Thursday, September 19, 2013

Potty training is a learning experience for the entire family

When I was a little girl, my parents always told me that the harder you work to achieve something, the more you will appreciate it in the end. Well, I never knew how true those words would be until now. As my husband and I work to potty train our oldest daughter, I think we all look forward to doing a little “potty dance” when she masters the task on her own.

According to her teachers at daycare, she’s a shining star – she goes to the restroom on time and rarely has an accident. At home, it’s another story. Most of the time, we have to ask her, and even poke and prod her to go to the restroom. But when she’s sitting on the “big pot,” as she calls it (she refuses to sit on her training potty), she’s kicking her legs and smiling.

While handling her business, she’ll sometimes ask me to stay with her and sing songs. Whether Nandi’s instructing me on how to sing, “Twinkle, Twinkle,” “Bingo,” or “ABC’s,” she’ll immediately stop singing and tell me, “Mama, you need to go potty. Your turn!”  This is my cue to take her off the toilet. She’ll then wait for me to sit down, and while smiling, say, “Good girl, Mama! I’m so proud of you baby!” She’s only echoing what we tell her when she makes it successfully to the potty, but to hear her little voice offering up praises is entertaining.

Experts say successful toilet training, on average, usually occurs between 18 and 30 months of age. I’ve also read that 98 percent of children are trained by 36 months of age. But before potty training, experts advise parents to look for signs of “readiness,” such as:

•    Desire to please.
•    Desire for independence.
•    Interest in imitating others going to the restroom.

We started being consistent with our potty training efforts when Nandi turned 28 months old. Several months have passed, and I’m hoping she’s fully trained before she turns three. I’m not practicing any new dance steps just yet, but I will remain supportive of my child and optimistic for both of us. But you better believe, when that wonderful day of accomplishment is achieved by Miss Nandi, there will be loud music playing, singing and shouting – and yes, the “potty dance” will be proudly done by all.

Chandra Caradine is a Sr. Public Relations Specialist for Texas Health Resources and Mom of two girls.

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