Potty training not going well ?. Many parents feel that its their fault that they are having a difficult time training their toddler to use the potty,and if that is you it is not your fault ,learn why.
Parents tend to have mixed emotions relating to this problem, tears can flow and not only from the toddler! This can lead to a vicious cycle of negative feelings. Feelings of failure, disappointment in your own abilities as a parent,loss of confidence in your overall parenting skills, not only with this problem but all issues relating to child rearing, how scary and debilitating is that?
A toddler is not born with an inbuilt guide book on how to use the potty, they are very happy to go on using the old tried and tested method and they like to stick with what they know best. The one that is as natural as crying and eating these are called innate responses, controlling the bowels is not an innate response and it is a learnt behavior and something that has to be taught. Likewise parents do not have a magic wand or an inbuilt guide book,especially those who are new to parenting, after all parents cannot remember how it was for them as a toddler when they where taught how to use the potty/ toilet.
Potty training issues
Potty training issues can have an impact on the wider family, arguments about what is the best method to use. Well meaning friends and family will offer conflicting advice, other parents perhaps within baby and toddler group’s and nursery’s will also have a whole range of do’s and dont’s. There are so many different training methods out there, which one do you choose? is it the right one for you and your toddler? it can be a very difficult decision to make.Try not to compare with other toddlers, even siblings can be different and will progress at their own pace, so do not fall into the trap of negative comments aimed at a slower toddler or beat yourself up emotionally because perhaps it is not as straight forward and as easy as you thought.
Shame and guilt can also manifest its self, because as well as offering advice we hear from family and friends, for example: that little George has done so well, I have had no problems training him to use the potty and little Susan took know time at all, perhaps you need to try harder etc etc we have all heard them. Comments and suggestions like this rather than being helpful can be hurtful and confusing, however well meant they are and can cause emotional damage.
Parents can struggle with the question am I good enough, is it me? A toddler might also feel quilt and shame, if they are struggling to please their parents and use the potty as and when required. Perhaps they will also feel frustrated and might even go and hide in a quite out of the way place (not seen) and without the potty, to relieve themselves in the old tried and tested way. If a toddler feels shame and guilt, insecurity and anxiety can develop.
Around the time toddlers are old enough to start being potty trained,the toddler is finding their feet in more way’s than one. They have a natural urge to develop and grow and move towards independence. This can be a time of great change for a toddler from being totally dependent on his mother/ main care giver (Symbiosis) to separateness and the capacity to be alone and slowly move towards independence and individuality.
The toddler will be exploring the wider world and joining in group play and learning to build relationships with others, to give and to share (parity and equilty) and to be co-operative. Toddlers will be experiencing many conflicting emotions as well as having to deal with potty training. Separation for the first time ie pre school/nursery etc etc, can also have an emotional impact on the toddlers behavior
they might become withdrawn, angry, stubborn not wanting to conform and tearful protest at mothers absents.
It is clear their are many difficulties both physically and emotionally to be encountered in negotiating this period of a child’s development, it helps to be sensitive to a toddlers feelings and all the changes they are having to deal with, love and patience are wonderful tools. Potty training can be an emotional time for you and your toddler try to stay relaxed, calm, positive and above all be kind to yourself, you are good enough.