Potty Training Reading List: Books to Accelerate the Potty Training Process

Potty training is a milestone that every parent hopes to achieve smoothly and quickly. However, did you know that the language we use when talking about poop can actually impact the potty training process?
March 15, 2024

Potty training is a milestone that every parent hopes to achieve smoothly and quickly. 

However, did you know that the language we use when talking about poop can actually impact the potty training process? Let’s dive in to discuss how eliminating negative terminology and embracing a positive approach can shorten the overall time it takes to successfully potty train your child!

The Impact of Negative Language on Potty Training

During the potty training journey, the language we use when discussing poop plays a significant role in our child's progress. Many of us may not even realize that certain words, like "gross," "stinky," "smelly," "dirty," and "yucky," can inadvertently hinder the potty training process.

When we label poop with negative words, we unintentionally create a negative association around using the toilet. Children are highly influenced by the words they hear and the emotions attached to them. Therefore, constant exposure to negative language can make them view pooping in the potty as something unpleasant or undesirable.

This negative association can lead to:

  • a reluctance or resistance in children when it comes to pooping in the toilet
  • they may develop anxiety or fear around the act, causing them to withhold or avoid pooping altogether

This can prolong the potty training process and make it more challenging for both the child and the parent.

It is essential for parents to be mindful of their language when discussing poop during potty training. By consciously choosing positive, neutral, or informative words, we can help our child develop a healthier attitude towards using the toilet. 

Use positive words promote a positive association around poop and the potty like:

  • "Healthy” 
  • “Normal" 
  • "Natural"
  • "Strong"

When we foster a positive and accepting environment, children are more likely to feel comfortable and willing to engage in the potty training process! 

YOU can help build their confidence and create a positive foundation for their independent potty skills!

The Study: Positive Language and Potty Training Success

In 2003, a groundbreaking study was conducted to explore the connection between positive language and potty training success. Over 400 children and their families participated in this research, shedding light on the importance of creating a positive environment during the potty training process.

The study sought to understand how removing negative language and behaviors surrounding bowel movements could impact the duration of potty training. The results were enlightening and encouraging for parents navigating this developmental milestone. Read the full study here.

When parents actively eliminated negative terminology and behaviors related to poop, they noticed a significant improvement in their child's potty training progress. In fact, the study revealed that children who were exposed to positive language consistently achieved full potty training in a shorter period of time compared to those who were not.

By creating a positive environment and using encouraging language when discussing poop, parents were able to establish a supportive atmosphere that motivated their children to embrace the potty training process. The removal of negative words like "gross," "stinky," or "dirty" helped alleviate any anxiety or aversion associated with using the toilet for bowel movements.

The study's findings highlight the impact of language on a child's willingness and readiness to successfully potty train. It underscores the vital role that a positive and supportive environment plays in facilitating the transition from diapers to using the potty independently.

Parents can actively contribute to their child's potty training success by consciously using positive, informative, and empowering language. By doing so, they can help their child develop a healthy and positive attitude towards the potty, fostering confidence and independence.

Creating a positive environment goes beyond just using uplifting words. It involves embracing a mindset of patience, encouragement, and celebrating small victories along the way. By focusing on the progress made and offering praise, parents can reinforce their child's self-confidence and motivation.

The Role of Positive Language and Behaviors

From a potty training consultant's perspective, the impact of positive language and behaviors cannot be overstated when it comes to the successful transition from diapers to using the potty. Creating a positive and supportive environment can make a world of difference in your child's potty training journey.

Here are some practical tips and strategies for parents to eliminate negative terminology and replace it with positive alternatives:

  1. Eliminate negative words: Start by becoming aware of the negative words and phrases commonly used when discussing poop. Words like "gross," "stinky," "smelly," or "dirty" can unconsciously create a negative association. Avoid using these words and replace them with more neutral or positive language. For example, instead of saying "That's a dirty diaper," you can say "It's time to change your diaper."
  1. Normalize and educate: Take a proactive approach in normalizing the act of pooping on the potty. Use informative language to help your child understand the process. Explain the purpose of using the potty and how it helps keep them clean and healthy. Encourage questions and offer simple explanations tailored to their understanding.
  1. Introduce fun and engaging resources: Incorporate books, songs, or games that introduce the concept of pooping on the potty in a positive and enjoyable way. Engaging children through storytelling or playful activities can help them develop a positive attitude towards using the toilet. A great resource to consider is the children's book, "How Do You Poo?" by Allison Jandu, which uses fun and informative language to introduce the subject.
  1. Offer praise and encouragement: Celebrate every step of progress your child makes, no matter how small. Use positive reinforcement, such as clapping, high-fives, or special rewards, to acknowledge their efforts. This creates a positive association with using the potty and motivates them to continue their journey.
  1. Model positive behaviors: Children learn by observing, so it's essential to model positive language and behaviors. Use the toilet yourself and share your excitement or satisfaction about using the potty. This will reinforce the idea that using the toilet is a normal and positive activity.

Remember, the goal is to create a positive and encouraging environment that supports your child during the potty training process. By eliminating negative terminology and reinforcing positive language and behaviors, you can help your child develop a healthy and confident attitude towards using the potty.

4. Our Curated Reading List: by a Potty Training Consultant

When it comes to potty training, having the right resources at your disposal can make a significant difference in both your and your child's experience. Books can be an invaluable tool in preparing and guiding you through this important milestone. 

So, we have curated a list of recommended books that address various aspects of potty training—from introducing the concept to telling practical, relatable stories. These books are filled with colorful illustrations and FUN concepts to make the potty training journey a positive and successful one for you and your child! 

How the Potty Training Consultant Can Help

Potty training success can be accelerated by adopting a positive approach that eliminates negative language and behaviors surrounding bowel movements. 

By recognizing the impact of language on a child's willingness to use the potty, parents can create a supportive and positive environment!

Interested in joining our potty training support group? For just $29.99 for the first month and $9.99/month after that, you'll join hundreds of other parents accessing expert support in a judgment free space!

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