Eventually, every child must be potty trained. Though you may find yourself dreading this next stage in your child’s life, a little bit of preparation can go a long way. By learning about these potty training mistakes to avoid, you can create a more successful experience—both for you and for your child.
• Not following a routine. Young children need consistent routines, especially when it comes to potty training. If you continually change up your potty training strategies—and when you take your child to the potty—then you may confuse your child. This can lead to stress and discouragement for both of you. If you follow a routine, however, the task will be easier on you and your toddler.
• Forgetting to encourage your child to talk about his or her feelings. Potty training sparks emotions in your young one. If your child is having trouble with potty training, it may help him or her to talk about his or her feelings. You can model talking about emotions by saying things like, “It may be frustrating when you can’t go, but you’re doing a good job,” or, “Are you proud of yourself for doing so well at potty training today?” This will encourage your child to say how he or she feels each time he or she goes to the bathroom. You can also ask children how they feel or suggest that they dictate a letter to Pinky Bear based on their experiences.
• Measuring your child’s progress in comparison to other children. One of the biggest potty training mistakes to avoid is making the process a competition. Whether you’re thinking about your older children or your toddler’s friends, it’s easy to make comparisons based on progress—especially if your child is struggling. However, comparing your child to another can cause stress and pressure. Instead, approach potty training like it’s the first time, and try to play to your child’s strengths or weaknesses.
• Starting day and night training at the same time. If you’re new to potty training, then you may believe that parents start day training and night training at the same time. Luckily, you can take that pressure off of your shoulders. Many parents start off day training their child, working their way up to the even more challenging night training.
• Introducing the potty chair too late. The potty chair needs to be something the potty trainee sees well before starting the process. The newness of the chair is sometimes the scary part from a child’s point of view—after all, it is a chair with a hole in it! If it is there for quite some time before potty training, he or she will typically start falling in line with its use. Whether your child chose his or her potty chair, or one was passed down from a sibling, the chair needs to be located in the most accessible bathroom and remain there until the process is complete.
• Forgetting to bring Pinky Bear into the potty training process. Rewarding your child for his or her progress is important. Well, there’s no better reward than a visit from Pinky Bear! Whether that means treats, letters, or a present direct from your imagination, Pinky Bear will bring fun to the potty training process.
As a parent, you may worry about how potty training is affecting your child. However, by keeping an eye out for these potty training mistakes to avoid, you can make the process much more relaxing for your little one. Potty training is difficult, but you’ll form an even deeper bond with your child as you go along.
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