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Potty Training the Ruthless Toddler

Updated on May 6, 2014

The first days.

The first days are always the worst really. I mean after wearing this thing all your life that made sure that you didn't have to take care of all the things that made a mess, suddenly you have to be aware of everything that is happening. I'm pretty sure that's what the kids are thinking anyway. They are probably very confused about everything that is actually happening, as much as we as parents are about how they just don't seem to understand that the need of a toilet.

I think it's probably the first thing we as parents need to understand when we start to potty train our little ones, they don't understand what is going on any more than we know what to do to make them understand.

Help Available

The internet is filled with different guides that will help you along this journey with your child. Some are helpful, and some are there to cause fear in the parent so that they are so scared to do what feels natural that they really aren't sure where to start.

At the end of the day, the best thing that will work will be figured out by you and your child. There are tips and tricks for sure. Some of them include (and these definitely do offer wonderful incentive):

  • Stickers for every successful potty attempt
  • A potty jar filled with toys are treats for every successful potty attempt
  • A weekly or daily incentive for days or weeks with few accidents.
  • Long singing sessions while on the potty (okay this one sounds strange, but very much worked for my toddler.)
  • Pretty much anything that your child will view as something positive.

At the end of the day you want to make sure whatever you use is a positive reinforcement that works both for you and your little one. It's best to stay away from food as a reward, but if that's what works, then so be it.

Learn To Communicate

I think at this point in your relationship with your toddler, you'll have figured out a good way to communicate with your child. One that helps the two of you understand each other. This is very important, because if the potty training stage happens to hit after a certain age, like say, the terrible two's, communication goes right out the window.

It's pretty cliché to talk about how difficult two year old's can be, but I am here to tell you that it really doesn't get better for a while. This can hinder the potty training phase if you let it. If you find that you're getting too frustrated with your child they will pick up on this and use ti against you. I am pretty sure that some of the best arguments I have had with my little monkey are the ones that come from her doing everything she can to make sure that I have chased her around the house to get her to do what she needs to do, her laughing the entire time, only to scream as much as she can once she's caught.

If you search the net you'll be able to find a lot of helpful pages that will guide you in communication with your toddler. I just can't stress enough how important communication is when you are potty training. Don't over look this step.


Potty Training Rewards

What Have You Used As A Reward

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Positive Is Best

One thing that every advice seems to take into account is the fact that potty training needs to be done on a positive reward system. You want to make sure that your child is not going to be afraid of the toilet, or think of it in a negative way. The one thing that will make that happen is if they associate the toilet with any form of punishment. Even if the punishment comes from not using it. All they will know is "This some how leads to me being in trouble". It's pretty much the opposite of what we want to happen.

We want to make sure that our kids look at the toilet as something that can be fun, or that leads to something positive during their day. At the end of the day if they have five toy cars, then the hope is tomorrow they will want six.

I know from personal experience, the stickers worked the best. She would go through the day doing pretty much everything she could possible do to get stickers. Sometimes that meant we were in the bathroom every twenty minutes. It made for a long day, but I understood that she at least knew that the bathroom was a good place.

In the end

At the end of the day please remember you are not alone! Everyone learns to do their business in the potty eventually. There is no set date and time for when this needs to happen. There is only a set of expectations put upon us by society. Your child will be potty trained when they need to be.

We have done this before. We have all done this before. Work with your child instead of against them and the two of you will make it through everything in one piece.

Well, hopefully anyway.


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