Summer is the perfect time for toilet training. Warm weather makes time spent without underwear a bit more pleasant—and let’s face it, pee on the lawn is better than on the floor.
Here are some points to consider:
- Are you ready? Don’t plan to do this during the family reunion or during a busy work time. You need to be available to your child for 3–7 days. Put down the personal device or captivating novel; cut out the trips to the park and the store and just hang out with your child, watching for signs that she needs to go. The average age to start training is between 20 and 30 months.
- You can’t make your child void. You can control how you present the expectations, and how you respond with respect (not REACT) when accidents happen—because they will. This is not the time to get highly emotional (positive or negative). When kids see that voiding has emotional power, you are inviting another power struggle which you do not need.
- Be consistent. If you are saying, ‘I believe you can use the potty now,’ but you are putting a pull-up on when you make a quick run to the grocery store, your actions are screaming, ‘I DON’T THINK YOU CAN DO THIS, JUST PEE IN THE PULL-UP!’
- Let your child run around naked (from the waist down at least) and have lots of fun drinks available. This is how he will learn the feelings associated with voiding and will also learn to ‘catch it in the act.’ There won’t be long to get to a potty so have a few close by.
- Night training and day training are completely unrelated so diapers at night and nap time are normal. Deep sleep can keep a child from awareness of the need to void—if your little one is disappointed about a night-time diaper, remind him that his body is doing what it should be doing, getting lots of sleep to keep him healthy. His body will figure it out with time.
Julie Freedman Smith and Gail Bell provide tools for real life parenting through their company, Parenting Power™. Using over 40 years of combined experience, they work with parents across the country through telephone coaching and teleconferences to ease the stress and guilt of parents while providing practical solutions to everyday parenting challenges. Visit www.parentingpower.ca
to ask your own parenting questions, and learn how to receive 20% off all services as a Parenting Power Member!