This tip and other excellent toilet teaching advice.
When it comes to potty training, the bottom line (no pun intended) is that the process is full of triumphs and challenges. For every successful flush, you can expect an accident or two. And with so many tips, techniques, and promises (“Diaper free in less than a day!”), it can be a struggle for Mom and Dad to navigate the toilet teaching terrain. Which is why I recently interviewed Beth Grosshans, Ph.D., child psychologist and the author of Beyond Time-Out: From Chaos to Calm
, to see what she believes are the most important steps on the way to reaching this child development milestone. She offered the following helpful advice:
Children are generally ready for potty training between the ages of two to three-and-a-half
. When your child turns two, pick up a few books that talk about bodily functions in a matter-of-fact way, like Everyone Poops
by Taro Gomi. Keep your expectations in check, however; actually using the potty still might be a ways off.
Success depends much less on which method you choose than the attitude you adopt. The more relaxed you can be, the more you’ll help your child learn. Teach the basics by talking, reading books, setting out a potty, even modeling how it’s done. But it’s your child’s job — and hers alone — to learn how.
Look for these signs of readiness: can stay dry for two hours, shows a willingness to cooperate, can follow simple instructions, has regularity of bowel function, can pull pants down independently.
Don’t be intimidated by peer pressure! Your child needs his own internal motivation for toileting to really work. “Believe, me,” says Dr. Gosshans. “Your neighbor’s child’s success will have zero consequence on your son’s or daughter’s progress.”
For more salient potty tips, check out my interview with Dr. Grosshans below: