When it comes to potty training, as with so many aspects of parenting, you never really know when you’ve crossed the goal line. Your little one might seem to be fully potty trained for weeks, even months, and then the next thing you know, they’re back to having accidents.
Regressions are very common in potty training, and it can make parents second guess whether or not their child was ready for it in the first place. But don’t worry. In today’s video, I’ll tell you how to handle it when your child starts going backwards in the process, and how to resolve the situation as quickly (and cleanly!) as possible.Rather read than watch? Click here.
I used to teach grade one and I found that, for the first couple of months of every school year, it was a lot of work to teach these little people the rules.
Then, around November, it felt like we mastered everything, we figured it all out, everybody understood what was expected of them, and everything was fine.
Then, the Christmas break would roll around, we’d come back, and it was like I had brand new students. I’d have to teach them all over again, what was expected, what are the rules, and this would happen every couple of months, all through the year this would happen.
And that taught me an important lesson about children in general. That there are going to be regressions.
So I wanna talk today, a little bit, about potty training regressions. Now, these can be a little concerning, right, because it takes quite a bit of hard work on your part to establish potty training in the first place. You’ve figured out that pee, and now the poop is happening too, and you pat yourself on the back and think, ha, we did it, we’re there.
And for some kids that’s true, for some kids you won’t ever have to revisit this, you’re never gonna have to go back to training. My daughter, for example, was the easiest child I have met to date to potty train. It was like one day and we were done forever, it was great.
But that’s just not gonna be the case for a lot of children. You might find that you have a month or two that’s really smooth sailing and he’s doing really great, she’s doing awesome, and then you have a backslide, and that’s just, you know what? That’s gonna show up in just about every single area of your parenting experience.
So, nothing wrong with your child, nothing wrong with you, completely normal behavior from a child.
Now, what do you do if it shows up?
Well, don’t panic is the first bit of advice, and, also, don’t back down. Don’t start second guessing, oh, maybe it’s because he’s got a new baby brother, or maybe it’s because he started at preschool, or maybe it’s because it’s winter time now. I mean, these might be some of the reasons for the little back step, or the regression, but you can’t let that sway you.
You’ve made a decision to potty train, he’s been doing wonderfully, just because you have a few days of regression, does not mean we go back to diapers. Even if he’s demanding that you go back to diapers, or putting up a huge fuss now, out of the blue, about going to the bathroom, you can’t back down.
What happens when you back down is you teach your child that that sort of behavior works. Pitching a fit because I don’t wanna go to the bathroom, that works. Guess what, they’re gonna start pitching a fit when they have to go to the bathroom, when they have to get dressed for the day, when they have to come sit down for lunch, because they’ll start to put two and two together, and realize that, hm, that sort of behavior, that little fit that I threw has power, and I can try it in other places too.
So you have to show your children that that doesn’t actually work, that’s not gonna work. We’re gonna do this anyway, whether you like it or not, and push through for a few days.
Now, you could, one way to kind of try to spin in positively again is reinstall the reward. You most likely started the potty training experience giving your child a little reward or treat for every time they went to the bathroom, and maybe they just need a little kickstart again, get that reward back on track. Hey, you know what, if you can do this without any tears, or you can get yourself to the potty on time, then you get some sort of prize for that.
And, again, that will wear off and you’ll go back to several months of smooth sailing, and it may show up again, it’s not that uncommon, especially in that first year of potty training, to have two or three regressions within that first year.
So, just hang on tight, know that it will pass, and your child will go back to doing well with this.
Thanks so much for watching today, sleep well.
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