- Part Six: Potty Training – What Should One Avoid?
Mistakes That Commonly Occur
Common mistakes happen, so give careful attention to the following “faux pas” which often “derail” the mastery process.
- Avoid emphasizing the child is a “Big Boy or Big Girl;” Children between two and three years of age developmentally experience an internal “tug of war;” one moment they want to be a BIG Boy or Girl, another moment they want to be a baby. Instead, let the child know s/he has an important job as the boss of his/her pee and poop.
- Avoid a lot of fanfare when the child successfully uses the toilet; instead say, “You can feel proud that you are doing such a good job taking care of your body.” Make it about the child, not about the adult!
- While it is normal for a child to experience ambivalence during the mastery process avoid mirroring back this ambivalence. Ambivalence on the part of the adult can make a child feel insecure and less capable.
And above all, keep in mind that adult composure is critical throughout the mastery process. Remember, what you do and how you react is even more compelling to your child than what you say with your words.