Potty Training FAQ, Uncategorized

FAQ Friday: Sitting on the Potty

Has the newness worn off? Not so fun to just sit anymore? Maybe it never was fun for your kid to sit.

Sitting is hard for toddlers. Releasing pee and poop is hard for toddlers. To sit and release…hard.

But there is also nothing more frustrating than to wait with your child and then have an accident on the floor ten minutes later. That is not a set up for a top ten parent moment. We need them to sit and finish.

Now, I hate to say it’s time to “trick” your toddler. But maybe it’s time to manipulate fool be creative. Here are some things that could help.

  1. Do something fun at the end. My kid loved his “potty song,” complete with my dance. I’m telling you, I think he would squeeze something out just to get the dance. As the book says, we don’t want to bribe our kids but celebrating–yes! Celebrate! I clapped and twirled in a circle and sang about pee and poop. Important note: wait until you flush to do this. Do not scare your child with the dance at the moment of release. I did this once as a teacher (sorry kid!) and have since learned to give a silent little clap or a knowing smile and celebrate at the end of the potty routine, with the flush (which, coincidentally can help a kid afraid of the flush…if it’s part of the fun, it might be ok).
  2. Read a book. Seriously, do this. It doesn’t have to be a potty book. I knew a kid majorly into Silly Sally. Her parents read that book so many times on the bathroom floor of their home that once, in public, the mom recited it from memory in a restaurant restroom when the kid was scared to sit on the potty. It worked. She sat and pooped. So…pick a good book and sit for a while.
  3. You go too. There is no real privacy with toddlers, am I right? Pull up their little chair next to your big porcelain throne. You each get a book. You sit. You go. Turn on the water to a drip. You know how it makes you have to use the restroom when your friends go? Toddlers? Same.
  4. Sit where you are. Are you building with legos? Pull that potty up the the LEGO table. Drawing? Rig up a lap table. Playing outside? You can hold that fun stick on the little potty!If your child has trouble sitting, make sure you have a little potty nearby. Don’t throw out the little potty because “he can make it to the big potty.” The little potty is your friend. If your child is having trouble sitting, make it convenient for him rather than convenient for you. (PS: There are some don’ts with this one. Don’t watch tv. You want your child to pay attention to what they’re doing and you want your child to know tv can be stopped and returned to. Think of the end goal–leaving the room at tv time to run to the potty. Also, don’t eat on the potty. Just, nope.)
  5. Count. I’d do this with a kiddo who’s been potty trained a while bit is still having trouble “finishing,” for example, a boy who likes to stand and get it over with but has an accident soon after visiting the potty (read: he didn’t finish). Say, “let’s take a breath and count to ten to be sure it’s allllll gone.” And make it fun! Count in a funny voice. Speed it up or slow it down. Count by halves. You know when they’re done by now.

There are so many fun, creative ways to entertain a toddler–send me your best way!

Potty Training FAQ, Uncategorized

FAQ Friday: Why?

When I first told my family and friends that I felt a pull to be a potty training consultant, many of their responses could be summed up in to-be-nameless-friend who looked at me with some confusion and said, “Wow, I didn’t even know that was a thing.”

Others felt like reminding me of the same message as this comic from Foul Language:

Why would anyone want to think about (step in, Clorox wipe, etc) pee and poop all the time?

Here’s why: independence. Way back, when I was a baby special ed teacher writing my “why” for that stage of my life, I wrote about the importance of self-advocacy and how my goal, as a teacher working with young students, was to help students move toward independence one small self-initiated task at a time.

We all want our children to be strong and self-reliant. To make good choices and be independent adults. Does it seem like a stretch to say those first steps start with potty training?

I believe in small children. They are deep, they are resilient, they are present, and they understand. I love talking to them, setting up activities and experiences for them, and listening intently to their communications. Learning to use the potty is the first step toward that great big dance of independence and I love to share in that success.

My first child began his potty training journey at 19 months and no one was more surprised than I was to be starting at that age. But I could see that he could do it, that he wanted to do it. So I read Jamie Glowacki’s book Oh Crap Potty Training and was inspired by her method and her understanding of small children. (I was also inspired by the thought of cutting out my cloth diaper laundry every third day.) Jamie says this: “We both know how smart your child is. Doesn’t he deserve the dignity of not crapping in a diaper and still worse, sitting in it? … I hear parents talk about giving their child self-esteem. Self-esteem comes from mastering a task, from gaining dignity and self-respect. Potty training is a way you can give this to your child.” (Oh Crap Potty Training, page 7)

She’s right. If our kids can, we must respect and honor them. There isn’t an “if.” They can. And you can.

Why potty training consultant? To get to celebrate the beginning of this wonderful journey towards independence, with you. Welcome to my blog!