Toilet Training; A Parents Worst Nightmare, Part 1

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BY SIMONE SMITH

This week, we will be continuing with our series on Persuasive Development Disorders; we are going to target a subject that is aimed at helping out families that have children with Autism, as well as families with children without Autism. Toilet training can be one of the most challenging stages of a child’s development. This frustration can stem from the parents inability to understand what stage of development their child is at, along with the frustration of a child who is unable to grasp this concept of not going in their diaper. I always want the readers to understand that in the majority of our interactions, there are two sides to a story. Hopefully this week we will be able to clear up some of the myths related to toilet training and start tackling ways in which to assist parents and children through this difficult transition. All change is difficult and change has the ability to affect people surrounding the person who is going through that change.

I am not a parent as of yet, but I work with many mothers, and have friends who have shared their horrifying toilet training experiences. Many mothers enjoy sharing their children’s milestones with other mothers; their children’s first smile, their first words and their first steps. One milestone that is seen as the most momentous in a child and parent’s life is when a child is finally potty trained. 3daypottytraining.com (2006) stated that the average child will go through 3,796 diapers before being potty trained. That is a lot of diapers. Parents love their children, but no one loves changing a two or three year olds poopy diaper. Let us tackle some of the myths about toilet training which might be holding you back as a parent, and making toilet training difficult for your child. 3daypottytraining.com (2006) posted the top five toilet training myths.

Myth Number 1: Boys are harder to train than girls

This is one of the oldest myths that need to be clarified. This is simply not true; the only reason that is may seem harder is because parents fall into this myth and make toilet training harder for boys than for girls. Both sexes should be treated the same when dealing with toilet training; this will make life easier.

Myth Number 2: My child will tell me when he is ready.

This has some truth to it, but not the way many parents may think. Your child is not going to come up to you and let you know that they are ready to go to the potty. Parents have to be aware and watch for signals of readiness from their child. I will go over this in the next part of this mini-series.

Myth Number 3: Making your child sit on the potty will train him

How frustrating is this for parents? Some parents still believe that this will work. What many parents do not know is that doing this actually causes fear of the potty and getting your child to go to the potty will become a fight. Effectively getting your child to sit on the potty will also be discussed in this series.

Myth Number 4: Daycare will potty train your child

Saying this is like saying that school will teach your child everything that they need to know about life. I hope I do not sound harsh saying this, but this can be viewed as a diffusion of responsibility. Unfortunately parents, this is not something that you can pass on for others to do. Actually, many daycares turn away parents whose children have not been toilet trained. How frustrating must this be for working parents? Don’t you worry; I promise to assist you with this in the next month or so.

Myth Number 5: Pull-up style training pants will help with training

Fail! Sorry! You wish it would be that simple. Pull –ups are training diapers, with a different design and a higher price point. Don’t be fooled; they can be helpful because they are easier to pull down when trying to toilet train, but many parents will tell you, their children just end up going to the bathroom right in their pull-ups.

So, this does seem like a losing battle, especially for first time parents. I want you to know that there is a plan to tackle the issue of toilet training by learning and using new strategies. The objective in the next month and a half is to: identify toileting readiness, apply common strategies for readiness, apply strategies for intervention and apply data collection strategies. It is a great time to start doing this; it is the holiday season and although we might be busy with the hustle and bustle of Christmas, we can also take some time to focus on our children and prepare them for a successful toilet training experience. I will catch up with everyone soon. Let the toilet training begin!

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