Thursday, August 25, 2011

Potty Training Without a Power Struggle

Sneak Peek Friday

I am honored to have worked on the Academy of Coaching Parents International's HeartWise book called Parenting Responsively for Connection.  Along with 10 other ACPI Certified Parent and Family Coaches; I wrote the book to help parents answer some difficult parenting issues.  Every Friday this summer YOUR Parenting Question Blog will share a short excerpt from this book.  We hope that you find them information and helpful.  If you like what you read and you would like to order the E-book you may do so here at
Strong Roots Family Coaching

Keeping Your Child’s Dignity - Potty Training Without a Power Struggle
While you may think that walking is the first major milestone for your child, it's really not.  To your child, walking is just one more way to get from here to there. Before walking, he was able to scoot, roll or crawl to wherever he wanted to go.
            But when it comes to using the potty, your child is truly experiencing a first. To him, learning to urinate on the toilet is the first monumental task he is facing. Up until now, the only place he knew to go to the bathroom in was his diaper. Remember his whole life he's been wearing a diaper and naturally relieving himself in it.  So not only does your child need to learn to go in the toilet, he has to unlearn the habit of going in his diaper. As you can imagine, this is huge adjustment for your child. Remember potty training is a process. Transitioning to using the toilet will happen, but it takes patience, courage, instruction and a lot of cheerleading for it to happen easily and successfully.   
            When you bring patience and respect into the potty training equation, you are letting your child make the decision for himself that he is ready to use the potty.  When using the potty is something he chooses to do, rather than something that he is being forced to do, he's able to maintain his dignity with each challenging day.  While it may seem contradictory to the training process to let your child decide when he's ready, when you do, you'll actually shorten the length of the potty training process because he'll be gaining dignity that will raise his self-esteem.  When his self-esteem is raised, your child better has the ability to take on new challenges and to keep working on areas of his life that need improvement. 
            The self-esteem built through a positive potty training experience will also help him, as he gets older.  They gain the courage to try new things and to get up and try again, even if they fail the first few times.   Children who have a positive experience will also learn to equate hard work with that good feeling that only increased self-confidence brings.

Marcia Hall
ACPI Certified Coach for Families
Page 94

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