How to Keep Potty Training Moving

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It’s a common question: how do we keep potty training moving forward when our child seems to have very little interest? Many parents face this problem, and it’s even been the subject of books.

Some children will not only seem disinterested after an initial period of progress, but they’ll actually get angry. Tantrums aren’t uncommon, with some toddlers throwing a fit when the potty is even mentioned.

Understanding regression

If your child’s potty training has regressed, recognize that there are some possible causes. Understand, first of all, that regression just happens, sometimes; there’s not always an underlying cause.

Sometimes, however, a child will regress due to stress. For example, a toddler whose parents are going through a divorce may likely become less interested or less ready for potty training. The same holds true for a toddler who’s having trouble with daycare.

In some cases, it isn’t truly regression. A child may have an initial period of interest really as sort of a random occurrence or fluke. She wasn’t really ready; she just seemed like it.

Moving forward

The key is to be able to follow your child’s queues. Reward systems and reinforcement can help for some kids, but don’t hold onto these strategies for too long. Sometimes, they just create stress.

At this point, moving forward is less about convincing your child to move forward and getting used to the idea that you’re going to have to wait.

Keep in mind two important facts:

  1. Eventually, your child is going to learn to use the toilet. It may not happen on your preferred timetable, but it will happen.
  2. A child will learn better and faster if he’s in control of the process. If he’s really not ready for potty training, no amount of encouragement is going to help (and some expers suggest that it may actually cause harm and delay the process.

It’s not about you

It can be frustrating waiting for your child to be ready for potty training, but as long as it’s not bothering her you need to find ways to cope.

What about you? Did your child experience some potty training regression?

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