Q. On behalf of my friend I am asking a question about potty training. Her four-year-old still poops in his pants and doesn’t care if he is dirty and smelly. What can I tell her to help her get him used to using the potty?
Brenda, please tell your friend that help is on the way. There are three principles of parenting that apply. Here they are with explanations for each.
- Set up for Success
Tell her to talk with her child about using the potty until they both have reached a comfort level with the plans. Working it out so that they are both in agreement on how and when the child will use the potty is very important. Next up is discussing the situation for when they are both out. They must come to an agreement on what is comfortable and will work before she can possibly expect his cooperation. Once they have gotten that far, they are ready to move on.
2. Make Expectations Clear
This is the time to go over all situations and cover as many extenuating circumstances as possible. She must explain clearly what she expects and then be fair, firm, and positive.
- Fair – Explain what she wants.
- Firm – Say what she means.
- Positive – Show her love.
3. Use Praise and Encouragement Appropriately.
While using the potty appropriately is the goal, there are many ways to acknowledge small successes along the way. These provide encouragement. Positives, even little signs of helpfulness, are great to point out. When she notices full correct use of the potty, it is time to celebrate! That is praise.
NOTE: Parenting means taking control, and being a child means depending on your parents to take it.
June! Month of the Dads
Parents are wonderful teachers, and dads have their own special way. My dad taught me to “never give up!” I don’t think I could live without that one. What do you notice the dad in your house teaching your child? Whatever it is, I hope it is great.
If so, tell him. Thank him for making such a wonderful contribution to your child’s life.
That is a Father’s Day gift he will love and keep forever!
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