Potty training older child comes with its own challenges, but oftentimes the challenges occur because parents engage in several negative activities that discourage proper potty usage. Here's a list of the most common don'ts when potty training an older child.
1. Don’t attempt to FORCE your child to use the potty. This is the easiest way to get your child to resist all potty training efforts! Force may work for other aspects of child development like being away from caregivers when at preschool or elsewhere, but it certainly won't work for potty training. This is a development exercise that requires the willingness and consent of your older child, especially since they're at a stage where then know what needs to be done.
2. Don’t punish or CRITICIZE for spills. For some kids, potty training will take longer than "expected" so as a parent, you should expect spills and accidents. What you should avoid doing at all costs is punish or criticize your child for these spills and accidents. Such a reaction usually results in the child feeling embarrassed and self-conscious. At the age of 3 and older, children are more aware of their emotions and will react negatively if belittled. Instead, take the route of gentle responses, and never allow other siblings to get in the habit of teasing your little one for an accident.
3. Don’t give REMINDERS about using the potty. When your child gets to the age of 3 or older, there's a certain level of independence and awareness that they develop. As such, it may not be a good idea to give continuous reminders about using the potty. Giving constant reminders usually results in a power struggle with your child, as he feels he knows what's best for him at that age. Focus instead on giving your child independent thinking opportunities and lay off the pressure from reminders and practice runs.
4. Don’t accompany your child to the bathroom or potty. When kids get older, they definitely won't want you to accompany them to the bathroom. Such a scenario puts a lot of PRESSURE on the child without you even knowing it. Allow them to act upon what they've learned in their own space and time.
5. Don’t HOLD BACK on reinforcement activities. Even if you're frustrated about the lack of progress with your child's potty training, you should never hold back on reinforcement activities. What that means is that you shouldn’t hold back on hugs, kisses, parent-child time and other types of support activities just because you aren’t seeing the results you want. Showing support indicates to your child that you're cheering them on.
6. Don’t show you're worry about it. If you child isn’t grasping potty training as you expected, avoid showing your FRUSTRATION and WORRY. In fact, you should basically ignore your child's efforts to use potty and pretend like it doesn’t matter to you. Doing this will show them that you've relinquished responsibility for using the potty to them.
Give your child the kind of freedom and responsibility needed to finally master potty training by avoiding these discouraging activities. I know potty training older child is a special challenge that parents dread facing and I hope you'll find those parent and expert potty training tips of use. Let me know how potty training older child it goes for you!
Return to Little Darling Potty Training home page