Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Parent to Parent: Potty Training
For parents, it's a major milestone. For children, it's one of life's first challenges. In most families, toilet training can be time consuming - to say the least. But in tonight's Parent to Parent, we have some tips to make the transition to the potty as smooth as possible.
WSVN--It's inside the house... A mysterious place for your toddler... And a nightmare for some parents...Prepare yourself for the potty. Jeannette and two-and-a-half-year old benjamin have not only one...Not two... Not three... But four training toilets.
Jeannette Abi-Rafeh: "He started showing signs that he was interested in it. He would go and sit down on the potty himself or he would go and pull his pants off."
Now, every time Benjamin says or looks like he's got to go, Jeannette or her husband escort him to the throne.
Jeannette Abi-Rafeh: "As long as it takes it's fine and I just try to make it fun and read books and sing songs. If you pee-pee in the potty shout hurray."
Seven Parenting Expert Dr. Sally Goldberg says you can begin to introduce your child to the toilet and explain how it works between 15 and 18 months old. However, no matter how early you start she says most children won't master the process until their twos.
Seven Parenting Expert Dr. Sally Goldberg: "It's not something that happens in a day. It's not something that happens in a weekend. It's not something that happens in a week. It really is a process."
To avoid frustrations, Dr. Sally says take it slow and set up a schedule. Suggest to your child a visit to the bathroom after meals or about every two hours. But don't force them to sit on the chair if they don't want to. And if they do, don't sit for too long.
Dr. Sally Goldberg: "If he doesn't, you take him away from the situation and then in your time you bring him back to the situation."
But always be supportive and encouraging without rewarding them. If your child doesn't go, don't punish them. Avoid using words like good or bad, plus don't show disappointment which may put too much pressure on your child. Dr. Sally says children shouldn't be seeking their parents approval.
Dr. Sally Goldberg: "When you take your child to the potty, don't show either thrill or disappointment. This a natural process and what you do show is acknowledgment. Something like oh you're acting like a big boy now or you're doing something just like a big girl."
Dr. Sally also says expect accidents. If you still need help, there are toilet training classes at places like Nova University in Davie.
Jeannette Abi-Rafeh: "We went to a class at Nova, it was called toilet learning class, and all our friends laughed at us."
Jeannette also bought videos... And now, Benjamin is almost a big boy.
Jeannette Abi-Rafeh: "I will be happy when we are 100%, I will be very happy as long as it takes."
And to that we say...
Parents here's one last big piece of advice... Don't flush the toilet while your child's sitting on it, it could scare them and cause a major setback.
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