One of the most important parts of a young child’s life is their potty training, and this is something our educators at Smart Kids Development Center are attentive to during our child care programs for younger children. Kids around preschool age may be just learning the right habits here, and part of all our programs, including after school care, includes furthering this education in healthy ways wherever we can.
Potty training starts with the parents, though, and you set the baseline. Here are a few tips for making potty training effective and simple.
It’s fine for others to be involved tangentially, but in a broad sense, it’s best for the child if a single person is their primary teacher for the entirety of their potty training process. Ideally this is the parent who is most involved in their daily life.
For occasions where others need to help – including educators or child care specialists – make sure you pass on a list of any important items. This could include vocabulary, routines or any special directions specific to your child. But whenever possible, having the primary parent present during potty training is advisable.
Allowing your child to familiarize themselves with the bathroom in advance of potty training can go a long way. Let them be present while you use the bathroom, and maybe let them flush the toilet or bundle up toilet paper. This will let them feel involved and comfortable in the bathroom, so it’s not as new of an experience for them.
Another solid tactic for converting them slowly over to the toilet involves creating incentives to move them away from diapers. Find ways to turn diaper changing into an arduous task for the child, not just yourself – maybe show them how messy the diaper gets, or even dump the contents into a training bowl while explaining that this is where these things go. Converting them to the understanding that the toilet is an easier way to use the bathroom will make the whole process easier.
Always keep things positive – some children will develop at different rates than others here, but they all get it eventually. Give rewards and praise for major areas of progress, and make a big deal out of burdens crossed. Even once they become comfortable on the toilet, praising them for using it voluntarily for the first few weeks is a good idea.
Potty training can be tough for some children, and if they aren’t ready, don’t force it. If you notice emotional distress and consistent stalling on basic themes, it could be a sign that you should put off training for another month or more, and then try a slightly altered approach.
Want more tips on potty training, or interested in any of our child care services? The educators are Smart Kids Development Center are here to help.