One Question NEVER to ask a Child Who is Potty Training

Posted by in No-Cry Potty Training

Potty training is a process that takes time to master. It will take quite a while for your little one to remember to even ask to go to the bathroom. Children have to learn how to read their body’s signals, understand what they mean, and act on them by stopping what they’re doing and making the trip to the bathroom. An active toddler who is concentrating on play will often miss the signals, or hope they’ll go away so that she can finish her activity. She may also misjudge how long she has before her holding control stops. She may think she can put off going to the potty, but eventually her natural response will be to release, no matter where she is. 

Mother Speak
“Anna does what we call The Potty Dance. She wiggles and shimmies while holding her crotch and shifting from foot to foot. It’s entirely obvious that she has to go, but when you ask her if she has to use the bathroom she always says no!”

Julie, mother to three-year-old Anna

To help your child learn how this all works, have her sit on the potty at regular times at first: when she first wakes up, after meals, before a bath, before getting in the car, before bed. In addition, watch your toddler closely, and any time you think a visit to the potty might be timely, go ahead and take her. 

The one question never to ask

It’s usually pointless to ask your wiggly trainee, “Do you have to go potty?” since the answer from a busy toddler will always be “No” (yet another case in which asking yes-or-no question of a toddler is ill-advised). Instead, make a positive suggestion: “Let’s go sit on the potty now.” 

As with all things parenting, there’s always a child who’s the exception. If your little trainee responds accurately to the question, then count yourself lucky!

how to potty train

Offer choices

Another way to encourage your child to use the potty is to offer interesting choices. Children love to be given choices, and often will cooperate just because you’ve given them the freedom to choose. Here are a few great potty choices:

“Do you want to walk to the potty, or run to the potty?”

 “Do you want to use the big toilet or your potty chair?” 

 “What do you want to do first, put your shoes on or use the potty?”

“Do you want me to come with you, or do you want to go all by yourself?” 

Hurry! Hurry! Gotta Go Now!

A child who is new to this potty business may wait until the last moment to announce a need to go. When your child announces a need to go — find a potty, and find one quickly! It’s sometimes annoying to have to drop everything to take your child to the bathroom, but this is exactly what you have been hoping to achieve! Your child is recognizing the urge and delaying elimination until reaching the toilet. So be patient and supportive, even when the urgent quest turns out to be a dry run. You’re well on your way to potty training success!

~ These tips are from The No-Cry Potty Training Solution

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