Avoid potty training power struggles

September 19, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Getting your child potty trained can be a challenge. But there are ways you can avoid power struggles and help them learn to be more independent. Parenting consultant Lonna Corder shares her advice.

Potty training tips:
There was a time when educators wanted to believe there is no difference between boys and girls. After research and common sense it is undeniable that boys and girls are very different. These diffences should be embraced as parents exspectations should be adjusted considering gender.

Potty training is an excellent example. Typically around a child's second birthday everyone tires of diapers. The introduction to the potty should start as soon as a child is a solid upright walker.

Changing should no longer occur in the child's bedroom on a changing table but rather in the bathroom next to the toilet.

Children should take an active role in the activity, pulling off and throwing away wet diapers. Flush solids down the toilet on their own.

Even "solid filled" diapers can be changed standing up. The point is to make the connection between this experience and the toilet. Once the changing experience becomes a non passive but practical function, most children will show interest in independence. Most girl children, that is.

This is where the difference starts. Girls tend to be self aware, take personal comfort, like a wet diaper, into consideration and desire to make themselves comfortable. Learning physical cues, full bladder etc become important, even a mission. Girls typically have interest and success in using the potty earlier than boys.

Boys are typically active and simply do not seem to want the bother of slowing down, reading their physical cues, going into a bathroom, pulling their pants down... It's all so much work when the discomfort of a wet diaper is outweighed by the dump truck in the sandbox.

Do change children standing up by the toilet. The more matter of fact about the process the better.

Don't create a power struggle if your child has no interest in moving into underwear before 2 1/2. Do not push the issue.

Do offer atractive underwear options. Fashion works as an incentive for both boys and girls. Take them shopping and let them choose.

Don't call a wet pair of pants an accident. This is too powerful. Implies it could have been avoided. Boys especially need more time. Girls care very much about pleasing and can start a life long pattern of self confidence issues if they think they failed

Do help by modeling. Say things like, "I can feel my bladders full, I better use the potty."

Do take extra time if your child needs it. Know your child. If he is not interested take a weekend at home, put him in superhero underwear, give him all the juice he wants and help him identify his physical needs. It is an excellent way to help boys avoid the life long patteren of ignoring their inner voice, even in regard to pain.

Don't use disposable underwear. These are too absorbant and the child, especially boys, will learn they can wet it without much discomfort.

Don't rush the night diaper off. Controling ones bladder during is a different experence. Many children simply can't, some easily do. Rule of thumb is after 3 nights of a dry diaper the body has trained itself.

About Lonna Corder Individual Parenting Plan (LIPP)
Never have people wanted to be parents more than the current population. Couples succeed in their chosen careers before buying the ideal home then planning the right time to get pregnant. Planning the pregnancy can prove to be less than natural yet the drive to have happy, healthy children, the desire to parent, is so strong nothing can stop couples. Would any other generation pay tens of thousands of dollars and use science to become pregnant or cross oceans to adopt?

With their hearts in the right place, once their baby is safe and in their perfect nursery, parents look at each other and say," Now what"? Finally, parents have a guide through the sea of parenting information: Lonna Corder, personal parenting consultant. After Twenty five years in education and child development the Lonna Corder Individual Parenting Plan (LIPP) will help parents sort through the maze of choices thrown at parents and provide an individual parenting plan that suits each family in the way a personal trainer puts together an individual workout plan.

Parents have to navigate through current expert theories, grandparent advice from another generation, instincts, all in concert with who their children are. LIPP will help parents navigate through the early childhood years from 2-6. As an early childhood educator, pre-school director and a parent, Corder has seen and dealt with decades of difficult situations.

LIPP is made up of "recipes" for parenting. Given any situation, several tried and true recipes have been concocted by Corder herself. Potty training, sleeping, tantrums can all be solved with the right match of parent and child recipes.

As a Montessori teacher Corder has a keen sense of how to help families set their home environment to facilitate successful development. Half of the battle of raising a child is setting them up for success and knowing how to give them tools for mistakes.

Corder has worked as a parenting consultant in addition to educational advisor for twenty years. Her goal with LIPP is to bring her expertise to families overwhelmed with outside influences or overworked in other areas of their lives. LIPP sorts through past and present theories and gives parents a practical no-nonsense approach to parenting. A completely confident parent will make a balanced, successful and happy child.


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