There are so many different and effective methods of toilet training your child. As time (and months) ticked by, I remember looking at my mother in despair when my child refused to use the toilet. After not listening to her for well over a year something changed…I finally heard what she was saying. She had told me time and time again that this would not go on forever. My child wanted to use the toilet. It is part of every child’s normal development. It will happen when my child is ready. Forcing the issue will only MAKE it an issue. Patience was required and I would be rewarded. And Mom you were right. It took some patience but now we are diaper free. The moment that I stopped pushing, my child started on the journey to Pottyland.
Here is the technique that I found effective.
WORDS: Choose the language that you are going to use with your child. Are you going to say “pee” or “wee wee”? Whatever you choose make sure that you stick to these terms and use them during the entire toilet training process.
WATCH: Children learn by watching. Let your child watch you go to the washroom and talk about it with them while you are on the toilet. It might seem awkward but you are doing your child a wonderful service by teaching them that both Mommy and Daddy use the toilet too.
REWARD: You don’t need to reward with anything more than positive reinforcement. It can go miles. Have a mini celebration every time your child uses the toilet.
If you hit a roadblock, try out some special treats if the child reaches a goal of your choice. My child refused to go #2 on the toilet; he was actually terrified of it. I decided that bribery may work to get him over this developing phobia (I know, I know). One day when we were playing he mentioned a specific toy and talked about longingly. Instead of saying, “Let’s write that down for your Birthday or Santa!” I decided to say the following, “I am going to buy that toy for you. You can play with it every time you poop on the toilet. If you stop pooping on the toilet, I am going to put it away until you poop on the toilet again. What do you think of that?”. My child looked at me and quickly asked me when I was getting the toy…Later that day I escaped to get the toy and my child went poop on the toilet the moment I walked in the front door. We have never looked back.
This strategy might not work for everyone but I sure hope that it does.
Try not to force your child to toilet train. They will get to a stage of development where it is something that they are going to want to do naturally and on their own. Read books and look for DVDs about toilet training. Talk about it with them so that they know that going to the toilet is always an option. Try and peak their interest.
There is no perfect time for toilet training. If you have a specific target that you have to meet, like your daycare won’t accept toddlers in diapers, you will have to work a little harder to make your child fit your schedule. Talk to your daycare about flexibility in their timing. A lot of daycares don’t want to force a child into something that they are not ready for because it only leads to setbacks down the road. Some children are just not ready to train when others are. There is nothing wrong with that and the child should never be made to feel guilty or shamed, and neither should you.
Children crave attention. Attention can come in the form of positive or negative reinforcement. Praise your child for a job well done and the child will seek that praise by repeating the task. If an accident occurs or if there is a setback to diapers, choose not to shame your child. Just go with the flow. By removing a reaction you remove the benefit(or attention) from the action. Give your child a chance to figure this out on their own with your loving guidance, not a heavy hand.