Potty Training Questions and Answers

Q: Do you have to wait for the appearance of all the signs of readiness for toilet training?

A: Not necessarily, sometimes readiness and maturity in only a number of the areas are enough to begin toilet training. It should be mentioned that in certain countries the toilet training process is done before the age of one year (Ethiopia, the far east, the CIS).

Q: Should there also be readiness of the parents in order to carry out toilet training?

A: In order to give suitable conditions for toilet training, there should be consideration of matters regarding the child as well as. factors that regard the parents. The parents should be available time wise and emotional wise, in order to commit efficiently and patiently to carrying out the toilet training process.

Q: Is there a preferable condition, time or season for carrying out the toilet training process?

A: The warmer seasons of the year, during which the child has the least layers of clothing on, are naturally more comfortable. It is preferable to choose, especially at the beginning of the process, a time frame of 2-3 weeks of relaxation and recreation during which the parents can give the child the necessary time and attention.

Q: Is there ever at time we should hold off on potty training, even if all the right signs are showing?

A: When the child or parents are not physically or emotionally available. During transitions (house, nanny), changes or tension in the family, illness.

Q: Can beginning to toilet train before the child is ready cause any damage?

A: It certainly can. During all of the toilet training process (even when the child is perfectly ready) a degree of sensitivity should be practiced towards the capability level of the child. You should avoid giving the child tasks he/she cannot perform. This way you will spare him/her from experiencing a sense of failure, disappointment and anger from the parents, damaging self image and self confidence and damaging the toilet training process.

Q: Can prolonged postponement of toilet training do any damage?

A: It certainly can. Depending on diapers and lack of sphincter control at an excessively later age – may have unpleasant physical consequences. Social consequences- the child may feel different from his/her peers and even from younger kids, he/she may not take part in various activities and at times may not be accepted to certain program and school activities. Mental consequences- damage to self image and self confidence.

Q: How should i react to mishaps?

a. The toilet training process is full of ups and downs, and until total weaning is achieved, mishaps and misses will probably happen.

b. Therefore, parents should understand and accept that good progress in the toilet training process includes regressions and mishaps.

c. Parents should recognize feelings of anger and disappointment that arise as a reaction to mishaps and misses- neutralize them, control them, and avoid expressing them to the child.

d. Mishaps and misses should be responded to with encouragement, consolation and calming of the child.

Q: When is it best to stop the toilet training process and pause it for a while?

A: When the conditions that existed in the beginning of the process had changed. Or when the process had encountered especially complicated obstacles such as: severe constipation, illness (child or parent)..

Q: What is preferable potty or a potty seat?

A: Usually, the potty seat is recommended because it is closer to the future use of regular toilet and is also more hygienic. The modern potty seats incorporate most of the advantages the potty had in the past.

Q: Is it recommended to use awards as reinforcement?

A: There is room for calls of joy, encouragement, praise and complements, and generally “giving respect” to the child for every behavior that gets him closer to the goal.

Q: Is it acceptable to punish for misses and mistakes?

A: There is never room for punishment during the toilet training process.

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