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Toilet training your child is a very important step towards his growth. It not only makes him independent, but also instills in him a sense of confidence. But toilet training is also one of the most challenging tasks for a parent, especially if you’re doing it for the first-time.
For parents of any time and age, getting kids to use the toilet and not dirty the diapers (and the floor!) has been a challenge. But the interesting thing is, if you ask your parents, they will tell you it wasn’t all that difficult. You learnt to use the potty eventually. So, is this just the glossing effect of nostalgia or do we really have things more difficult?
Well, according to child development experts, toilet training has indeed become harder for parents in today’s generation.
Here, There are Five Main Reasons for Potty Training Resistance:
1. Diapers have gotten Better and Drier
This sounds a bit counter-intuitive, but the fact that we now have diapers that are gentle on the skin and super-absorbent can actually make things trickier! Modern diapers are so good that our children don’t feel wet and uneasy after urinating or passing stool. And when they don’t feel discomfort, the chances of their wanting to use the toilet instead of the diaper get dim.
2. Many Moms are Finding it Hard to Make the Training Continuous
We have stressed out lifestyles, far more than what our parents experienced. This often means disjointed care for our kids. We spend time away from our children when we go out to work and leave them in the daycare or with a caregiver. If you had started potty training at home, but your child wears a diaper in the daycare, there is no continuity in the training ar all. This lack of consistency makes things more difficult for us and for our kids.
3. There’s Less Advice Pouring in on What Worked for an Older Generation
Yes, it is true: hacks and ‘grandma’ tips really do work at times. You may have been a child resistant to potty training and then the three-day method worked for you. Maybe you needed a little reward or motivation to keep going. We all have our own tricks and tips tailored to us. But today, many families are geographically dislocated. This means that as new mothers, we end up getting less time and opportunities to discuss things with others who have more experience. There’s only so much that the internet can achieve.
4. We are Feeling more Pressured, which is making our Efforts more Strained
Experts also believe that modern parents are likelier to feel guilty or pressured about potty training. If a colleague or a neighbour’s kid has achieved this, we end up pressuring our child too, never mind their differences in age or growth. And, because each child develops at a different pace, this usually fails. The only thing that happens is that our efforts get more strained and our kids also sense the pressure. End result: they don’t learn.
5. Finally, We are Reading the Signs of Readiness Wrong
For your kids to learn to use the potty properly, they need to have the required readiness – both in language and in motor skills. They also need to feel a sense of ownership about their own bodies and start seeing this as something that liberates them from diaper changing, or nudging mom when they feel ‘uneasy’. If we misread these signs, or start imagining they are there when they aren’t, we will choose the timing incorrectly. This is the biggest reason for potty training failures.
Look Out for These Signs to Start Potty Training in Children
Some parents don’t deal with the task of potty training their children till they’re 3 to 4 years old. It is important to remember that you need to watch out for signs to start potty training your child. You too may think that you should start only when your toddler’s bladder control has become more reliable. While there is no set age, there are a number of physical, behavioural and cognitive signs that determine when you should start potty training. Keep a track of the following signs to know when the right time arrives:
- When your child is coordinated enough to walk and even starts to run steadily
- When your toddler starts having regular and well-timed bowel movements
- When he starts to urinate a fair amount at once. This clearly implies that he’s ready to do it on his own
- When he begins to have control of his potty habits, for example, when he’s able to take a 2-hour nap without wetting his pants or waking up to go. It means that his bladder muscles have developed
- He’s able to sit down in one position for a couple of minutes at a time
- He’s able to dress and undress himself somewhat
- He starts giving a physical or verbal sign when he’s having a bowel movement. The sign could be anything such as grunting, squatting or actually informing you that he has to go for potty
- He tries hard to be independent. He even gets a little embarrassed when you take him to the washroom to urinate or defecate
- He stops being resistant to learning how to use the toilet or potty seat
- When your toddler starts to understand the physical signs that mean he has to go to the toilet
- When he can follow simple instructions and actually completes them
- When he knows which object belongs where in the house
- When he knows how to say the words for urine and stool
3 Tips to Make Potty Training Easier and Faster
- Make your child sit on the potty seat for 30 minutes everyday after meals
- Ditch the distractions. Ensure your child is only focused on the task so keep the TV shut and those toys away
- Encourage and Reward. It is important to acknowledge your child’s efforts and encourage them to become better at it. Chocolates as a treat always work!
Potty training is a tricky, but important milestone. It’s not how early you start to potty train your child that matters; it’s starting it at the right time. If you force it upon him too early, he could take longer than usual to learn it and get accustomed to it. On the other hand, if you delay the process for too long he might develop low self-esteem because of embarrassment. Since all kids are different, you don’t need tick off all indications in this potty training readiness checklist. Just look for a general overall trend towards your tot being independent and self-sufficient. That done, you should be able to overcome the challenges and ensure you ace this parenting responsibility very well.