Childrearing

Your Magical Potty Training Trick Will Not ‘Fix’ A Late Trainer

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But what sums things up best to me is this quote from the American Academy of Pediatrics “[if] a child is not physically or emotionally ready for toilet training, parents should be encouraged to delay training. Explain to parents that initiating toilet training too early can create stress for the child and ultimately prolong the toilet training process.”

If your child trained early, I am happy for you – seriously, genuinely happy, because I would have loved to be diaper-free with my kids earlier. And for your child, stickers or a special potty seat or character underwear might have been the final thing to tip them over the edge to readiness. But you have to understand that the “trick” you used was only one part of a complex set of circumstances that included your kid’s readiness, your readiness, and probably what house of the Zodiac the moon was in when you started. So, please, don’t judge the parents whose kids aren’t yet trained unless you have a real reason to believe the kid is ready and it’s Mom and Dad who are holding them back.

If your child trained late, know that you’re not alone. We don’t talk about the range of normal toilet training enough, which is what prompted me to write this – I’ve had too many other parents look like they wanted to cry when they confided that their two-year-old wasn’t trained yet, only to have me say, “That’s okay, my kids were over three.” It’s easy to be scared that you’re just not doing things right when your friends are telling you that their child has been Pull-Up free for a year, and yours is still wearing the potty seat on their head. You will get there; as my dad joked with me when I was stressing out about Ben, “There are very few college students in diapers.”

We’re all parents, and we all want the same thing out of toilet training: not to have to wipe another human’s butt any more. So let’s go easy on each other, huh? There’s enough (literal and figurative) crap in every parent’s life without heaping on more.

(photo: Alex Studio/ Shutterstock)

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