Potty training battles: Are they worth it?
As parents, we get tired and sometimes wonder if arguing over potty training with our kids is even worth it! Read more on why winning or having potty training battles is necessary in the long run!
To reach the milestone of being diaper-free is one all parents look forward to. But very few can honestly say they reached this point with their toddler without a few battles. The question is: When or if you should concede victory to your toddler?
Resistance during potty training battles
Potty training battles usually boil down to stubbornness, fear and frustration. The toddler usually resists when:
- The child has a personality, which is resistant to change
- Not wanting to take the time to go to the bathroom
- A child that likes to have the upper hand
- Being unable to act quickly enough when the urge hits
- Being afraid to be yelled at, humiliated or belittled again
What’s a mum to do?
The first thing you need to do when assessing your toddler’s resistance to potty training is to figure out why your child is behaving the way they are. Once you feel you have a pretty good handle on the ‘why’, talk to your toddler about it. Ask them to tell you why they are so resistant. Address their concerns and assure them you are there to help. Keep it positive. Don’t make them feel as though they are being punished.
Speaking of punishment, don’t punish your child for an accident. I say this guardedly, as I have known of toddlers who poop in furniture and other such acts, because they can. These acts of defiance need to be backed up with discipline. But, the focus still needs to be on the fact that they were naughty, and not on the particular act itself.
You also need to maintain a calm presence. Losing your cool isn’t going to do anything, but make matters worse. This brings us back to the original question: Should you back off and let your toddler win the battle for the sake of the war? No, you shouldn’t. When you give in to your toddler and stop trying to persuade, coerce, or insist, you are flushing your credibility down the toilet. You are telling your toddler that if they fight long enough and hard enough you can be beat. That’s not what you want. Neither do you want to be the parent, whose parenting style resembles a military school. Humiliating and scaring a toddler into using the potty isn’t winning the potty training battle or the war, not to mention what it does to your relationship with your child.
Instead, win the battle and the war by remembering the old saying, ‘slow and steady wins the race potty training battle’. Instead of insisting they use the potty all day long, take them in the morning, at nap-time, and before going to bed. Instead of changing diapers or ‘undies’ when they ‘go’, put waterproof pants over their undies and let them remain wet for a while. Allowing them to feel discomfort is a great tactic during potty training battles. Offer rewards for their success. Shower them with words of praise when they are willing to try and are successful in using the potty. And when they aren’t successful, say nothing. No scolding, no humiliation…nothing — it works wonders.
Potty training battles are just one of many you’ll ‘fight’ as a parent. They’re also one of the most important battles too. They are worth it, because at the end it helps in the larger scheme of things when it comes to discipline. Not to mention, you get a child who is potty trained after the battle! It’s a win-win situation.
Share your thoughts on potty training battles, and how you handled it with your toddler!
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