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By Dr. Bettye M. Caldwell Ph.D. Professor of Pediatrics in Child Development and Education.
Are you ready to toilet train your child?
Before you start, make sure that everything is relatively calm in your, his or her life. If you're moving, having another baby or starting your child in a new school, put off the process until things have stabilized. If you add potty training to a list of upheavals in your child's life, the experience may be forever linked in your child's mind with a sense of being out of control and unsure rather than with confident, happy feelings.
As a parent, your number one job in toilet training is to avoid feeling pressured to train your child ASAP. Even if you have time limitations or caregiver considerations, resist the pressure. Your anxiety about toilet training can create anxiety in your child. Toilet training is not a competition. Your role is to encourage your child by fostering independence, and to allow your child to master each step at a reasonable pace. You must be prepared to devote some of your own time and emotional energy to providing direction, motivation and reinforcement on a daily basis.
If the preschool you've been checking out won't take children until they're toilet trained, for instance, then you may just have to find another preschool. It's that important to let your child go a pace that's comfortable.
Additional tips to keep in mind:
Our parenting advice is given as suggestions only. We recommend you also consult your healthcare provider, and urge you to contact them immediately if your question is urgent or about a medical condition.
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