Potty Training Roadblocks: How to Deal with Them
Posted: Feb 06, 2020
It’s certain that you will face roadblocks once you start your potty training journey. Follow these tips to overcome them.
If your child isn’t interested in potty training:
There are a handful of reasons why your child is not interested in potty training right now, and it is crucial that you find out your child's particular reason to help them overcome it.
First, your little one might not be ready yet to start potty training. All kids don’t reach the potty training milestone at the same time. Know that each child is different, and most milestones - especially behavioural traits like potty training occur across a range of age groups. What one child does at 2 years may not happen to another child until 3, and yet both children are "normal".
Boys in particular often potty train slower than girls (though this is not always the case). It is more common for a girl to start potty training at the age of 2 years than for a boy to potty train at the same age. In addition, boys often learn how to pee on the potty months before they consistently decide to poop on the potty. It is not uncommon to see a boy who is 3 and a half years old and still only partly potty trained.
In some children the magical potty training switch in the brain is not yet "on", but this will certainly change over time.
If your child refuses to use the potty:
Toddlers want to be in charge - they want to be independent. They are professionals at being contrary as soon as they sense that you have a strong opinion about something - and for some children potty training is a great opportunity to assert their stubbornness.
If you’re not having much success with potty training, or if it feels like your child defiantly pees or poops everywhere but the potty - the problem may be that your child feels too much pressure.
Toddlers want to be in control of their own bodies. Do you tell your child to go to the potty or do you set an alarm and rush to the toilet? It may feel like you're trying to gain control, and this results in your child digging into his or her heels and pushing back.
So, how do you fix this?
Take a break from potty training for a week or two. Let your kid do whatever he wants to do. Then come back to the potty after a while with more positivity, more fun and bigger rewards.
The most important thing for us parents is not to think of the two-week break as a step backwards. You're just holding on for the moment. During this short break your child forgets the pressure he or she felt and stops digging into his or her heels - making it easier to succeed than if you had continued without a break.
If your child is afraid of the potty:
If your child is nervous about sitting on the potty, it could be because he is scared of the toilet.
That's why it makes sense to start with a small potty. It is child sized and looks quite friendly. The other nice thing about a small potty is that it is your child's own. Identity becomes a big thing when your child is approaching the age of three, so having your own potty is special.
Another way to ease your child's fear of potty training is to make the experience fun. You can entertain your child with books, games or songs while he or she is sitting on the potty.
If all else fails, try dissociating sitting on the potty from the actual pooping or peeing. If your child gets used to sitting on the potty without feeling the pressure, it can reduce his anxiety. Once he feels comfortable, let him sit on the potty within 20 minutes of a meal - the time when the body is often prepared to produce a bowel movement - and you may find success.
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