Tag Archive | "potty training"

The Regressive Toddler: How to Re- Potty Train Your Child


The arrival of a new baby in the family may bring about unexpected behaviors in your older child.  A common frustration many parents have is when the older, potty-trained child (usually a toddler or a preschooler) suddenly slides back into wetting and soiling his or her pants. This is called regression, wherein an individual who has already learned skills goes back to more primitive behaviors as a coping mechanism to an existing crisis, which is, in this case, your new baby.

Older children act out when their position as center of attention is threatened by a little baby who gets everyone’s oohs and aahs. Your older child takes a look at the baby and sees why so many people, including his or her parents, are so amused – the baby is tiny, helpless, cries all the time, and poops and pees in a diaper, something your older child has not used in a while. The child thinks, “I’m not tiny, so what can I do to get mommy’s attention?” You may notice how he or she will throw more tantrums than usual, and start acting like a new puppy, peeing and pooping wherever he or she pleases. 

What do you do when your toddler or preschooler suddenly realizes that going to the bathroom in an orderly fashion doesn’t amuse or impress you anymore, but doing number ones and twos on the couch, bed or floors really gets your head to turn?  Here are some ways you can help your regressive older child to bounce back:   

1.       Resist the urge to take it personally.

Naturally, your two- or three year old does not understand the concepts of revenge or spite yet. As the mature parent, you will need to understand the core of this behavior. Regression is a coping mechanism which suggests that your child is desperate for your attention, and scared that you may not love him or her anymore because of the new baby. This isn’t a personal attack on you to make your life difficult. In your toddler or preschooler’s world, your attention means the world. When you accept this, you will be able to fight off the urge to scream and punish your older child.

2.       Do not give punishments or rewards.

Although it may seem like the perfect way to get your child to understand the terms, punishment is a no-no, especially when dealing with your little one’s elimination processes. According to psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, a child who is punished while potty-training may develop an elimination or sexual dysfunction later in life. Likewise, rewards will only train your child to do what is right, only if he or she gets something out of it. Let’s face it – no one gets a reward to making number two in a toilet.

3.       “What can you do that the baby can’t?”

To bring back your child’s confidence in him or herself, you will need to constantly point out that the baby cannot do much, and that’s why you do a lot for him or her. “The baby can’t pull up her pants, but you can!” is a great way to boost your older child’s morale. Keep doing this, and eventually, you can transition to “”Baby can’t bathe herself yet, would you like to help me do it?” to foster sibling love and helpfulness in your older child.

4.       “Whenever you’re ready”.

Your toddler or preschooler is already toilet-trained. He or she knows now to recognize the urge to pee or to poop. He or she knows what pants are for and how to pull them up. He or she knows where the toilet is. So all you need to do for a regressive child is to say, “You are welcome to wear your pull-ups again when you are ready, and you can definitely start keeping your pants clean and dry whenever you want”. Being this nonchalant makes him or her feel that to you, it’s not a big deal, and it definitely doesn’t get your attention the way he or she wants it to. Eventually, your older child will realize he or she has to make a decision and will opt to put his or her pants back on and keep them nice and dry.

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The ABCs of Toilet Training


Toilet training is such a difficult feat but it can be relatively easy when scientifically proven suggestions and tips are followed but it should still be remembered that not every child has the same pace of learning. Therefore, do not be stressed when your child seems to be having difficulty as compared to your firstborn or to your friend’s daughter. Continue to be patient and loving and it will reflect on your training.

Assess if your child is ready. Some kids can start as early as 2 ½ while others won’t be ready until they turn 3. Relax and be supportive. Check for cues  like if your child verbalizes or shows signs of not wanting to wear the dirty diaper. Also remember that most girls are better at toilet training than boys and the ones who are usually stressed like a new sibling or carer might have more difficulty. Let things settle for a little while before introducing the training to your child. Additionally, even if your child is already ready and you are not, problems might still occur as you will have to devote a lot of patience and time for the training.

