I remember potty training my four kids and the joys and frustrations that accompanied that time in my life. With my oldest son, he was a kid who loved playing and we had to work especially hard getting him to recognize when it was time to leave his toys and go potty so he would stop having accidents.
With my second son, I vividly remember the struggles with getting him to go number two on the potty. There was withholding, constipation and tears, but he eventually got it.
My first daughter was pretty easy to potty train, but my second daughter needed a little more encouragement.
This was pre-pandemic, of course, so I had the time and semi-patience to deal with the challenges that potty training brought.
I couldn’t imagine trying to do this during a pandemic and my heart goes out to the parents who have taken this on.
A lot of parents have chosen this time of quarantine to start potty training their kids since they have more time at home and as a potty training consultant I’ve heard the frustrations many parents are facing.
Potty training on its own can be stressful and takes a lot of time and patience and the right set of circumstances to work. Now couple that with the stress and uncertainty that this pandemic brings and I can see why a lot of parents are struggling.
If you are a parent in the middle of potty training during this time let me offer you some encouragement: show yourself some grace.
It’s likely that you’ve never had to potty train through a worldwide catastrophe before. You have a lot to juggle and think about and potty training is not something you should stress about. Allow yourself time to process what’s going on and how you will deal with everything and then decide if potty training is something you want to take on at this time.
If you’ve already started and find you need to take a break and pick potty training back up in a few months, you are not a failure. If you decide to give it a go anyway, try these tips:
First, be prepared with everything you need before you get started. This will cut down on inconsistency because you have to start and stop to go to the store. Remember to take it easy on yourself and your child when accidents happen. During this crazy time in life, no one needs to feel like they are a failure or a disappointment. It will only add to yours and your child’s frustrations. And finally, try to understand and be okay with the idea that your child may not get it right away or even at all right now. Remember, their life has had a dramatic change, too. So they may not take to doing something new at the moment and that’s okay.
Don’t be hard on yourself when you’re a little more frustrated or a little less patient than you want to be. Take this time to snuggle with your child instead of stressing about potty training.
I promise you, in the end, they’ll be potty trained and you’ll be glad you got a little extra time to hold them tight.