Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Transitioning your Child to Underpants (part 4)

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)

Once you have gotten through day four and your child is consistently telling you when he has to urinate and have a bowel movement, you can consider the transition to underwear a success.  Unfortunately, there may still be a few bumps in the road ahead.  Every child is going to have accidents here and there. Stress in other areas of his life might set him back for a while.  Distractions like a game he is playing or watching TV may cause him to forget to listen to his body and result in an accident.  Don’t be alarmed when accidents occur and always stay positive, letting him know it is not his fault.  For the first few months “post training,” be sure to bring extra clothes with you when you are out just in case. 

                For boys, waiting until they are comfortable using the toilet sitting down before teaching them to use it standing up can prove beneficial.  Your child may choose to stand up from the beginning because he has seen dad or some other male to it that way. Doing so is certainly is easier in a lot of ways.  However, aiming is a learned skill that can best be taught by an older male. If a male is unavailable to teach this skill, you can put circle shaped cereal or little toilet training rings in the bowl to help your child master his aim.  Be sure to be persistent about encouraging him to aim into the bowl and ask your child to help you clean up when he misses. 

                Staying dry at night should happen naturally for your child.  As his body gets used to having control during the day, he will begin to unconsciously gain control at night.  I suggest keeping children in diapers at night for at least a month after he is potty trained during the day.  However, feel free to keep him in diapers as long as you need.  If your child fights you about putting diapers on for sleeping time once he has transitioned to underwear, try hard to respect his decision.  Remember potty training without a power struggle is about your child being in control of his body.  

                If your child is still sleeping in a crib once he's potty trained, now is the time to move him to a big bed. In a crib he has no freedom and is unable to safely get himself to a toilet if he feels the need to go.  Your child will then be forced to make a choice, to soil himself or to uncomfortably hold it in. You don’t want your child to have to make that choice.  Continue to keep your child in diapers at night as long as he is in a crib.  

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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