Do not forget to seek the advice of your pediatrician and other older members of the family. This will help you and your child as a means of support. When you and your child seem prepared, establish your routine by asking your child sit on the potty seat everyday for a few minutes before bath time, after meals or when you think he is likely to defecate. Aftersuch, do this routine without the pants. Let your child understand that this is what older people in the family do everyday. If the two routines backfire, wait for a few more days or weeks before introducing the same routine but be very careful not to stress your child.

Do remember that you have to purchase a suitable potty chair and be aware of possible minor accidents that can discourage your child from pursuing the training. Worse, your kid might show fear towards the use of a potty.  In addition, you might also want to buy training pants that is worn to permit your kid to remove his clothing alone. At times, it is also a good idea to buy underpants that have printed cartoon characters; you will surely get amazing results from doing so. Continue to show support to your child by assisting him to the potty when he feels like pooping. Let your kid feel that he can be assisted all throughout as needed and if your angel won’t let it all out, accompanying him will spell the difference.

Talk about what you are actually doing in a less technical manner. Show the relation of the toilet and pooping. If it seems the right time, you can actually bring your child to the toilet and teach him through imitation as toddlers and pre-schoolers love to imitate older people.

Ultimately, take things at a slow pace and do not push your child; make sure that you find it in your heart that there will be accidents at times. Psychologists believe that this pushing and constant nagging will affect an individual during adulthood and you do not want to be blamed for that in the future. Encouragement, positive reinforcement and support will help a long way than you can actually imagine.

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Autism and Potty Training: A Guide for Parents


Potty-training is an exciting time of both parents and the toddler. Many parents are curious about the perfect time to start potty-training. Pediatricians recommend that potty-training varies from child to child – what’s important is that the child must show all signs of readiness before parents can begin to toilet-train him or her. The toddler must be able to know when he or she has soiled diapers. He or she must also be interested and be comfortable in sitting on a toiler with assistance, and must show ability to pull his or her own pants down or up.

Contrary to popular belief, children with autism, too, can be potty-trained, using effective techniques. Some experts say that some autistic children can toilet-train as early as their second year of life even before the signs mentioned above become apparent, while others need more time and patience.

The problem with toilet training children with autism is that there is too much advice going on here and there. Some specialists recommend “waiting until the toddler is ready”, even when the toddler reaches school age.  Others suggest that autistic children must be potty-trained as early as their 18th month of life. However, one universal truth is this: Parents and guardians must be aware that children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), or Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS), have characteristics that may interfere with standard toilet training techniques.

This article has helpful hints for parents who wish to potty train their autistic child. Each technique is based on common issues that children with ASD or PDD-NOS have, because its these very issues that make toilet training even more challenging for them and their parents.

Problems with communication: A child with ASD or PDD-NOS may have difficulty in speech and comprehension. He or she may have a hard time associating language with things, persons and places. They may not have sufficient language skills to express the need to go to the bathroom, or may not be able to talk about an urge.  Expressive language is important with children who has ASD, thus it is crucial for parents to allow their children to find their own way of expression.

Impaired social interaction: Children with ASD may either be too distant, or too intimate, and may fail to be just between these extremes. Parents may tell their autistic child that he or she is now a big girl, or a big boy, and must go to the bathroom by him or herself, but this makes very little sense to the child and may resist your gentle prodding.

Tendency towards repetitive actions: Children with ASD are considered be prone to repetitive actions and like routines to fill their schedules. Introduction to potty-training may only distress them, because it breaks their routine. This will require insistence on your end. You will need to meet your child’s resistance with preparation, and must continue to incorporate toilet training into their routine.

Parents must choose only one technique and stick to it, since experimenting with various techniques will only create setbacks and disruptions in the child’s routine, delaying toilet training even more. It must be a relaxed environment, and parents must never force the child. Finally, parents can assess readiness by reading the signs carefully and accurately. The child must be able to imitate actions, respond positively to praises and rewards, and has the desire to remain dry and clean.

Posted in Growing PainsComments (1)


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