Sigmund Freud, a prominent figure in psychology, gave heavy emphasis on effective and positive potty training and how it can shape our personality. In a nutshell, he says that when parents become too lenient in training a child, he or she grows up messy and disorganized. On the other hand, if parents are too strict during potty training, the child grows up to become obsessed with order and cleanliness. He says that there needs to be a balance between being tolerant and being strict when potty training.
Whether Freud was right about his theory, we can definitely say that potty training is an important milestone for any toddler. Below are some positive potty training strategies for a less stressful experience.
Kids need to be emotionally and physically ready before potty training. Most usually start when the child is 2 to 2.5 years old. However, kids develop in different rates, and you should never rush your toddler. A sure sign that your child is ready is when they have some control over their bowel movements. Some signs are when they relieve themselves at the same time every day, not having to go at night, and a dry diaper for at least 2 hours at a time or after a long nap. They also must master basic motor skills such as walking, talking, climbing, and removing clothing on their own before you start.
Kids learn fastest when they have someone to copy. You can begin by talking to them about what you do inside the bathroom, what the toilet is and how it works, and how to clean up after you use it. Boys will learn a lot by watching dad or other boys the toilet. Girls will need a little assistance, but they’ll learn. Older siblings and cousins can also help. Have them show your toddler how they use the bathroom and the little one will surely pick up a thing or two from the older kids.
Positive potty training revolves around a schedule. Keep track of when they should be sitting on their potty. For the first few days, take your child to the potty after they wake up. Set the schedule for every 20–30 minutes, making sure they sit on the potty. After a day or two, extend the schedule to every 40–60 minutes. They don’t have to relieve themselves every time they sit on the potty. Simply sitting on it helps strengthen muscle memory and they’ll remember where to go when they need to go.
Give a little prize to your toddler every time they use the potty correctly as positive reinforcement. This lets the child relate using the potty as something rewarding and strengthens the behavior. It can be a small piece of candy or a treat. You can even give them praises, telling them that they’re a good little boy or girl and that they did the right thing. Remember, only reinforce the right behavior so they don’t become confused and never punish your child for accidents. They’re still getting used to using the potty, so be patient with them.
Aha! Parenting. 2017. “Easy Potty Learning for Toddlers.” Accessed on June 30, 2017.http://www.ahaparenting.com/Ages-stages/toddlers/easy-toilet-potty-training.
Child Development Info. 2016. “Productive and Positive Potty Training.” Accessed on June 30, 2017.https://childdevelopmentinfo.com/development/productive-and-positive-potty-training/#.WVUg-YSGPcc.