Q. My two and a half year old daughter has to be out of diapers by September when she starts preschool. So far she
has shown no interest in being potty trained. Do you have any tips on how I can get her engaged in the process?
A. How to Excite, Engage and Succeed in Potty Training Your Toddler With 100% Success. If I could write that book I would have enough money to end our current economic crisis. Sleeping, eating, tantruming and pooping are the most often asked questions of any early childhood expert. While not everyone agrees, I think pushing a child toward a deadline; school or impending baby sister causes undue stress around a bodily function. While I’m not a therapist or a doctor, that can’t ever be good.
Having said that, there are some steps that can move toddlers in the right direction in a clear yet serendipitous manner. To see Lonna's specific instructions,
1. Remove the changing table, change toddlers standing up in the bathroom. Yes, even those hard to clean messy diapers. This makes changing a function rather than a passive playtime or punishment.
2. Certainly try to read signs that your child needs to eliminate and ask them if they need to go on the potty. I do not get caught up on the potty itself, I think a child insert on the regular toilet is best, with a stool, but if the Pretty Potty that sings “Ta Da” makes you happy, I won’t judge. The important point is that going to the bathroom goes on in the bathroom.
3. Over spending on panties, expecting fashion to push the progress forward as well as bribes can work, however, I think this can cause a level of expectation of rewards for all of life's little necessities. I encourage spending a long weekend with a lot of liquids and no diaper so your child can run to the bathroom as the urge occurs. When, not if, accidents happen, the child helps clean up without drama or upset. After a long weekend of Potty Boot camp, have the child wear underwear and keep close to home for another week.
— Lonna Corder
Parenting expert and Montessori school director, Lonna Corder has been doling out advice for 25 years as a teacher, parent/child consultant and on television. For more information, visit lonnacorder.com.
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