• Conversations with Dr. Donna, Parenting

    When Should You Toilet Train Your Child?

    Elizabeth Wilcox       

    Are you interested in knowing just when your child is ready to be toilet trained?

    About two dozen people joined the Beginnings School and Child Development Center on Tuesday, October 24 to learn more about when to start and how to succeed at toilet training children. Parents came away learning some useful pointers, most importantly to pay attention to important cues.

    Beginnings School Founder Dr. Donna Housman led the discussion, entitled “Successful Potty Training: How to reduce power struggles and increase positive feelings of self.” Dr. Housman stressed that success required the three P’s: Patience, Persistence and Perseverance from both children and parents. She also emphasized that while most children are ready to be toilet trained between two and three years old, each child is different and parents need to be sensitive to appropriate cues. These cues can be understood by asking the following questions:

    Are children physically ready?
    Children need to be able to pull up and down their pants. They need to be able to get up and down from the potty or toilet with a stool. They also need to be able to hold their need to urinate for two to three hours.

    Are children showing interest?
    Children show interest with words, facial expressions and posture when they need to use the toilet. Are they starting to exhibit those signs? Take the time to make sure you are able to pay attention and respond.

    Can children understand and follow directions?
    Don’t underestimate the importance of a child’s ability to understand and follow directions. To help them meet this important developmental milestone, children need to have this ability. If not, be patient. Their time will come!

    If you answered yes to the above questions, your child is ready to go. As you work with your child, remember that children learn through observation, modeling, guidance and how we respond. Next week we will outline exactly what steps to follow to ensure you and your child succeed at this important developmental milestone.