Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Transitioning your Child to Underpants (part 3)

I had the privilege of writing for the e-book Parenting Responsively along with 11 other ACPI parent and family coaches.  Over the next few weeks I will be reprinting my chapter.  I hope you will enjoy it.  If you would like to order the entire book you may do so on my website for $9.99 - Strong Roots Family Coaching.  Enjoy

(View the previous post on Potty Training without the Power Struggle)

During "Project Underpants" you will know that your child is not emotionally ready if he is resisting the gentle encouragement to go sit on the toilet.  If a resistant child is forced to continue to wear underpants, a power struggle will ensue.   If your child waits until he is off the toilet and in underpants to urinate or have a bowel movement, he is likely not emotionally ready.  You will know your child is not physically ready if he tells you mid tinkle that he has to go or consistently goes on the way to the bathroom.  This tells you that he really wants to make it, but doesn’t yet completely understand the cues from his body.

                If you find yourself with a child that is not ready, do not feel bad or make your child feel bad about it. Instead, simply put his diapers back on and put the underpants away.  Stay positive and tell him you will try again when he is ready.  Continue to prepare him and look for the signs of readiness.  Wait at least a few weeks before trying again.  Your child might feel a little disappointed in himself and need some time to heal. 

                If by the end of day three your child is consistently telling you before he goes potty and makes it to the toilet most of the time, it’s time to move on to day four of “Project Underpants."  Today is the day you will venture out of the house, leaving the diapers behind.  Plan your departure for just after your child has used the toilet and be sure to take a few extra sets of clothes, a towel, wipes and some plastic bags with you.  You may even want to put one of the plastic bags down on the car seat to protect the seat and yourself from a difficult cleanup. Pick a place to go that is close by with a short drive.  Let him have fun and remind him regularly to tell you when he needs to go to the bathroom. 

                This first time you have an outing, pay close attention to your child and try to notice the signs he may have to go. When out and about, he will likely be more distracted than at home and may forget to listen to his body.  Having a positive experience in public can really keep him motivated.    Expecting that there will be an accident can help you remain upbeat.  If your child does have an accident, avoid talking to other people about it.  You can, however, encourage your child to tell people about his big NEWS, when he stays dry.

Please return next week (or subscribe to this blog) to hear the rest of the chapter on Potty Training without a Power Struggle

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