We all know that raising a toddler is no easy task, but let’s be honest: The majority of parents feel at least a little bit of dread and anxiety when it comes time for their little one to say goodbye to diapers. I certainly was not looking forward to it, but after several attempts at this intimidating task; I’m confident that I’ve got the secret down.
The First P: Patience
I’m going to be honest with you. When I first started trying to potty train my son, I didn’t realize that I was lacking one of the most important things that you need to tackle this daunting task: Patience. I didn’t want to deal with having to clean up accidents, or routinely sitting him back on the potty every half an hour to encourage him to use it. Everything about it felt very overwhelming to me, and as a result I had given up on it before I even began. About a week ago, I decided to give it another try. I was determined to get my son potty trained, and to do it right; I didn’t want to feel as if I had failed at it again. It took some trial and error and some frustrating accidents, but when I became patient with him and didn’t let every little slip up frustrate or stress me out; he became patient with me in return. I had to slow down and remember that learning takes time, and that I shouldn’t expect him to understand what he’s supposed to do right off the bat.
The Second P: Persistence
Speaking from experience, I know how easy it is to just quit and walk away when something doesn’t go the way you planned; or it feels like it’s just too much to keep up. I had started trying to potty train my son several times, and each time I came to feel defeated; and I gave up. I decided to wait a bit longer and then try again, I had convinced myself in my mind that he just wasn’t ready for it. It turns out, it was me who was the one that wasn’t ready; not my son. Even when its difficult, I’ve learned that it is crucial to push through it and keep going; even when you feel the urge or need to stop. You need to hang on to it and push through, instead of letting go of your progress and allowing yourself to slide right back to where you started. I found that once I stuck to it and didn’t let myself quit or give up on the task, it became much easier than it had been before. The main key to potty training is persistence, and routine. Just like when we try to learn a new skill, our children learn how to do something much easier with regular experience, and practice. If it isn’t done regularly, they will have a much harder time picking it up; just like we would. Persistence is the key not only to their learning, but to developing their routine.
The Third P: Praise
No matter how old one may be, we can all admit that it often feels better to do something when we receive a positive response. It may feel strange to applaud somebody for doing something that doesn’t seem like a big deal, but when it comes to potty training; it is the best way to get the reinforce the habit. When you make it fun, using the potty becomes less of a chore; and something that your child will instead become much more eager to do! Every child’s learning experience is different and unique in their own way, but everybody likes to know that they did a good job; and to feel good for doing so. Every time my toddler uses his potty, I reward him with a small piece of chocolate; I also cheer excitedly and clap in front of him. I do this every time, and now as a result, he claps and cheers as well every time he uses his potty; he now finds it to be a fun and enjoyable experience.
Potty training can be a strenuous task, but don’t let it dishearten you! Children learn at different stages, in different ways, and at different times. Work together with your child and follow the three p’s, and your little one will be potty trained in no time!
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