Wednesday, September 06, 2006

When Parents Sabotage their Potty Training Struggles with their Child

By Christina VanGinkel

Anyone who has ever spent any time actively potty training his or her child has been there, when it is just easier to put o a diaper on a toddler. You are running to the store, and are short on time, and the last thing you feel like dealing with is a toddler suddenly having to use the bathroom. Maybe you are taking a long car trip, bathrooms stops are going to be short supply, and so on goes a diaper. You are spending the day at the in-laws, and the last thing you need is for your child to wet themselves, on your mother-in-laws new sofa! The scenarios are various, but the results are all the same. To save ourselves the hassle of finding a bathroom, or stopping numerous times to use one, or having an accident occur in an inopportune place, we simply put a diaper on our child.

When parents talk about potty training amongst themselves, about setbacks, and how well junior was doing, then suddenly they just reverted to square one, you will rarely hear that it had anything to do with parental responsibility, but this is a common reason that kids suddenly revert to using a diaper.

If a parent approaches the need to go to the bathroom as a hassle, it is easy to understand why their child might pick up on that thought process and just decide that being in a diaper is not that bad after all.

The problem is though; there are occasionally valid reasons to avoid putting a child struggling with the process of potty training in a regular pair of underwear, including those mentioned already and numerous other reasons too. Finding balance is the key issue here.

Padded training type underwear, along with newer alternatives such as pull up style diapers, can be used in place of an ordinary diaper during those times that a product somewhere in between underwear and a diaper are required. They can be a big help during the transitory times, as long as they are approached naturally, and with the conference that they are in use to protect clothing and other surroundings from being damaged and not for the convenience of the child or the adult.

How you approach the use of such items is as important as what you dress your child in. If you nonchalantly ignore their request to make it to a bathroom, you cannot find fault with them if an accident occurs. As a matter of principle, if you are helping a child with potty training, you need to make every effort available to get them to a bathroom when nature calls. If you just walked past four restrooms on your trek through the mall, only to arrive out at your vehicle to hear that a bathroom is suddenly needed, then trek back inside to use one. Look on the bright side; at least you know where they are located!

The thing with kids and potty training is that kids do not always have the knowledge ahead of time of the need to go as an adult does. One minute they are thinking about what cartoon they want to watch, what snack they liked and how can they get mom or dad to fork it over again, when suddenly, the need is there, front and center, and not a lot of time in between.

Parents can, and do sabotage their own work when it comes to potty training, and it is work, no doubt about it. Always being at your child's disposal for a lengthy period can be difficult. If you want your child to succeed though, then it may mean sacrifice from the adults in his or her life. If it is at all possible to get your toddler to a bathroom, even if it is somewhat of a hassle, take them. Praise them when they go, praise them for trying. I am a fan of never using negativity when it comes to the process of teaching a child to use a bathroom, as we have all been there at some point in our lives, either as a learner or as a teacher. Keep in mind the big advantage to all of this is the trade off for a successful attempt at potty training, no more diapers!

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