The term ‘potty training’ sparks fear in many a parent’s eyes. And while it can certainly be a headache (and a mess), it can also be an incredible opportunity for your toddler to grow. It can help them gain confidence, and it gives them an essential skill, helping to take one more ‘must do’ off your list.
Stay Focused on Your Child
As tempting as it is to surf the web while waiting for your child to go or post status updates on your Instagram feed, try to keep your focus on your kid. You want to be able to reinforce their positive behavior with praise immediately.
Don’t Ask Your Child if They ‘Need’ to Potty
Asking your child if they need to potty gives them the opportunity to say no. This can turn into an instant power struggle. Instead, frame the act as a statement such as:
- Let’s go potty.
- It’s time to potty now.
- We’re going to potty before we leave.
If you really want to give your child a choice in the matter, ask them something like, “Should I go first?” Or, “Do you want to use the big potty or small potty?”
These questions help reinforce that your child is going to go.
Limit Sugar as a Reward
While sugar can be a very tempting thing for a child, it can also be detrimental to their health in the long run. Help your child develop a healthy association with sweets, by limiting how often they are used as a reward.
An alternative to sugar can be stickers. Create a calendar board where your child can mark when they’ve used the posy with fun stickers. Not only are stickers something nearly all kids like, but being able to track their success helps them have a sense of pride and ownership over their accomplishments.