Potty training can be an intimidating process to enter into, for both you AND your child! I think we often consider what a big change potty training is for our children, but until we begin the process, we don’t consider how much changes for US too!
Up until this point, we’ve gotten into a smooth routine of changing our child’s diapers whenever they need a clean one, wherever we are (car, home, public bathroom, school, someone else’s house). This process has been in our control and it is something we do to our children.
BUT, now it is time to teach our children how to take care of their bathroom needs in a more independent way and this causes routine change, inconvenience to our schedules, cause for more accidents and messes, and the potential power struggle between our little ones and ourselves.
It’s okay to admit that it can be a daunting process to begin and that there may even be a bit of dread in the back of your mind as you begin to plan for potty training!
Here are several common reasons why parents usually dread potty training:
The baby stage is over – Potty training is often one of the last milestones that a child goes through in their “baby” stage. After this, the next steps for your child are usually Kindergarten, reading, writing, and they quickly develop into their own little independent human being! Diapers are often the last thing holding them in the “baby” stage, where they rely on YOU in a big way.
Power struggles – Potty training also lands around the time in your child’s life where they are discovering and testing their own independence and autonomy. With this experimentation comes stubbornness and power struggles! Yes, these are just part of toddler life, and completely unavoidable. But parents often relate potty training to the start of these power struggle episodes, because the two milestones go hand in hand.
Messy – Who likes to clean up pee and poop from places where they shouldn’t be? NOT ME!! But yes, accidents and messes are all a part of the potty training process. Accidents actually aid in learning and as gross as they can be for YOU to clean, they are actually monumental in the training process for your child. Hang in there, they won’t last very long!
Inconvenient – Potty training calls for more bathroom breaks, routine changes for you and your child, possibly worse nighttime sleep for both of you, it can be extremely time consuming in the beginning, it can interfere with your job, and the attention that you’d normal give to your other children and/or spouse. Lets face it, potty training is inconvenient! But this phase won’t last forever, and it will get easier and become a smooth part of your routine once everyone adjusts to it!
In reality, every obstacle has its challenges, but it is 100% worth it! Once your child is able to go potty independently and successfully, you will both be so proud and confident in yourselves for pushing through each hurdle that came along the way!
Yes, there are reasons why parents dread potty training, but the reasons why potty training is AMAZING completely outweigh the negative!
Potty training is:
An amazing bonding experience for you and your child.
An opportunity for you to help your child build confidence in themselves.
A new chapter of independence for your child and freedom for you (from diapers!)
A chance for you to get to know your child in a new way as they grow and mature.
It’s also completely OKAY to admit that you need help! It takes a village to raise a child for sure, and potty training is no exception! Reaching out and asking for help in any form is completely appropriate, especially for difficult milestones like this one!
All in all, potty training is an amazing milestone for you to share with your child! No matter how daunting it may seem at first, have faith in your child’s abilities and your OWN abilities to be resilient, adaptive, and successful in this potty training process. You’ve got this!