Should I Potty Train?
It is inevitable you will have to go through this. You certainly don’t have to do this alone or unarmed! You’ve got a great book here that gives you more than just how to potty train, and you have support.
If you’ve already gone out and bought a toilet and undies and have had that mini potty sitting around in your living room, go put it away. Just for now. Just until you’re sure you're ready at least. Even if your toddler has used it a few times, don’t hold on to the hope that it will happen magically. Just put it away for now. If your toddler sees you do this, great! Tell him or her that you two are not ready to use this potty. It won’t hurt to build a little anticipation!
Many people I come across tell me that they think their toddler is ready, but someone in their life says otherwise.This is typically another family member, like Dad or Grandma. The other side of the coin is usually Mom telling her daughter it is time to potty train, but the daughter isn’t convinced (or more appropriately, she doesn’t feel adequate to get the job done).
The other common misconception parents have about not being ready to potty train is the age of their toddler. For so long, they have heard that you need to be two years old, and they look at their eighteen- or twenty-month-old and just think maybe it’s not time. Regardless of where you are on this scale, you are getting closer to potty training.
If you think it’s time, it probably is. If you have had the sneaking suspicion that your child is capable of potty training, they probably are. And if your mom or dad is telling you their grandchild is ready, then they are seeing something you aren’t seeing.
Need some more convincing? Let’s assess the young potential potty trainers skills
Let’s do a little exercise. I want you to consider the capabilities of your child as we go through some of the following questions and exercises:
Can your child help carry clothes from the dryer to the couch? I am not asking if she can help fold them, but can she see what you are doing, or better yet, follow a verbal cue to take some clothes, follow you, and set them on the couch?
Let’s do some of these tests and see just how thick your child’s understanding really is:
Sit in a room at least ten feet away from the trash can. Take a piece of paper and tell your child to come over, take the paper, throw it out, and then come back. You can point to the trash can, if needed.
Ask your child to point to objects that you have around you as you name them. These should be things that are normally in the house, like a pet, couch pillows, the floor, and the refrigerator.
Put crayons on the table and ask for the red crayon. See how many colors they know.
Start at one point in the house and have your child run from you to another room and back. Go from the living room to the bedroom and back, then from the living room to the kitchen and back.
These are simple tests that your child may or may not have failed, but feel free to use these tests as a teaching experience, as well. If you show them the different rooms in the house and then come back and have them perform this test, do you see how their understanding has already grown?
Just like that, in a matter of minutes, days, or hours, your child has begun to understand an abstract concept of a place having a title or learning colors. As I mentioned, if they aren’t capable of doing these things, were they capable of learning them? Take note of how fast your child learns. This will help you gauge if you should start to potty train.