Should My 4 Year Old Be Potty-Trained By Now?
Potty training is not an easy task and more parents are realizing that potty training is most successful when initiated by the child. So, more parents are waiting for the child to become interested. The years pass and before you know it you have a four year old who is not potty trained. With many other children being potty trained at two or three you might wonder if your four year old should be potty trained by now. The following information will help you get a good idea about potty training and at what age you should be worried.
What Age is Best for Potty Training?
Once upon a time parents believed their children should be toilet trained by a specific age or else there was a problem. Unfortunately, this practice actually caused more problems and accidents with children who were not ready to be potty trained. Today, doctors and parents realize that children will show interest when ready to potty train and this usually occurs around two to three years of age. Each child is different and should never be pressured to use the potty. Of course, it can be difficult for parents not to pressure their children to learn to use the potty early especially if they are receiving pressure from their parents or that preschool is about to begin and potty training is required.
By the age of four most children are potty trained during the day while nighttime wetness may still occur. However, if your four year old is not yet potty trained this is not necessarily a problem. It might just signal your four year old is maturing slower than other children. Although, if your four year old child does not begin showing interest in the potty soon or is not responsive to any incentives offered to use the potty then perhaps you should take her to a doctor.
This is not to say your child has a problem, however there could be some underlying factors keeping your four year old from the potty. This could be too much pressure from the parents, a fear of the potty, constipation, a cautious personality, fear of failure, or even physical problems. So, at this age you want to offer your child incentives to use the potty and always be very matter of fact. You dont want to criticize your child ever when potty training but always offer support.
If your four year old is not potty training and you have been trying for a while then consider taking a break and then reinitiating potty training with a new concept. Or, if you have just been waiting for your child to decide to use the potty and this hasnt happened yet then perhaps you want to suggest it. You could buy a fun new potty decorated with Dora or another favorite character of your childs and then say the potty is hers/his and waiting for them to try it out. You may also offer rewards, praise, and encouragement but never reproach your child for accidents or be forceful. Potty training should be taken one step at a time and in a very calm manner. If you arent pressuring your child then you wont have power struggles and will likely find potty training more successful.