This past weekend, we began our adventure in to the psychology of potty training. Don’t use food to reward, do use reward charts, sing to your child while on the toilet to prevent “stage fright”, expect accidents, boys take longer to potty train than girls, only children learn later than subsequent children – and the list goes on and on. Here are my top 3 lessons during this beginner stage of training:
Lesson #1, we do what works best for D and her current interest and development level. We use both M&Ms (1 for #1 and 2 for #2) and sticker charts as rewards. One is a simple way to give instant gratification, while the other shows her progression so she can take pride in what she’s accomplished.
Lesson #2, we gather up all the patience we can muster to allow her the time she needs. Right now it’s a novelty and a big production getting “prepared” for the toilet, using the toilet and finishing up business. Yep, we sing too. I see this stage as gearing up for the accident stage when a new batch of patience will be required.
Lesson #3, we don’t compare. We have used this rule in our house since her birth. However, I will admit that the rules in school/daycare settings sometimes make this practice more difficult since children have to reach certain milestones at certain ages before they can move up. While I still follow the rule of not comparing, I do have a responsibility of keeping her challenged and engaged whether she’s at home or at school, and mastering these milestones helps with that.
We’re making progress and learning new skills, and I’m one proud mama.
What is/was your top lesson during the potty training stage?