome (or at least tolerated!) If you’re concerned about distracting other diners, ask for a table in the corner or in an area that’s noisier to begin with, such as near the kitchen.
2. Timing is Everything. Avoid scheduling your lunch or dinner during rush hour, when the restaurant will be more crowded. The least busy time to dine out is typically between two and five PM. Timing your child’s mood is also a must. Taking a child out to eat when he’s tired almost guarantees a dinnertime meltdown. Right after naptime is usually best.
3. Be Prepared. I am convinced that dining out with children is one of the main reasons companies design huge purses. Throw a few extra things in your bag before leaving for the restaurant. Things like snacks and other food options in case your child decides she doesn’t like anything on the menu. Small toys or books that can occupy her while she waits for her food. Many restaurants provide these things for times such as this. Ask your hostess or waitress. She’ll probably be glad you did.
4. Don’t Lose your Cool. As embarrassed as you may be if your child throws a fit in the middle of a busy restaurant, and no matter how many angry looks you get from fellow diners, take it in stride. Yelling at your child or getting frustrated only makes everyone feel worse. Walk out with your child for a few moments to see if he’ll calm down. If not, you may need to leave the restaurant altogether. Apologize to your waitress, ask for carryout containers and hightail it out of there.One last thought: don’t give up hope! Just because you had an unpleasant dining experience this time doesn’t mean it won’t be smooth sailing next week. Try, try again. Pray for God to give you patience with your child. And pray for other diners to extend you a little grace as you master the dining out experience with your child.