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Thursday, May 8, 2008

Handling Potty Training Accidents

This article is originally posted at http://family-parenting.savvy-cafe.com/getting-through-potty-training-accidents-2008-05-08/


If you have been working with your toddler on potty training, the subject of potty training accidents is probably a big one in both of your lives! Having accidents in potty training can be discouraging to both child and parent and may make the stretch from diapers seem wider than it really is. It’s especially difficult as adults attempting to understand the needs of a child who may be struggling to find its first words!

Why They Happen

You may have little memory of being two or three years old. But keep in mind that at this age, a simple trip to the barber may be a completely new experience! You may feel that you have lost progress when a child suddenly has an accident, but occasional potty training accidents are all part of the process. It may have nothing to do with the success of your technique, but may be the child’s reaction to a relatively minor change, like a trip to a relative’s house or a birthday party.

The Do’s And Don’ts

When these accidents happen, there are few things to keep in mind. As with many other challenges in child rearing, a positive attitude is the best weapon against potty training accidents. Try to remove the emphasis from the potty training accident itself and place it on making more progress and remembering successes. Positive feedback that a child can process effectively is a much more important tool than making negative statements. Celebrating another dry night and asking which sticker do they want as a reward is much easier to process than reminding them that they keep on wetting themselves.

Keep Them Involved

There are so many products available now tailored to your needs. But remember your needs come after the child’s! When shopping for products in your quest to deal with potty training accidents, keep your child involved in the decision making process. Do they want pull-ups at night, when potty training can be trickier? Which character do they want? Simply knowing that they’re wearing their favorite character may help them keep potty training front and center in their minds.

Regressing

If potty training accidents suddenly start happening with frequency, look to external factors to try and diagnose the situation. The child may be experiencing a health issue like a urinary tract infection or constipation that they may be unable to verbalize. Keep the lines of communication open by asking your child calmly and non-judgmentally about what’s going on. They may be putting off going to the toilet because they do not know how to deal with an unfamiliar condition.

Another common reason for regression is the arrival of a sibling. Many couples these days choose to space their kids by about two years. Of course, two is primo potty training time, and you may see a surge in potty training accidents upon the arrival of a newcomer who is suddenly absorbing all parental attention. Respond to this situation with understanding. Remain firm about your shared goals for potty training, but take time to discuss what’s going on and give them a chance to talk about their thoughts.


Post by Suzanne Riffel, author of "The Potty Boot Camp: Basic Training for Toddlers" - a new, fast, easy toilet training method that produces remarkable results.

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