Friday, December 8, 2023

Not on the Seat!

April 1, 2021 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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( It is one of the most essential functions that you must master. Your parents spend countless hours worrying about it and when you finally get the hang of it their lives are made just a tad easier. No, it’s not driving, far simpler. It is a task that when you first see it seems so daunting and scary. To some it seems like the only thing you can control so you manipulate it. I’m talking about… potty training. The two words that parents are excited to hear but drains them of their excitement once the task gets started.

When a child begins to potty train, parents rejoice just a little bit. I did, prematurely, because this small step represents a little more independence that my tiny tyke has. It also marks the beginning of him being less my baby and more my big boy. For him, as I stated, it’s more control over himself and things around him. He can choose whether to use his potty or not to. No one thinks of that as independence but to a child, it is everything.

potty training - 2021

Children learn by mimicking what they see and generally they want to do everything the grown-ups do. They often see us go into a little room, hear running water, a loud flush, and the door open. When we give them the opportunity, they examine the toilet with curiosity and wonder until you flush and the sound sends them running for the hills. Don’t fret, Mama, baby will get out of that fear before you know it and you have to keep the bathroom door closed because he’ll be playing in the toilet.

Getting your little human ready for the potty should not be a stressful task but a joyous one. Working in concert with the child always seems to work best instead of imposing your will on the child to use the bathroom. The little one tends to rebel and fast if this task feels forced or rushed.

The first thing I have learned during this process is that patience is key. 50 Cent once said, “Whoever said progress was a slow process, wasn’t talking about me,” in this case, it just might be. Rome was not built in a day and your child will not be wearing underwear in three days as some online books suggest. It is important to remember to go at your child’s pace and this is about them not you. In their time not yours because they must be comfortable to do the act and feel confident in it. Rewards and incentives actually help the child and encourage them to go. They slowly begin to make the connection of, “If I do this action, it makes mommy happy and I get a cookie out of it.” Win-win for everybody! One less poopy diaper for my Mama and baby gets a cookie plus a dry pull-up. Another suggestion is using their favorite cartoon character to promote potty activity. For mine, it is “Paw Patrol Potty Patrol” Read Along book. My son is building quite a Paw Patrol collection so why not add potty training essentials to the list. It helps him be comfortable because he sees something he loves and can bridge the connection between him and his potty. Though it may seem like a mountain at first, you have to be consistent. Even when it’s 3 a.m. and your little one has to go relieve themselves. Don’t give in to the temptation of putting on a diaper and dealing with it in the morning (for transparency, I’m guilty of this). Being inconsistent confuses your toddler allot what they’re really doing even if they have somewhat grasped the concept of using the potty.

However, the ultimate indicator and best way to know when to potty is your child. My son told us that he was ready by always taking off his diaper. It was jarring the first time he did it, but it let me know that he was ready to move on after months of sitting on the potty. Children will give you signs that they understand how to use the potty or they are at least ready to begin the arduous yet thrilling journey of going to the bathroom on their own. Just be patient, Mama.

Staff Writer; Jessieca Carr

One may connect with this sister online over at Instagramsusiecarmichael1920 and Twitternoladarling1920.

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