Toilet training is a massive milestone. It is something some children find easier than others and something which can come to children at different times. Over two weeks ago Maxwell finally cracked toilet training and as of yet he has not had a single accident.
These days there is so much pressure for parents to have their children potty trained as soon as possible however what if a child is not ready? What if a child has a developmental delay? What if a child is experiencing speech delay and is does not understand the toilet training process easily? There is so much pressure out there for parents and on children to be potty trained as soon as possible.
As a parent who's child has speech delay, I felt that pressure. I was asked if Maxwell was toilet trained regularly by different people and I felt many other children were ahead of Maxwell however, whilst Maxwell was behind in toilet training he was ahead of other children who were toilet trained in so many other areas. Over time I learnt and accepted that every child is different and Maxwell would be willing to learn about toilet training at his own pace. As a parent I did not feel the need to push him. I felt that pushing him would only make him anxious and I felt that the more anxious he became, the less interested he would be.
For us, once Maxwell wanted to learn about toilet training and took a interest in us going to the toilet the whole experience was easy. We went from going on the potty regularly to using the toilet with a toilet seat, to being confident wearing pants, using any public toilet and managing to not need the toilet on long journeys.
For anyone toilet training their child and are feeling the pressure, these are my 5 simple tips.
- We found that using a personalised story book helped Maxwell with his journey. Due to Maxwell having a speech delay, Maxwell favors learning through seeing. We read Pirate Maxwell's Potty book every night to Maxwell before bed and before long he was interested in trying little things he had picked up in his story book.
- We felt that a reward scheme helped encourage Maxwell. Maxwell's reward scheme was made up of some colourful card from the 99p store and some cheap fun stickers which we found on the internet. We did not buy into any expensive reward books. From the get go we explained to Maxwell per 20 stickers that Maxwell got on his chart, we would take a trip to our local toy store and Maxwell would have £7 to spend on a treat. We found that as soon as Maxwell was rewarded through stickers and praise, he really worked hard to achieve his toy trip visit.
- As frustrating as it can be that your child is not ready to learn to toilet train, stay calm, positive and do not shout. I found that a calm approach to toilet training helped Maxwell become confident in what he was learning to do. If I had not stayed calm through the process, Maxwell would have picked up onto my negative vibes and would have not wanted to carry on the process.
- We found that Maxwell finally completed his toilet training journey in half term. Due to Maxwell attending 2 preschools and doing extra activities outside of preschool, he has a busy week, every week. Through half term Maxwell had more time to concentrate on learning to toilet train and it also allowed us to be around him. Being around him that week meant if a accident did happen we were on hand to reassure him accidents do happen.
- If you are reading this and you are worried your child is not toilet trained, don't be. Children develop at different times and learn things at different paces. Our potty training journey seemed to last a life time however Maxwell has finally become confident and is happy to use the toilet in most situations.Your child is next! Stay calm, positive, offer support and do it with a smile on your face.