Being a parent for the first time is an experience one is unlikely to forget in a hurry. Raising a child, as parents soon find out, with sleeplessness and having to deal with illness, is a full-time job. Probably the concept 24×7 was coined by a young mother raising her child single-handedly. A young mother is easy to spot – she is that haggard looking individual, with dark circles under her eyes and who tends to doze off in the middle of a conversation.
A helping hand
If one is lucky enough, having one’s partner at hand to share some of the parental duties is a boon. Having one’s parents living with or even having them on a short visit is even better. Your mother knows how best to soothe a wailing infant, while your father will stay by your bedside to lend you the strength and extend moral support you so desperately seek.
A New Challenge
You heave a sigh of relief when the difficult initial months are over, only to be confronted by a new challenge – potty-training your child. This is the single most difficult challenge parents face with its potential to restrict your mobility and the need to clean-up often. The high cost of diapers and the anxiety to get your child to do what other children are already doing further weigh you down.
Potty Training Basics
It is clear that something needs to be done about a challenge that could potentially lead to domestic disharmony. The solution is to potty train your child.
- Starting Training: The best time to commence training is when the child is between 18 months and 3 years.
- No Right Time: Remember, there is no fixed age to start training. Don’t worry if your child is a little ‘late’ in comparison to your friend’s.
- Boys v. Girls: Unsurprisingly, girl child tends to be ready a few months earlier than boys. The training methodology, as you might expect, also varies for boys and girls.
- Check for readiness : Check if your child is ready by looking for signs like the interest a child shows in the concept of bathroom and the act of flushing down the poop.
- Clean Up: Cleaning up promptly after the act establishes the idea in your child’s mind of the need to use the bathroom for pooping.
- Bribe Your Child: Reward your child every time the child uses the potty. But exercise caution if you are not in the habit of rewarding your child for other chores.
- Frequent Visits: Encourage them to use the potty every 30 minutes or so. The ‘successful’ visits help establish an association between the act and the place.
- Share Duties: Share and share alike the training duties with your partner. This requires collaboration more than any other activity.
Finally, what works best is spending as much time with your child as possible and explaining to them about the need to use the potty. Use stories and pictures to the explain the working of our digestive system. Talk to them about the importance of hygiene, cleanliness and good habits. Be patient and persistent. Children, after all, are fast learners.