When thinking about developmental milestones in the lives of children, few conjure up more anxiety and frustration for parents than potty training. Although it can be very challenging for young children, it is an important skill for them to learn. Young children in a daycare setting are especially encouraged to be potty trained, as it enables them to advance other age-appropriate skill building activities and transition to a more pre-school-like schedule and social atmosphere.
There are some helpful points that parents should remember, when the time for potty training is at hand: know that you are not alone; your child care provider is your partner and you can rely on them to help get you through this time. Understand the impact your emotions have on your child. If you are confident–your child will be confident. Be ready to have a frank and open conversation about your potty training philosophy (yes, you already have one), your goals and expectations with your child care provider. To be successful, everyone needs to be on the same page.
First, your licensed child care provider has your child’s best interest in mind. They are trained professionals, who have not only learned techniques in the classroom on the best ways to potty train but who have also trained OTHER children, many times before. Let them help you! Potty training requires a strict adherence to a schedule and routine. It is important that the practices that are begun at daycare are continued at home. That is why it is a good idea to remember that the provider is your PARTNER in training. You have to work together to ensure your child stays on track.
Next, remember that your child is looking to you to help them learn this new skill. As the parent, you must be very upbeat and excited about the prospect of “using the potty.” If your child senses nervousness or anxiety on YOUR part, they will internalize those feelings, which will delay their success. When at home, you must be sure to make potty time a positive time!
Finally, keep the channels of communication open between you and your child care provider. If you are not aware of potty training protocol where your child attends daycare, you need to find that out immediately. If your child is already enrolled in daycare, you should talk to the child care provider before you begin potty training. In this way, you can be sure that both you and the provider share potty training philosophies, such as when to begin potty training, how should you transition from diapers to underwear and if your child should be allowed diapers for naps and bedtime. If you think that the child care facility begins training earlier or later than you would prefer, it is very important to discuss that with your provider, too.
Potty training can be quite the undertaking but with an understanding of why it is important, who is there for you and how to meet your goal, it can be a lot less stressful for both you and your child.